- In the last 50 years, it is estimated that 50% of Africa’s lions have disappeared.
- In the last century, it is estimated that more than 80% of lion habitat has been lost
- Today, there are reported to be less than an estimated 30,000 lions remaining in the wild.
Many factors have contributed to this shocking decline, retaliatory killings after lions attack livestock is one of the primary drivers. East Africa is one of the strongholds of lion populations but with burgeoning human populations and development, lion populations are becoming increasingly isolated, leading to local extinction.
For lions to survive, it is therefore imperative that lion researchers and conservationists collaborate on a broader scale to improve connectivity between lion populations and increase their chances of survival.
Role of the LINC system:
Dispersal between areas is absolutely critical for long-term sustainability and genetic viability of lions across East Africa. Migrating individuals can rejuvenate populations where local extinction may have occurred, as well as enable a “rescue effect” in which immigrating individuals protect a dwindling local population from extinction.
LINC will allow us to better understand these migration patterns, the movement from populations and thereby enable more effective lion conservation on a broader scale. It will allow us to pinpoint and work on priority areas between various lion populations to ensure lion survival across Maasailand and East Africa.