"Since the rains, the lion population has tripled on Mbirikani; we estimate that there are currently between 13‐16 lions on the ranch. Many of these lions are moving here from Amboseli National Park, and the group ranch surrounding it, and from the southern border of the ranch from neighboring Kuku Group Ranch"
Of course no one should imagine that the lions have decided on a cattle amnesty. This photo, taken by Anthony Kasanga shows Lion Guardian Kapande with a cow killed by a lion on the ranch. It is simply that through the Predator Compensation Fund (PCF) herdsmen can be compensated for cattle that are proven to be lion victims. Since the launch of PCF there has been a dramatic decrease in lion killing, while lion killing has continued unabated outside the ranch boundaries.
For instance on neighbouring ranches, where no PCF, or even a guardians program, exists, there have been a minimum of seven lions killed in the past year. Leelah and her team-mates are in the process of starting up the Lion Guardians program in these areas, in the hope of reducing lion killing.
Program members spend at least three days a week monitoring predators, ranging from lions to some of the smallest of all, like the genet. Currently there are eight collared lions being monitored by the Guardians.
These photos, taken my Amy Howard, show some aspects of the program.
One collared male lion, Ndelie, has recently been fitted with an Iridium GPS collar. This enables us, and the general public, to monitor his activities via the internet
Another new development has been that the court system has begun to deal seriously with people who kill lions. There have been three arrests this year that led to substantial fines. A man who poisoned two lions was fined the equivalent of US$ 1000, and two murrans caught in possession of lions claws intended for sale on the coast were fined USD $1250. The claws would possible have fetched as much as US$ 3000, so, as always, some rich buyer(s) are just as guilty.
This is obviously a very brief synopsis of a detailed nine-page report. Anyone who wants more can either email me and I can send a pdf copy, or get in touch directly with the folks in Kenya through their web site.