The loss of half the lions in Africa over the past 25 years demands that donors and conservationists alike unite and bring our best, collaborative investments and actions forward for the recovery of lions and the restoration of their landscapes.

There is hope. Lions can recover if entrepreneurial conservationists are empowered to address the biggest threats to lions—such as human-lion conflict, bushmeat poaching, and habitat loss. If the core protected areas in Africa were more effectively managed and the local communities around them supported, we could have 3-4 times the number of lions we have today.

Created by the Wildlife Conservation Network in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the Lion Recovery Fund drives your investment to game-changing actions by the most effective, vetted partners who work collaboratively to bring lions back. Through strategic investments and collaboration with other public and private donors, the Lion Recovery Fund aspires to double the number of lions in Africa, regaining those lions lost over the past 25 years. We are committed to seeing thriving savannah landscapes where Africa’s people, its economic development and its lions all coexist.

While the Lion Recovery Fund targets site-based conservation results on the ground in Africa, it also supports campaign strategies that build public, political, and philanthropic will for lion recovery. Today, too few people recognize the dramatic decline of lions and what that represents—loss of ecosystem services, the disappearance of other wildlife, and risks to African economies where tourism is important. The Lion Recovery Fund therefore invests in projects in both Africa and in western donor countries to build the commitment to recover lions and restore their wild landscapes. The Lion Recovery Fund will operate until lions are on a clear path toward doubling their numbers, indicating healthier protected landscapes across Africa.

Founding Partners

  • Wildlife Conservation Network

    The Lion Recovery Fund, along with its commitment to its WCN lion partners Ewaso Lions and Niassa Lion Project, is a key strategy by the Wildlife Conservation Network to bring lions back. The Wildlife Conservation Network’s (WCN) mission is to protect endangered wildlife by supporting conservationists who ensure wildlife and people co-exist and thrive. WCN invests technically and financially in a select network of conservation partners to ensure their mission success, and creates large-scale, range-wide Crisis and Recovery Funds to support the best ideas to end extinction crises and bring wildlife back from the brink. Learn more about WCN’s unique approach to saving wildlife, or learn more about our conservationists and their most compelling initiatives.

  • The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

    The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) is dedicated to the long-term health and wellbeing of all Earth’s inhabitants. Through collaborative partnerships, we support innovative projects that protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction, while restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities. LDF's grant-making program encompasses six focus areas: wild land conservation, marine conservation, climate change, innovative solutions, indigenous rights, and public advocacy.