Okavango Delta in Botswana gets World Heritage status


This video about lions is called Okavango Swamp Cats.

From Wildlife Extra:

The Okavango Delta in Botswana has been listed by UNESCO as the 1,000th World Heritage Site.

This inland delta, which is situated in the northwest of the country and fed by the the Okavango River (that originates over 800 miles away in the highlands of Angola), is the largest of its type in the world and is comprised of permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains.

The River Okavango is at its fullest during the dry season, due to rainfall and floodwater from the Angolan Highlands, and overflows into these plains.

This attracts animals from miles around, making it one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of wildlife.

It is home to populations of some of the most threatened large mammals in the world, including the cheetah, white and black rhinoceros, elephant, the wild dog and the lion. It harbours 24 species of globally-threatened birds.

“The Okavango Delta has long been considered one of the biggest gaps on the World Heritage list and IUCN is proud to have been able to provide support to this nomination,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General.

“We congratulate Botswana’s authorities on their extraordinary commitment to make this historic listing a reality.”

“The Okavango Delta has been a conservation priority for more than 30 years and we are delighted that it has finally gained the prestigious status it deserves,” says Tim Badman, Director of IUCN’s World Heritage Programme. “Its ecological and biological importance as well as its exceptional natural beauty make it a prime example of what World Heritage stands for.”

UNESCO works to the identify, protect and preserve cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

Read Chris McIntyre travel feature on the Delta HERE.

Save Indian lions


This video says about itself:

21 May 2014

Lions400 is the Zoological Society of London‘s campaign to secure the future of the majestic Asian lion, which clings to survival in only one isolated Indian forest.

These lions are on the brink, and we can’t let them disappear.

Find out more here.

From Wildlife Extra:

New campaign offers hope for Asian lion

Asian lions may be clinging to survival, with less than 500 left in the wild, but there is hope, say[s] The Zoological Society of London (ZSL). They have launched a campaign called Lions 400 to try and secure the future of the species, whose range is now limited one isolated Indian forest. Here the lions are easy prey for poachers, and just one forest fire or disease epidemic could wipe this ancient species out for ever.

Confined to such a small area, the lions are also at risk of wandering into neighbouring areas where the hazards include being killed by trains, vehicles or frightened villagers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Save African lions by building bomas


This video from Africa says about itself:

27 July 2008

A few of the Lion Guardians got together to help mend a boma that a hyena had been repeatedly attacking. Their hard work paid off and they managed to fix the boma so that the attacks stopped, and the community did not feel they had to kill the hyena.

From National Geographic yesterday:

In East Africa, livestock is the livelihood of many communities. When lions and other big cats kill livestock, people often kill the cats in retaliation—and the problem is growing worse. There are just over 30,000 lions left in the wild. The best way to prevent any more of these big cats from being killed is to prevent the conflict. And that’s where you come in.

Our Build a Boma campaign aims to stop these killings by building predator-proof boma fences to protect livestock from big cats. When you donate to Build a Boma, you’re funding the work of Big Cats Initiative grantees who are working with local communities to build these fences. It costs just $500 to build a boma and $25 to maintain one for a whole year. Any donation you can make will go a long way.

Want to learn more about the impacts of bomas? Watch a video that shows the benefits these fences have on communities.

Together we can decrease the killing of lions. Don’t forget to find out more about Build a Boma and how you can help save big cats.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Lioness, wounded by buffalo, saved


This video from Kenya says about itself:

9 April 2014

Early on 4th April, a call was received from Governor’s Camp in the Maasai Mara about an injured lioness. She had a deep, open wound on her lower left flank, the result of an encounter with a buffalo.

The DSWT immediately launched its SkyVets Initiative; collecting a Kenya Wildlife Service Veterinarian and flying from Nairobi to the Mara. Once on the scene, the vet set about darting the lioness, whose wound was extensive.

In an operation that lasted 1 1/2 hrs, throughout which the rest of the pride were kept a safe distance, the vet thoroughly cleaned the wound before suturing it closed. Long lasting anti-biotic drugs were administered, as well as packing the wound with green clay, to speed the healing process. With that, Siena the lioness could rejoin the pride and her cubs.

Working together effectively and efficiently, the DSWT, KWS, Narok County Council and Governor’s Camp were able to help this lioness and with that, ensure the return of a mother to her cubs.

With Africa’s lions are under serious threat, with less than 35,000 remaining today, our ability to help this dominant pride member and her cubs is critically important.

