The African Lion (Panthera leo) is set to drop below 20,000 individuals in the wild, almost 90 times fewer than there was 200 years ago. Therefore, their conservation is key to their population recovery.
However, Richard Turere, a young boy from Kenya, recently discovered the ‘light’ for reducing this alarming population decrease.
In a recent Bangor University Seminar, Dr Jackie Abell, director of research for a conservation company called ALERT, explained the current role of inventions in conservation for lions.
Why Are Lions Disappearing?
The main reason behind the reduction in the lion populations is, of course, due to human interaction.
As humans spread further across Africa, they spread further into territorial hunting areas of lions. Cattle and livestock become the prey of Lions which, inevitably, cause farmers to protect this livestock by killing the lions.
Killing one hunting lion could have knock-on effects resulting in the further death of cubs and small prides.
Richard found that placing flashing lights around the necks of livestock would scare Lions away. This triggered action by ALERT and Coventry University to use this idea and create a product called Nite Guard. Which can be set up around farming perimeters and can scare off most predators not just lions.
Other Ways Are Needed
Dr Abell stressed that although this invention has massively improved conservation efforts other steps must be taken.
She outlines that education is another important role in decreasing the attrition between humans and lions in Africa. Ensuring that farmers know how to safely prevent lions consuming their cattle by using Nite Guard. As well, as informing them on the importance a lion has on their ecosystem is a vital key to ensuring the future conservation of the lion.
An idea so simple, yet so effective, has proven to me that there must be future research into the multitude of effects humans have had on endangered animals.
Whether this is on the physical changes we impose or the behavioural changes our actions and inventions have caused. It could provide further help in understanding the effects we can have on ecosystems and thus show how we can help reverse the indirect damage we may have caused.