Photo Credit: Panthera

Restoring lions and other large carnivores in the Batéké landscape



Decades of uncontrolled hunting for bushmeat and of state-supported persecution of large carnivores has led to a dramatic decrease in wildlife populations across vast tracts of the Congo Basin. However, since the gazetting of the Plateau Batéké National Park in 2002, wildlife in this particular landscape has slowly started to recover. Leopards and chimpanzees have gradually returned, and elephant and buffalo populations have expanded in numbers. Most importantly, one male lion has returned to the area, but has been living alone for the past five years. Furthermore, as lions have been absent for two decades, local communities have lost the habit of living alongside lions.


  • Establish a breeding lion population inside the Plateau Batéké National Park;
  • Develop a community outreach and support system that will allow community members to benefit from the project and the park, and also encourage support in conservation and restoration efforts;
  • Strengthen the park’s security, particularly in the areas where lions and other wildlife are most present.


  • Introduce two young, wild-caught female lions of suitable genetic stock in the area to encourage breeding;
  • Conduct community outreach and support to assist with the most pressing challenges the community members face, such as the mitigation of human-wildlife conflict;
  • Bolster current and ongoing anti-poaching efforts.

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.

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