KopeLion – Korongoro People’s Lion Initiative


Our goal is to develop and implement a sustainable model for positive coexistence between resident pastoralist and lions in Ngorongoro.

Korongoro People’s Lion Initiative

KopeLion, Korongoro People’s Lion Initiative, is a collaboration between lion researchers and the people of Ngorongoro, Tanzania. Our goal is to develop and implement a sustainable model for positive coexistence between resident pastoralists and lions in Ngorongoro. Acknowledging the efforts needed to reach such goal, KopeLion is based on-site and we aim for long-term commitment in the area and with the people we partner with.

Camer traps Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ingela showing the latest photos captured by camera trap to by-passing warriors.

Long-term lion monitoring

Our work expands and builds upon Serengeti Lion Project’s unique, long-term dataset on lions from the Ngorongoro Crater, including family histories and population genetics, reaching back to 1962. Now our lion research also covers resident prides at the Serengeti border, and the few lions that still persist in the central section of Ngorongoro linking the Crater with nearby Serengeti. With access to the detailed lion data-set we have a rare opportunity to measure the effects of our lion conservation efforts on the vitality of the lion population.

Ingela driving close to a group of resting lions, getting close in order to see the whisker spot patterns, for correctly identify them all for the long term lion monitoring.

We build on 50-year dataset monitoring lions.

Beyond lion research

Since 2011 our focus has gone beyond lion research and expanded to community conservation because we believe local engagement is paramount to the continued existence of lions in this landscape. We employ local warriors, many of them former lion killers, for culturally appropriate duties in lion monitoring and protection, livestock-wildlife interaction surveys, and in direct conflict mitigation. Our work is inspired by the Lion Guardians Ltd., and with them as partners we implemented their model here in 2014, adapted to the Ngorongoro conditions. We now have positive collaboration with local communities that have embraced our efforts, becoming the foremost ambassadors for lions.

Ingela and lion scout Moloimet with other herders in Esere, discussing the latest event when striped hyena ripped into livestock enclosure (boma) and attacked goats.

We employ warriors from villages around Ngorongoro.

Our Core Values

Conservation 

Conserving the Ngorongoro lion.

Collaboration

In close collaboration with the local communities.

Commitment

With long-term and committed engagement.

Combination

By combining science and traditional ecological knowledge.