Habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, depletion of prey base and illegal wildlife trade have contributed to the decrease of leopards and lions throughout Africa. In the Lesio-Louna reserve in the Republic of Congo, these threats are accentuated by the level of poverty affecting the communities living alongside natural habitats of endangered species. While the presence of leopards has been confirmed, and lions are strongly believed to be present as well, no formal assessment has yet been conducted to confirm the status of either species.
This project will seek to improve the knowledge of the status of not only leopards and lions in Leiso-Louna reserve, but also gain information on overall species variety and abundance within the reserve. Additionally, it will increase the local communities’ commitment to conservation, improve the protection of the reserve against the illegal wildlife trade and improve the long-term conservation strategy of the Leiso-Louna reserve.
- Collect data from the local community;
- Set up camera traps that allow the detection of leopards and lions, which is crucial in order to obtain estimates on population density and size;
- Conduct extended patrols in remote areas of the Lesio-Louna reserve which will allow the eco-guards to detect the presence of leopards and lions, and also act as a deterrent to illegal wildlife activities;
- Compile research results into a series of maps and reports in order to develop strategies to further protect the reserve.
This project is a part of the IUCN SOS African Wildlife initiative, which is funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG Devco) through its B4Life initiative.