Reintroducing lions into Malawi

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Grantee African Parks Network
Type Lion Reintroduction
Location Liwonde National Park, Malawi
Grant Amount $136,400
Duration One year

African Parks Network (APN) have taken over the management of three protected areas in Malawi in a public-private-partnership with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife. Their engagement with Malawi started with Majete National Park, which was a massive success—taking a highly-depleted protected area and turning it around to the point where wildlife abounds. Lions were reintroduced into Majete several years ago. APN have recently taken over the management of Liwonde National Park and Nkhotakota National Park—both of which were also highly depleted. The Liwonde project has now reached the stage where it is ready for the reintroduction of lions (a species which was locally extirpated there). APN has received a grant from the LRF to cover the costs of that reintroduction. We see this as being both highly valuable from a conservation perspective—Malawi is a country with a very small lion population where the species is at risk of going extinct—and also of high symbolic value, as it demonstrates the hopeful message that lions can be recovered in situations that previously seemed hopeless for the species.

A follow up grant was then made to strengthen protection of the park and to support the development of a metapopulation management plan for lions in Malawi. This will pave the way for future reintroductions to other reserves in Malawi.