Lion Conservation and the Umbrella Effect in Mozambique

Greater Limpopo Carnivore Programme

"We were recently in the Sandveldt region of Limpopo National Park in search of the lone Malene Pan lioness we caught on a camera trap last year with a lone cub. We're hoping to deploy a satellite GPS collar on her to investigate her movements and use such data to guide our LLPU patrols. The area are has been subjected to heavy snaring over the years placing this lioness and other animals at risk. 

Whilst out early morning looking for spoor we were very lucky to come across this family of cheetah - one adult female and three sub adult females. The young trio were incredibly curious of our vehicle and we were able to sit peacefully with them all for half an hour. Incredibly, the cats followed us back to our fly camp and the next day made an appearance in front of our camping trailer in search of prey. We watched the sub adults meander through the early morning shadows as we had our coffee, and eventually took off into the acacia scrub in response to their mothers 'chips'.

The area comprises of many water pans, some of which will hold water throughout the dry season offering a haven for many animals but making the area an easy target for bushmeat poachers. The LLPU patrols around these pans are hopefully protecting the Malene Pan lioness but also the prey of this cheetah family and we hope our efforts will help see the three sub adults thrive through to dependency." - Greater Limpopo Carnivore Programme

The Lion Recovery Fund (LRF) is a firm believer in making strategic investments that benefit landscapes and the full spectrum of wildlife that live within these landscapes—not just lions. 

We recently received evidence of the value of this approach from our grantee Greater Limpopo Carnivore Programme (GLCP). With LRF support, the GLCP has developed the Limpopo Lion Protection Unit (LLPU) which tackles targeted lion poaching, and poaching of wildlife for bushmeat in the region. Bushmeat poaching results in the loss of prey for lions and other predators. In addition, bushmeat poachers use wire snares which indiscriminately catch a wide range of species, from lions and cheetahs to African wild dogs, monkeys, and elephants. 

The GLCP team recently sighted this beautiful family of cheetahs in the operational area of the LLPU. We are hopeful that their efforts to protect the park will keep these beautiful cheetahs, as well as the resident lions and other wildlife safe.

GLCP works in partnership with Peace Parks Foundation and with the National Administration for Conservation Areas – ANAC, the Mozambican wildlife authorities.