VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
There is a lion in Tanzania who ignites my passion. A beautiful young male ranging through one of our focal areas, a place where people and lions cohabitate and sometimes conflict. I’ve been tracking him for several years now, and still, he survives. He is part of a coalition with two other males. About a…
On this World Lion Day, it is time for us to raise the flag for all of the threats facing lions today. By doing so, we can take the next essential steps toward saving this vital species—without which the wilds of Africa will be forever altered.
For the Maasai, the lion hunt is a celebration of bravery reflecting their reverence and respect for the big cat as a primary foe. However, their relationship with the lion has become increasingly turbulent as the pastoralists confront an ever more populated landscape where conflicts between people and wildlife are on the rise. Warriors often put down their spears, replacing them with poison and guns. With lion populations plummeting across many parts of the continent, one spot on Tanzania’s Maasai Steppe shows refreshing signs of a recovering lion population and a Maasai community in a locally-motivated transition. Deirdre Leowinata reports.
In rural northern Tanzania, an African country famous for charismatic megafauna, including free-roaming cheetah and other big cats, impoverished and under-employed Swahili villagers struggle to survive. One way to earn money and make cooking fuel is to cut forests for wood that can be turned into charcoal. It’s an economic and environmental disaster, illegal because it is not sustainable for either wildlife or people. Meet the team that is looking for new ways to create livelihoods while teaching villagers the importance of protecting their natural wealth.