Game Warden

Dr. Ulf Ottosson, PhD - Yankari Game Reserve, Nigeria.

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Dr. Ottoson is an Ecologist and freelance researcher with roots in southern Sweden, but now based in Luxemburg. His greatest interest for the past 30 years has been migratory birds. Although completing his PhD on parent-offspring conflict and begging behaviour, his main research focus has been on behaviour, especially orientation, and the non-breeding ecology of migratory birds in Sweden, Nigeria and Ghana as well as on five expeditions to the Arctic. For three months each year he teaches and conducts research with APLORI, (The A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, situated in Jos, Nigeria).

 

His current research activities in Nigeria involve research with Masters and PhD students on Ecology of migrants and African resident birds, the population biology of lions, elephant surveys, systematics of butterflies, bush-meat hunting, sperm competition, conservation management and so on. A few ex-APLORI students who he is now co-supervising as PhD students are enrolled on PhD programs in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, New Zealand, UK and of course Nigeria.

 

At home in Luxembourg he works as a consultant doing Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) especially for birds before the siting of wind turbines.

 

To find out more about APLORI's work in Nigeria, visit their website here: www.aplori.org

 

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Where is Yankari situated and how easy is it to get to as a tourist?

 

Yankari is situated in Bauchi state, NE Nigeria. It is not too easy to go there as a tourist, the closest airports are Jos and Kano which are about 3 hours drive away. From the Nigerian Capital Abuja its about 6-7 hours drive. For the moment this area of Nigeria is a bit troublesome and European foreign ministries tell people to avoid making unnecessary trips to the area.

 

What facilities are available to those wishing to visit?

 

There are some relatively newly built Rondavels and apartments. Food is available. A very nice Natural Spring to cool down in afternoons.

 

Based on your own background with Yankari and so little information available for people wishing to visit, what are your recommendations for visiting the reserve? For instance: can one stay inside the reserve for extended periods of time? Are you allowed to self drive or must you work with an operator / agent based at Yankari? Are foreign guides permitted to work there?

 

Please compile a checklist of the most important things to know for those planning to visit.

 

1. Its hard to contact management in order to make reservations. But most often rooms are available, so you basically have to go there taking a chance. You can stay there for a longer period yes.

 

2. You are allowed to drive yourself but you need to carry a ranger with you and that costs extra.

 

3. You can use foreign guides but will always need a local guide as well.

 

4. Since Yanakri is big and forested and animals are not plentiful and spread out, you need a lot of time here to make it worth a trip.

 

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Prof Ulf-Lecturing on then shore of River Yuli

 

What percentage of visitors to Yankari are foreign and what percentage domestic?

 

Today hardly any foreign visitors at all visit Yankari, due to the travel restrictions. Expats living Nigeria who used to come here before are not allowed to travel here. Before maybe a handful of real tourists came each year. So most visitors are Nigerians coming on a day trip and on school trips maybe spending one night.

 

How are Nigerian nationals encouraged to visit the country’s national parks and reserves?

 

Actually no idea because I never see anything of that. My guess is very little.

 

Why is there not more publicity about Yankari in the international press and likewise why has it not got much of a presence online? Why is more not being done to disseminate information about the reserve?

 

Ask the Bauchi State Government who manage the Reserve.

 

What plans does the Nigerian government have to attract both foreign tourists and foreign investors to help kick start the country’s safari tourism market? Indeed, what needs to happen in Yankari itself to make it more attractive to safari tourists?

 

Yankari is now not a National Park, (although it was),its run by the Bauchi State and was handed over from National Parks about 6 years ago. I'm not aware of what either the Federal Government or Bauchi State is doing to promote tourism. They may try to - I never see anything about that.

 

A past press release stated the government are to rehabilitate Yankari National Park: QUOTE “The federal government has announced plans to rehabilitate the Yankari game reserve in Bauchi state. It said the move is geared towards restoring the past glory of the reserve.” When did this rehabilitation project begin, what do the plans consist of and what evidence have you seen of it making a difference to the reserve? How important an issue is it for them?

