The Wildlife Conversation Society is working on a project aimed at doubling the number of lions in South Sudan by 2050, the Society’s coordinator has said.
Under the Lion Recovery Fund, the project seeks to secure lion populations in Buma-Bandingilo landscape and increase support for lion conservation as well as jointly addressing threats facing lions in South Sudan.
Maria Carbo, Wildlife Conservation Society’s coordinator for land use and also the team leader for the lion project told Eye Radio in an exclusive interview that South Sudan is still home to a significant lion population.
“We are talking about South Sudan where a huge percentage of the population live off eco-systems services, on what nature gives them or provides so it’s important for these eco-systems are healthy so actually lions control these eco-systems by being top predators, they control other [animal] populations.”
However, due to the long years of conflict, she said lions face a challenge of conservation.
Although a survey is yet to be conducted to establish how many lions are in South Sudan, Maria said the country is still home to one of the largest terrestrial mammalian migrations.
She emphasized that other than for tourism which is a major boost for African economies, conserving South Sudan’s lions shall play a role in maintaining the ecological balance of the environment.
“In areas where you see lions are not there as much, other small cannibals or predators such as monkeys and their population has burst, and they are a lot more damaging to crops and to smaller livestock than lions can be.”
The Lion Recovery Fund project is also undertaking awareness raising in the Buma and Jonglei landscape to reduce lion-human conflict through education and strengthening the relationship between the local communities and government on the protection of lions in the country.
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