Read the full account of the Siena’s treatment on our website, where you can also choose to support our SkyVets Initiative, here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Zebra escapes from five lions, video


This video says about itself:

Maasai Mara zebra escapes lion ambush

A pride of lions awaits a convenient meal as the striped animal leisurely crosses a river before it makes an amazing U-turn in the national reserve in Kenya

February 24, 2014 by David Strege

Maasai Mara zebra escapes lion ambush …

Along with its extraordinary population of lions, leopards, and cheetahs, the Maasai Mara National Reserve in southwest Kenya is known for the Great Migration of zebra, wildebeest, and Thomson’s gazelle to and from the Serengeti each year.

But one zebra recently found itself on a lonely journey as it leisurely crossed a wide river, not knowing what was awaiting its arrival on the other side. Watch what happens when the zebra finds out a welcoming party was anything but friendly:

The 100100Channel told GrindTV in an email that the video entitled “Zebra came to the wrong neighborhood” came from one of its company agents during a safari in The Mara but offered little other details, not that many more are needed.

The zebra was taking its time crossing the river. The camera pans back to reveal four lions hiding in the brush and another over-eager lion sneaking up close to the river behind a berm. The over-eager lion exposed its position too soon, sending the zebra on a hasty retreat back across the river from whence it came.

The zebra was actually lucky on two counts: It was lucky to avoid five hungry lions, and lucky that no crocodiles were nearby.

See also here.

Zebra stripes are striking and beautiful, but what purpose do they serve? Read more here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Two lion cubs in Lady Liuwa’s pride in Zambia


This video from Zambia says about itself:

The Last Lioness (Full Documentary) HD

11 dec 2011

A haunting call echoes across the Liuwa Plain. There is no answer, there hasn’t been for years. She has no pride, no support – she alone must safeguard her own survival. Her name is Lady Liuwa, and she is the Last Lioness.Isolated by a scourge of illegal trophy hunting that wiped out the rest of her species in the region, Lady Liuwa is the only known resident lion surviving on Zambia’s Liuwa Plain. For four years, cameraman Herbert Brauer watched her lonely life unfold, until, in her solitude, she reached out to him for companionship.

From Wildlife Extra:

Two lion cubs for Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia

January 2014: For the first time in 10 years two lion cubs have been seen in Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia to a lioness introduced to the park in 2011.

It is believed that this is the lioness’s second set of cubs and that she probably lost her first set due to inexperience. The father of the cubs is the park’s only male lion. The lioness has hidden her new cubs in thick bush, making it difficult to photograph them.

The mother of the two newly born cubs was one of two young females introduced from Kafue National Park in 2011. Her sister was killed by a snare in 2012 and she, probably traumatised by this event, ran away towards Angola. In a dramatic rescue mission she was darted, airlifted back to the park, and placed in a fenced boma.

African Parks then took the decision to place Lady Liuwa, the park’s only surviving lioness from the mass trophy hunting that occurred in the 1990s, in the boma to encourage the two lionesses to bond. After two months the two lionesses were released back into the wilds and have since been inseparable.

Two male lions, which were introduced to Liuwa from Kafue in 2009, also headed towards Angola in mid-2012 and one was reportedly shot dead by villagers in Angola. His companion, who made it safely back to Liuwa is now the resident male in the pride and father of the two new cubs.

“We are overjoyed to have sighted the cubs and will closely monitor the new offspring to minimise threats to them,” said Liuwa Park Manager, Raquel Filgueiras. “The birth of the cubs will help safeguard the future of lions in Liuwa and strengthen the park’s tourism offering. It is an event in which all stakeholders including ZAWA, the BRE (Barotse Royal Establishment), the Liuwa communities and the park itself can be proud.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

Good African elephant news


This video says about itself:

The Elephant Documentary

24 July 2013

Elephants are large mammals of the family Elephantidae and the order Proboscidea. Traditionally, two species are recognised, the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) and the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), although some evidence suggests that African bush elephants and African forest elephants are separate species (L. africana and L. cyclotis respectively). Elephants are scattered throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. They are the only surviving proboscideans; extinct species include mammoths and mastodons. The largest living terrestrial animals, male African elephants can reach a height of 4 m (13 ft) and weigh 7,000 kg (15,000 lb). These animals have several distinctive features, including a long proboscis or trunk used for many purposes, particularly for grasping objects. Their incisors grow into tusks, which serve as tools for moving objects and digging and as weapons for fighting. The elephant’s large ear flaps help to control the temperature of its body. African elephants have larger ears and concave backs while Asian elephants have smaller ears and convex or level backs.

Elephants are herbivorous and can be found in different habitats including savannahs, forests, deserts and marshes. They prefer to stay near water. They are considered to be keystone species due to their impact on their environments. Other animals tend to keep their distance, and predators such as lions, tigers, hyenas and wild dogs usually target only the young elephants (or “calves”).

