Etosha Lion Project is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the conservation of African lions, their habitat, and prey in the Etosha landscape. We help local organizations, academic researchers, scientific institutions, and park staff conduct research on lion ecology and potential population threats with the ultimate goal of evidence-based conservation..
Etosha Lion Project (ELP) is a collaboration between academic researchers, conservationists, and park staff with 40+ years of collective experience in the Etosha landscape. In 2019, Etosha Lion Project was founded to combine efforts to monitor Etosha's lions and to research, understand and address growing threats like climate change and human-lion conflict.
In the last two decades, African lions have disappeared from 94% of their historic range and their numbers have dropped by almost half.
Today, only 20,000 lions are estimated left in the wild. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the species as critically endangered in some parts of Africa and vulnerable to extinction worldwide.
Indirect threats to lion populations include habitat loss & fragmentation as well as decreased habitat from climate change effects like increased temperatures, decreased rainfall, and declining natural prey populations.
More direct threats include commercial exploitation of wildlife, and disease epidemics from increased contact between domestic animals and wildlife.
The greatest threats today are habitat loss and the retaliatory and pre-emptive killings of lions stemming from human-lion conflict.
Etosha National Park in Namibia is is one of the largest, unfragmented, fully-fenced protected areas in the world!
The Etosha landscape is made up of 22,000 square kilometers of protected area inside the park and almost 18,000 square kilometers of surrounding farmland and conservation areas. It's also home to one of the largest surviving wild lion populations in Africa.
The IUCN recently identified Etosha as a critical landscape and potential stronghold for lion conservation.
As with many national parks, limited roads and difficult terrain make research and monitoring of wildlife a regular challenge. African lions are also a cryptic species and it can be difficult to systematically monitor an entire population in a park the size of Etosha. But research and monitoring are critical to understanding a population's conservation status. With the species facing global extinction, ongoing research and monitoring of Etosha's lions will aid the continued conservation of this critical population.