 

Well, I guess this was during the former government, during the last 5-6 years nothing much has happened when it comes to rehabilitation: a bridge here and there have been mended. Most things are neglected and have been so for a long time.

 

How do Nigerian’s themselves, (as in the people and not government), view wildlife conservation?

 

Mostly no interest at all, they don't know what it is, for most people is not a reality. Of course there is some awareness around protected areas. But for most Nigerians wildlife is something you eat.

 

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What are the local domestic Wildlife conservation NGOs and how are they involved with Yankari?

 

Nigerian Conservation Foundation worked in Yankari in the past and may be on their way in again. WCSworks in Yankari with helping the rangers and monitoring their movements. They also try to prevent the cattle rearing Fulanis from entering the park too much. They also conduct surveys and monitoring of especially the elephants, which they also work with mitigation of elephant vs farmer conflicts. A.P. Leventis Ornithological Res Inst. Have been active in the Reserve for the last 5 years and we have done extensive research on birds, mammals, butterflies and plants in the reserve. The next step for us is now to build up a monitoring scheme.

 

What are the current threats to wildlife inside the reserve and what steps are being taken to combat them?

 

Poaching and the cattle rearing Fulanis are the two threats. There is patrolling in the park but it's not sufficient to more than maybe keep it down a bit.

 

In August this year, 2012, a ranger was murdered and another injured by poachers, (Source - http://news.naij.com/7189.html) What is the security situation like at Yankari, both for those involved in wildlife conservation there, and potential visitors? What should they be aware of?

 

Rangers have been killed or injured almost yearly I would say, the rangers lack arms and are easy targets for the poachers. It's not a security risk for the casual visitor because you will not come in close encounter with a poacher. The biggest security problem is political and outside the park

 

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In your paper entitled Yankari Game Reserve, Bauchi State - Progress Report 2011 (A copy of which can be downloaded here), you state, QUOTE: “Eight species of large mammals have become locally extinct since the area was first designated as a game reserve; these are the African Hunting Dog (Lycaon pictus), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), Western Kob (Kobus kob), Korrigum (Damaliscus l.korrigum), Red Fronted Gazelle (Gazella rufifrons) and Bohor Reedbuck (Redunca redunca) (c.f. Green & Amance 1987; Thacher 2006).” What species, in your opinion, will be the next to become extinct in Yankari without immediate action and why?

 

The lion, because the fulanis are grazing far into the park which means that their cattle are being predated by lions, the fulanis then poison the carcass and the lions,hyenas and vulture etc are killed. Actually, all vultures have gone from Yankari now.

 

From your experience and field work in the reserve, what are the positive indications regarding wildlife, compared to the quite obvious declines in certain species?

 

Buffaloes seems to increase, elephants are relatively stable and up until we started the lions seemed to be more than like 20-30 years ago, the last with a quite big question marks seems there was no good estimates from before. But the last 2-3 yrs the lions have decreased.

 

How easy it is to see wildlife in Yankari? What are the best parts of the reserve for specific wildlife sightings?

 

Most animals are concentrated along the the River Gaiji in the center of the reserve, it's here you see the animals, especially during the dry season and during the day.

 

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What is Yankari’s bird life like and what are the outstanding/rare species you are likely to see, if a keen birder? Are there any endemic solely to Yankari, if so, what are they and in which part of the reserve can they be spotted?

 

Yankari is big with many different habitats which makes the variety of birds the asset. For Nigeria its one of the few places you can still see Ground Hornbill and Secretary bird and a few remaining bustards, you also see a good variety of raptors including Fox Kestrel, Martial Eagle and Bateleaur. In the dry season the river attracts some water birds.

 

Am I right in thinking that there is no human habitation within Yankari Game Reserve? What impact do surrounding communities and villages have upon the reserve? Has there been any effort to directly involve these communities in the running and organization of the reserve, whether it be through employment as guides, camp workers, anti poaching patrols etc? If not, why not?

