IMPLEMENTATION OF ETHIOPIA’S NATIONAL LION ACTION PLAN IN AWASH

To undertake activities to assist the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority meet its obligations established in Ethiopia’s National Lion Action Plan.


The lion is a national symbol of Ethiopia, and an important element of national identity. This is exemplified by the presence of lion statues in major towns, in the representation of a lion in the old national flag and the use of a lion logo by several Ethiopian companies.  Therefore, extinction of the lion in Ethiopia, nationally or locally, would not only be an important ecological and economic loss, but would cause socio-cultural impoverishment.

There is limited information on the status and distribution of lions in Ethiopia.  Lions are difficult to count, and any population estimate is essentially imprecise.  The most recent published estimates of lions within Ethiopia suggest that seven lion populations exist within the country, the largest - Boma Gambella, being shared with areas in South Sudan.

There are several threats and problems for lion conservation in Ethiopia. Problem Analysis shows that human population growth, habitat loss (mainly due to development that is incompatible with lion conservation), low political priority, weak law enforcement, lack of prey and human-lion conflict all pose major threats for conservation of lions.

Following discussions held during 2012, ALERT was asked in 2013 to assist the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority to implement their National Lion Action Plan, that was developed in 2009.  ALERT proposes to establish a research station to meet the identified action plan targets for one designated lion conservation unit (LCU).  Once successful, the program can be replicated in other LCUs such that the national plan is being implemented in all locations with lions.

In accordance with the provisions of Ethiopia’s National Lion Action Plan, ALERT proposes to undertake activities that will assist EWCA in meeting specific targets and objectives in the implementation of the National Plan.  

Research will start within the Awash LCU encompassing the Awash River Valley and the Awash National Park, the Yangudi Rassa National Park and the areas in between.  Due to the higher observations of lions in the southern part of the range, the project will focus efforts in and around Awash National Park during the early implementation stages.

For more information about this program see www.defendthelion.org and its associated Facebook page.

Click here for more information about lions within Ethiopia.


Milestones:

2013:  Agreement reached to undertake this program pending funding

2014:  ALERT forms a strategic alliance with Gorilla Corporation’s corporate social responsibility arm, Alchemy World NGO. This alliance combines Gorilla’s capabilities in sales, marketing and fundraising with decades of combined experience in lion and wildlife conservation by ALERT’s team of staff and technical advisors and Alchemy World NGO’s network in Ethiopia and its experience of community development in the country.

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