Females (“cows”) tend to live in family groups, which can consist of one female with her calves or several related females with offspring. The latter are led by the oldest cow, known as the matriarch. Elephants have a fission-fusion society in which multiple family groups come together to socialise. Males (“bulls”) leave their family groups when they reach puberty, and may live alone or with other males. Adult bulls mostly interact with family groups when looking for a mate and enter a state of increased testosterone and aggression known as musth, which helps them gain dominance and reproductive success. Calves are the centre of attention in their family groups and rely on their mothers for as long as three years. Elephants can live up to 70 years in the wild. They communicate by touch, sight, and sound; elephants use infrasound, and seismic communication over long distances. Elephant intelligence has been compared with that of primates and cetaceans. They appear to have self-awareness and show empathy for dying or dead individuals of their kind.

African elephants are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), while the Asian elephant is classed as endangered. One of the biggest threats to elephant populations is the ivory trade, as the animals are poached for their ivory tusks. Other threats to wild elephants include habitat destruction and conflicts with local people. Elephants are used as working animals in Asia. In the past they were used in war; today, they are often put on display in zoos and circuses. Elephants are highly recognisable and have been featured in art, folklore, religion, literature and popular culture.

From Wildlife Extra:

Elephant births at Zakouma National Park in Chad represent a big win against the poachers

January 2014: The birth of 21 elephant calves at Zakouma National Park in the Republic of Chad, one of the last strongholds for migratory herds of savannah elephants in the central African region, has been welcomed as a turnaround in the fortunes of the park’s beleaguered elephant herds.

Poaching had reduced the Park’s elephant population from 4,000 to 450 between 2006 and 2010, leaving the traumatised herd too stressed to breed. Although African Parks stabilised the population after it took over the management of Zakouma in 2010, only five calves were born between 2010 and 2013.

Rian Labuschagne, Zakouma’s Park Manager, said that a lion study they carried out around 2005 found that elephant calves made up 23 per cent of the big cats’ diet at that time. “It was a direct result of the then rampant poaching that left substantial numbers of calves orphaned and easy prey for the lions,” he said.

The flush of elephant calves sighted by Labuschagne and his team shortly before Christmas now changes the status of Zakouma’s elephant population from “stable” to a “definite increase in numbers” and is testimony to the success of the intensive anti-poaching strategy implemented from late 2010 by African Parks, a non-profit organisation that takes on total responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities.

Anti-poaching measures have included the year-round deployment of patrols and specialised anti-poaching technology in the extended elephant range, aerial support for patrols, the fitting of satellite collars to individual elephants and establishing a park-wide radio communication system. They have also implemented increased intelligence-gathering and a reward system for information. As a result, there has been no poaching of elephants in Zakouma for more than two years.

Labuschagne concluded: “We are thrilled that Zakouma’s elephant numbers are now growing but are mindful of the continual challenges that we face. At the moment we are implementing major new anti-poaching initiatives to combat ongoing threats that now include the deteriorating situation in the Central African Republic to the south of us.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

West African lions in danger


This video is called Wild West African lion cub at the Yankari Game Reserve in Nigeria eating a warthog.

From Wildlife Extra:

The West African Lion is dangerously close to extinction

January 2014: The African lion is facing extinction across the entire West African region reveals a paper authored by Panthera‘s Lion Program Survey Coordinator, Dr Philipp Henschel, and a team from West Africa, the UK, Canada and the United States.

The West African lion once ranged continuously from Senegal to Nigeria, but now, says the scientists, there are just 250 adult lions left in five countries; Senegal, Nigeria and a single trans-frontier population on the shared borders of Benin, Niger and Burkina Faso.

These results follow a massive survey effort that took six years and covered 11 countries where lions were presumed to exist in the last two decades.

Panthera’s President, Dr. Luke Hunter said: “Lions have undergone a catastrophic collapse in West Africa. The countries that have managed to retain them are struggling with pervasive poverty and very little funding for conservation.”

The West African lion is genetically distinct from the lions of in East and southern Africa.

“West African lions have unique genetic sequences not found in any other lions, including in zoos or captivity,” explained Dr. Christine Breitenmoser, the co-chair of the IUCN/SCC Cat Specialist Group, which determines the conservation status of wild cats around the world. “If we lose the lion in West Africa, we will lose a unique, locally adapted population found no-where else. It makes their conservation even more urgent.”

Lions have disappeared across Africa as human populations and their livestock herds have grown, competing for land with lions and other wildlife. Wild savannas are converted for agriculture and cattle, the lion’s natural prey is hunted out and lions are killed by pastoralists fearing the loss of their herds.

Enhanced by Zemanta