 

There is no habitation within Yankari. Most poachers are from there of course but not all. The main impacts on the reserve apart from the poaching is from Fulanis who are nomads and pass through the area mainly in the dry season. There have been a lot of community projects over the years and some are still on. Most rangers are from the nearby communities which of course has its pros and cons.

 

How important is foreign aid and assistance for the reserve: indeed, what kind of assistance is Yankari receiving from foreign organisations?

 

Now it's quite important because I think WCS is working to keep the patrolling running at some level, without them I don't think there would be any.

 

What are the foreign conservation NGOs currently involved with Yankari, how are they involved, and how can people reading this interview help them, whether it be financially or logistically?

 

WCS as above, I guess through giving money to them or contact Andrew Dunn

 

What is your view of Yankari’s future: 5, 10 and 15 years from now?

 

If nothing drastic is done now now, the park will slowly detoriate and in 15 years there will be nothing left, instead Fulanis and farmers will have taken over

 

Photos of Ulf, courtesy and copyright Talatu Tende, lion and elephant images, courtesy and copyright Oskar Brattström.

 

 

 

 

The views expressed therein are solely those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Safaritalk.

 

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Many thanks to Ulf and Matt for a very interesting intervie, even if reading it left me quite depressed.

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Yes, there seems to be very little local interest to help preserve the area. I was surprised that Yankari is no longer a national park.

 

Hopefully WCS can stave off the decline and perhaps the NCS will come back in. If my geography is correct Yankari runs to the border pf Cameroon. Does any one know what is on the other side of the border.

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Posted (edited)

Biologist Kiki from Benin, went to Yankari provincial park in Bauchi State of Nigeria, to make a survey of the small lion population surviving in the park.

He did not manage to here o see any lion signs.

He hopes there are still 1 to 2 families inside the park, as WCS suggests in the quarterly reports available on the net.

 

He hopes these articles will help to increase funds to manage the underfunded Yankari park, which works with only 36 USD per km2 while the standard is 500 USD / km2 per year in Kruger for instance.

The first idea would be to fence Yankari to mitigate conflicts with local people, develop and maintain infrastrure and road network, and enforce anti-poaching activities.

 

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/other/searching-for-the-last-lions-in-nigeria/vi-BBqIN9y

http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-searching-for-the-last-lions-in-nigeria-2016-3

 

To be compared with the 2010 estimation of 16 lions by molecular methods or 35 by direct observations.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/230020154_Population_size_of_lions_in_Yankari_Game_Reserve_as_revealed_by_faecal_DNA_sampling

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4113291/#b44

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3888380/

Edited by jeremie

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Posted (edited)

Kiki final preliminary results report on 2016 Yankari and Kanji Lake lion populations estimations has recently been released. It is available on the WCS website for Nigeria:

Final report WCS RFP_2016_Survey_Status_of_Lion_Nigeria_Martial_Kiki

 

Kiki tried to identify lions in these two LCUs using three different methods: spoor count, camera trapping, call up stations.

He failed to identify lions at Yankari Game Reserve. But he found a population of about 70 spotted hyena based on call up results.

He founded lions based on 10 captures of lions by camera traps, but could not confirm the presence of wild dog, leopard and spotted hyena at at Kanji Lake National Park. Unfortunately, the speaker had some problems and he was unable to get any results from call up station method.

He found that buffalo was absent form the park, a very common large mammal in West Africa found at Yankari for instance. The absence of this main prey for lions as well as spotted hyena at Kainji Lake, proves that poaching is high in the park, and that lions are endangered with only kobs and roans present in the category of large mammals.

Note that buffaloes were present in moderate number of 500 in the Borgu sector ten years ago:

http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=jas.2007.1809.1812

 

Kiki recommends that scats genetic analysis might be the most appropriate technique to estimate population size, one method which has largely been employed by Tende between 2007 and 2012, under Ottoson supervision as far as I understand:

http://d3slbqzqwnaogk.cloudfront.net/uploads/uploaded_file/file/96/Lejon_final_report.pdf

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0084288&type=printable

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/230020154_Population_size_of_lions_in_Yankari_Game_Reserve_as_revealed_by_faecal_DNA_sampling

 

Tende estimated a minimum of 15 lions at Yankari in 2011. 

