Sopa, Hujambo, Hello!

We are excited to share to share some of the key achievements from the last six months that your support has made possible.  This year while we dedicated time to reflection, absorbing lessons we have learned and working on a sustainable approach to increasing our conservation impact, we also achieved some key milestones. In particular, we
  1. Launched the Lion Identification Network of Collaborators (LINC), a cutting edge technology that has the potential to revolutionize lion conservation on the broad scale. LINC received significant media coverage when it was launched mid-year. 
  2. Completed the certification of our joint-partnered project site in Ruaha to Lion Guardians standards.
  3. Trained and coached 42 rangers and approximately 700 senior managers, dog-handlers, community guides and neighboring community members at Akagera National Park on lion behavior, tracking and monitoring methods to help them overcome their fear of living with lions. 
We also assisted the Ngorongoro Lion Guardians with operational and organizational development and held another successful annual Lion Guardians Games. As always, none of this would be possible without your support and commitment to the Lion Guardians program.
It takes a community to conserve lions and preserve cultures, we are grateful that you are a part of ours. 
Ashe Oleng, Asante, Thank You!
Magnanimous Martii Returns
Normally when a male takes over a new territory, he drives off or kills the offspring of the previous resident male. Surprisingly, this has not been the case with Martii who has adopted what appears to be a 'live and let live' policy leaving all the existing offspring in his territory alive. Furthermore, he has mated with all the female lions so we are expecting a record number of young lions very soon!
News from the Field & Beyond
Cubs & Conflict:
 The next six months may prove to be very busy as we are expecting nearly 15 females to give birth during this period. With El Nino rains also on the horizon, conflict may rise to an all-time high. Heavy rains result in wild prey species becoming particularly healthy and strong, thus lions have harder time catching them and may revert to taking livestock. Over the past few months, the team has pro-actively implemented several approaches including hiring new Guardians in key areas and team trainings on new mitigation approaches. We are preparing for a 'perfect storm,' which may arise from conservation success converging with a changing climate. Wish us luck!

Spirit of the Games: The spirit of camaraderie for all Lion Guardians across East Africa filled the air as we completed another succeessful Lion Guardians Games and Training in June. We watched with pride as the Amboseli Guardians welcomed their Tanzanian brethren with open arms and ensured that they settled in and were well fed at all times. Having been blessed with heavy rains on the first day of the Games, we had to hold the events around the Lion Guardians Training Center as our usual site had become inaccessible. In spite of this last minute change, everything went smoothly and everyone left feeling more inspired to conserve lions. It was a tightly contested Games with it all coming down to the final event which Team 1 bagged, making them the overall winners.
Thank you to our many supporters and collaborators who made the 2015 Games special. In particular,  Boopy - Kids' best friend (Eco-sys-action),  Kenya Wildlife ServiceBig Life FoundationAfrican Wildlife Foundation, and  Amboseli Trust for Elephants.

Ruaha Lion Guardians Certified:  
In June 2015, Leela and Stephanie traveled to our partnered site in Ruaha (Ruaha Carnivore Project) to conduct a certification review to ensure the project is up to Lion Guardians standards. It was 10 days (13hr/per day) of intense and rigorous assessment of the Guardians knowledge of their duties and responsibilities, through the use of one-to-one interviews and field scenarios processes. It was exceptionally insightful and we are excited that they passed. The Ruaha Lion Guardians were strong in many aspects of their work, particularly in literacy and accurately filling their forms. They also have a solid knowledge of their zones and surrounding environment. 
Photo credit: Collegian CSU
Leela visits CSU: Leela spent this September as an affiliate faculty at Colorado State University in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Department. During this time she gave a   university-wide public lecture, and built relations and connections with scientists and academics. She looks forward to continued collaborations with CSU. 
Feature Story: Knowledge Conquers Fear
Photo Credit: Sarah Hall/African Parks
Lion Guardians takes its knowledge and practices to Akagera National Park, Rwanda

You may have heard about the reintroduction of seven lions to Rwanda after two decades, but did you also know that Lion Guardians was called in to help ensure they are well protected? We were extremely honored when Akagera National Park (ANP) manager, Jes Gruner, asked for our help. Today, we wanted to share with you exactly what we did and the first impressions from Rangers in the field on how the training went.

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Meet a Guardian

Kuresoi ole Purdul joined Lion Guardians in December 2014 and is from the current warrior's age-set called "Iltuati", making him around 20 years old. He monitors the Olbili zone in Mbirikani Group Ranch. This zone is a high-conflict area as it adjacent to the Chyulu Hills National Park where there have been several cases of lions being caught in snares or poisoned in the past. Since Kuresoi started actively monitoring this zone, there have been no reported cases of lions being snared. Kuresoi is a hardworking Guardian and a good tracker. This year he has reinforced 10 bomas and found 96% of the 650 cattle, sheep and goats reported lost in his area.
We thank the El Paso Zoo for sponsoring Kuresoi, if you too want to help us conserve lions and preserve cultures - sponsor a Guardian today.