Securing the third of the four remaining West African lion populations

Natalie Ingle
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Grantee The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
Type Protected Area Management
Location Nigeria
Grant Amount $250,000
Duration 4 years

The West African lion is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List. There are only four known populations of the West African lion, found in: Niokolo-Koba National Park in Senegal; the W-Arly-Pendjari (WAP) protected area complex in Benin/Burkina Faso and Niger; Yankari National Park in Nigeria; and Kainji Lake National Park in Nigeria. The Lion Recovery Fund has already provided support to the Niokolo-Koba and WAP areas and is now reviewing a proposal from Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to assist their work in Yankari National Park. WCS is working to support the law enforcement efforts of the authorities in Yankari to tackle threats such as poaching of prey for bushmeat and incursion of livestock within the park. In the future, the LRF will also seek avenues to provide support to Kainji Lake National Park. 

Update: Subsequent to issuing the first grant, it was clear that ungulate populations in the park were increasing, but that the small remaining lion population appears not to be. Thus a second grant was issued in 2019 to allow for close monitoring and protection of the lion population to help mitigate against any lion-specific threats.