Nyanganji and Henschel only found 2 lions at Yankari in 2011 using call up methods (15 lions in 2009 in Saidu survey, same method), which would confirm that this technique might not be the most appropriate, as Kiki says.

Both studies and Tende estimate a population about 30 lions at Kainji Lake.

 

Nyanganji and Saidu reports are available here:

IN YANKARI GAME RESERVE AND KAINJI LAKE NATIONAL PARK ...

A SURVEY OF THE STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE LION ...

Edited by jeremie
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Posted (edited)

Very good to have put together these documentations @jeremie

 

 

In the January-March 2016 quarterly report of WCS NIGERIA (period in which Mr. Martial Kiki research was conducted), a controversial fact caught my attention: the quarterly report clearly informs that there have been several lion activities reported during this period. The Yankari survey data do not match the allegedly regularity reported by the WCS NIGERIA reports (including quarterly reports for 2015, as well as the latest quarterly report - January to March / 2017) in which lions continue to be sighted and Even frequently heard. In these reports the lions are only mentioned as gifts, there is no information on their numbers or any analysis that addresses such divergences of information, as well as no practical conservation measures are disclosed. There seems to be a clear attempt to demonstrate that Yankari still has lions (in the plural). Difficult is to understand its permanence without any effort to install radiocolar or any other type of identification / monitoring. Mr. Martial Kiki's account of the countless encounters with poachers, whose behavior impresses, an atmosphere of confrontation, indicates that the environment in Yankari is very dangerous. Therefore it is difficult to know the real situation of these lions. Lacking clear and objective information is minimal and not only informing which lions are present. Giraffe, lycaon, cheetah, leopard, western Kob (Kobus kob), Korrigum (Damaliscus korrigum) and Bohor were eradicated from the area. I think it is unlikely that WCS NIGERIA would disclose information of a dubious nature, however, assuming local extirpation implies many practical and other financial consequences for the conservation of this area as a whole. As genetic diversity is rapidly lost in small populations, keeping the population at a genetically sound level requires making reallocation decisions. Yankari lions are genetically closer to the lions of Cameroon, the lions of Kainji Lake are genetically close to the lions of the WAP complex. Anyway, I have no doubt that the lack of practical lion conservation actions contrasts unequivocally with his frequent sightings.

 


In Mr. Martial Kiki's report regarding research at Kainji Lake he presents four photographs of a solitary lioness. Observing well, if you see a repeated character in the photographs, at the base of the tail has a small curvature / deformity that is repeated. For lack of evidence there is no attempt to establish any quatitative of lions currently in Kainji Lake park. Excluding Nigeria, West Africa will only have lions remaining in the WAP complex and Niokolo Koba. It is the sad portrait of an extinction already announced since 2009.

 

 

In order not to appear that certain findings regarding lions extend to the work of WCS NIGERIA as a whole, I would like to add good evidence of their work in Yankari.


WCS NIGERIA tries, in a slow pace, due to scarce internal and external financing, to promote a better management of Yankari, through improvements in roads, bridges, guard training (including increase in numbers, improvement in armaments, provisions And social incentives and incentives for certain economic activities in the permanent communities bordering border areas, new vehicles, the new Elephant Guardian program in 6 communities around Yankari (an attempt to improve communication Between local communities and the reserve), stepping up patrols and directing them to more problematic areas of the reserve, enforcing and improving laws (they are trying to put into practice an old law that says any individual caught in Of Yankari, regardless of whether or not he is committing crimes, is held in prison for six months), zero tolerance of grazing activities within the reserve etc. Despite all this effort, the counterpart funding to WCS by the Bauchi State Government for conservation management are continuously reduced down and much of the work continues to be funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2014 WCS signed a memorandum of understanding with Bauchi State Government to take full responsibility for management, law enforcement, patrols, and all conservation activities at Yankari Game Reserve.

