KopeLion – Ngorongoro


The lion – a symbol of wild Africa - is threatened. Across much of Africa, lions are in dramatic decline. Now, even the world’s most iconic king of the beasts – the Ngorongoro lions – are in danger.

This is KopeLion

KopeLion strives to foster human-lion coexistence in Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Here intensifying human-wildlife conflicts has been tough on the lions. In the last decades, the lions have begun to disappear entirely from their former ranges, separating the famous Ngorongoro Crater lions from the Serengeti. The area’s mission for harmonious coexistence is collapsing, with both people and wildlife losing out. KopeLion was founded in 2011 with the aim to change this trend. By working directly with residents, KopeLion strives for sustainable human-lion coexistence in Ngorongoro for the benefit of both people and lions.

KopeLion, comprised of local experts and international scientists, employs former lion hunters to actively protect the remaining lions and reduce conflicts. Our work builds upon data collected over the last 50 years, representing the best-known, best-studied lions in the world. This offers the unique opportunity to measure the effects of our efforts on a population of lions, studied for generations.

Our Vision and Mission

Vision: Successful and locally driven human-lion coexistence in Ngorongoro.
Mission: Inspire and enable local action, using science and traditional knowledge, for managing and monitoring sustainable human-lion coexistence in a multi-use landscape.

How we do it

Protect lions: Our on-the-ground team prevents and stops lion killings.
Increase lion tolerance: We reduce conflicts by finding and retrieving lost livestock, help reinforce bomas, warn herders of lions’ presence, and offer wound treatment on injured livestock.
Study lions: We find lions and record observations for the long-term demography study. We recognize each lion and follow them throughout their lives. We study how they adapt to living among people, tracking their movements and activity, using GPS collars.
Engage with the communities: Our team are mainly locals. We provide employment, embracing traditional practices, working directly with the communities.
Study human-predator interactions: We survey where, when and why attacks on livestock happen and by what predator. Knowing livestock vulnerability to attack helps us design better mitigation strategies.
Combine and build skills: We maximise our impact and understanding of this human-lion interaction by combining modern techniques, science, and traditional ecological knowledge.
Share our knowledge: We compile, analyse and share our expanding knowledge in reports to authorities, peer reviewed publications, and public presentations.

Facebook Posts

We all enjoy a warm cup of tea/coffee in the morning... and our Ilchokuti are no different! Preparing for a day of finding lions in Ndutu with a breakfast of sweet tea and sweet potato.
#kopelion #ilchokuti #lionconservation #ndutu #ngorongoro

We all enjoy a warm cup of tea/coffee in the morning... and our Ilchokuti are no different! Preparing for a day of finding lions in Ndutu with a breakfast of sweet tea and sweet potato.
#kopelion #ilchokuti #lionconservation #ndutu #ngorongoro
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Jan Lindblad Jr, Clint Schipper and 23 others like this

Rob BarbourGood luck. Keep them safe.

2 weeks ago   ·  1
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Jeanann BarbourGreat start to a very worthwhile day. Thank you for your wonderful work

2 weeks ago
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This lion, with his distinctive dark mane and belly hair, was recently spotted on our Panthera camera traps. His name is Kalamas and he is well known to the KopeLion team and local community. Recently, some Maasai women told of meeting him at Mt Lemakarot where he was drinking from a spring - he lay quietly and allowed them to collect water undisturbed. Kalamas travels widely, appearing intermittently on camera traps on the Lake Eyasi escarpment, Ngorongoro Highlands, and Kakesio (in the very south of the NCA) since 2015. In November 2015 he was observed mating in the Ngorongoro Crater. Whilst the KopeLion team are very keen to collar him, Kalamas in the Maa language means the intelligent and tricky one, given for his ability to evade us!

This lion, with his distinctive dark mane and belly hair, was recently spotted on our Panthera camera traps. His name is Kalamas and he is well known to the KopeLion team and local community. Recently, some Maasai women told of meeting him at Mt Lemakarot where he was drinking from a spring - he lay quietly and allowed them to collect water undisturbed. Kalamas travels widely, appearing intermittently on camera traps on the Lake Eyasi escarpment, Ngorongoro Highlands, and Kakesio (in the very south of the NCA) since 2015. In November 2015 he was observed mating in the Ngorongoro Crater. Whilst the KopeLion team are very keen to collar him, Kalamas in the Maa language means 'the intelligent and tricky one', given for his ability to evade us! ... See MoreSee Less

Fardeen Zumla, Yelena Affleck and 23 others like this

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Arjun DheerReally nice mane indeed

4 weeks ago   ·  1
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Donna SheppardGreat update; thanks for sharing the story of Kalamas

4 weeks ago   ·  1
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Mathew Bajuta SumariAwesome!

4 weeks ago
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Elizabeth BiscusoHandsome

4 weeks ago
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Danna GaryIs a nomadic

4 weeks ago

2 Replies

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Laurie Jaqua BrooksPlease Don’t collar him. Leave him alone!

3 weeks ago   ·  1

4 Replies

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Kelly PoyserAmazing, huge mane! 😍

3 weeks ago
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Emmy CrasherWonderful

3 weeks ago
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Sandra WilliamsWhat a BEAUTY he is!

3 weeks ago
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Claudia Thibodeau GibsonMagnificent!

3 weeks ago   ·  1
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