Edited by Matias Cox
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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Matias Cox said:

Very good to have put together these documentations @jeremie

 

 

In the January-March 2016 quarterly report of WCS NIGERIA (period in which Mr. Martial Kiki research was conducted), a controversial fact caught my attention: the quarterly report clearly informs that there have been several lion activities reported during this period. The Yankari survey data do not match the allegedly regularity reported by the WCS NIGERIA reports (including quarterly reports for 2015, as well as the latest quarterly report - January to March / 2017) in which lions continue to be sighted and Even frequently heard. In these reports the lions are only mentioned as gifts, there is no information on their numbers or any analysis that addresses such divergences of information, as well as no practical conservation measures are disclosed. There seems to be a clear attempt to demonstrate that Yankari still has lions (in the plural). Difficult is to understand its permanence without any effort to install radiocolar or any other type of identification / monitoring. Mr. Martial Kiki's account of the countless encounters with poachers, whose behavior impresses, an atmosphere of confrontation, indicates that the environment in Yankari is very dangerous. Therefore it is difficult to know the real situation of these lions. Lacking clear and objective information is minimal and not only informing which lions are present. Giraffe, lycaon, cheetah, leopard, western Kob (Kobus kob), Korrigum (Damaliscus korrigum) and Bohor were eradicated from the area. I think it is unlikely that WCS NIGERIA would disclose information of a dubious nature, however, assuming local extirpation implies many practical and other financial consequences for the conservation of this area as a whole. As genetic diversity is rapidly lost in small populations, keeping the population at a genetically sound level requires making reallocation decisions. Yankari lions are genetically closer to the lions of Cameroon, the lions of Kainji Lake are genetically close to the lions of the WAP complex. Anyway, I have no doubt that the lack of practical lion conservation actions contrasts unequivocally with his frequent sightings.

 


In Mr. Martial Kiki's report regarding research at Kainji Lake he presents four photographs of a solitary lioness. Observing well, if you see a repeated character in the photographs, at the base of the tail has a small curvature / deformity that is repeated. For lack of evidence there is no attempt to establish any quatitative of lions currently in Kainji Lake park. Excluding Nigeria, West Africa will only have lions remaining in the WAP complex and Niokolo Koba. It is the sad portrait of an extinction already announced since 2009.

 

 

In order not to appear that certain findings regarding lions extend to the work of WCS NIGERIA as a whole, I would like to add good evidence of their work in Yankari.


WCS NIGERIA tries, in a slow pace, due to scarce internal and external financing, to promote a better management of Yankari, through improvements in roads, bridges, guard training (including increase in numbers, improvement in armaments, provisions And social incentives and incentives for certain economic activities in the permanent communities bordering border areas, new vehicles, the new Elephant Guardian program in 6 communities around Yankari (an attempt to improve communication Between local communities and the reserve), stepping up patrols and directing them to more problematic areas of the reserve, enforcing and improving laws (they are trying to put into practice an old law that says any individual caught in Of Yankari, regardless of whether or not he is committing crimes, is held in prison for six months), zero tolerance of grazing activities within the reserve etc. Despite all this effort, the counterpart funding to WCS by the Bauchi State Government for conservation management are continuously reduced down and much of the work continues to be funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2014 WCS signed a memorandum of understanding with Bauchi State Government to take full responsibility for management, law enforcement, patrols, and all conservation activities at Yankari Game Reserve.

 

@Matias Cox I don't think that WCS is hiding any bad news about lions.

 

If you look well in the 2015 reports, you will see that if lions activity is concentrated around Wiki, there are also many activities in the periphery areas of the game reserve. Tende made an estimation of the mean territory of the lions in Yankari, which is indeed much smaller than the park itself. I would guess that the activities reported in the periphery of the reserve, are made by separate animals than the one living in the core area.

Secondly, if you look well to the patrol reports, you can see that they are not uniformly led in al the areas of the park, but concentrate around Wikki and the Western side of the park in a lower proportion, following elephants herds. This might explain why there are less lion clues found in other areas.

 

The 2015 Anual Report says:

Lion sightings were scattered across the reserve in 2015 with a clear concentration towards the central Wikki area where the patrol frequency is highest, see map of lion activity recorded in Yankari below. There were numerous lion sightings made around Wikki and along the Ahmadu Bello Way, as well as frequent roaring by lions heard from camp at night. Zero lion carcasses were reported during 2015. A formal lion survey of Yankari is planned for 2016. 

 

The 2016 large mammal sightings are not only located around Wikki, there are many sightings in the periphery too. Is makes sense that lion families are located in these areas too (where activities but not sightings where registered during 2015 patrols). Note that the 2016 reports only register lion sightings, all done at Wikki.

 

Lastly and most significant, the Yankari Game Reserve is totally underfunded, with the Bauchi government funding less than 30% than accorded with WCS. As a consequence, there is urgent needs to finance infrastructure and equipment.

The US Fish and Wildlife Services as the main international donor for Yankari, gave less than 150.000 USD in 2016 to the reserve.

 

Grant # F16AP00888
Strengthening the protection of elephants at Yankari Game Reserve through enhanced law enforcement action and monitoring. In partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society. This project supports protection of elephants in Yankari Game Reserve in Nigeria. This small population is one of the few remnant populations surviving in this part of Africa, and is therefore regionally and nationally important. Specific activities include providing operating costs for anti- poaching patrols and supporting the ranger-based Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) monitoring system.
USFWS: $99,164 Leveraged Funds: $88,530 

 

It is clearly not sufficient to manage the park. I guess with the other donations (Toyota Hilux donations), the anual budget was lower than $300.000 USD, which represents about $120 USD / km2, far from the Pendjari standards ( $200 USD / km2) or the IUCN standard recommendations from Kruger and Serengeti ( $500 USD / km2). This standard is never considering special projects such as investigation (elephant, lion or large mammal studies, which can be expensive if it considers aerial surveys or camera trapping), or large infrastructure projects which in this case would be completely fencing the park (with the most probable decision to let the forest reserves around the reserve to the pastoralists) which is an isolated island inside a hight human dominated landscape. This measure is fundamental to limit elephant damages to local communities crops, and essential to limit human activities in the park (poaching, char coal activities, livestock encroachment). More rangers are needed and should be deployed at the periphery with ranger camps facilities.

 

For obvious security reasons, they decided to limit patrols according to weapons availability (they need more arms and preferably new ones), and many rangers cannot ensure law enforcement activities because of this huge restriction. Hopefully they received three new Toyota 4x4 trucks that will probably help them better patrolling periphery areas and ensure more patrols.

 

I think the main problem faced by WCS is that they does not secure their parks contrary to APN. APN will never sign any agreement to take a park under management if they do not find the funding necessary to make the minimum activities they judge necessary to protect the park. I also think APN would never have signed an agreement with the Bauchi government to finance the park activities.

WCS efforts are very appreciated, they are trying to use the most efficient techniques such as SMART,  I am grateful to their efforts and I hope the situation will change as soon as posible. I am worried about the 2018 funding of their activities, as far as I understand President Trump made huge cost reductions plans in international aids programs, and I think Yankari USF&W donations could be reduced accordingly.

 

However, I am sure alternatives can be found. For instance I remember that APN was planning to secure funds with local Nigerians interested in contributing in the conservation of Cross River and Gashaka Gumti National Parks for management of these two protected areas to be included in the APN portfolio by that time. This was before a juridic review appeared that public-private partnership such as the APN management model (significantly different than WCS model) was forbidden by the Nigerian laws, if I remember well.

 

Well, as far as lions are concerned, I understand that Kiki will continue its studies. But new funding should be needed to make scat analysis as he recommended in the his preliminary report's conclusions.

 

Edited by jeremie
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Posted (edited)

@jeremie his optimistic opinion regarding the existence of lions in Yankari is salutary. However, it is not prudent to rely solely on WCS NIGERIA reports. Despite its good arguments, disregarding lion surveys makes any conclusion narrow and restricted. As we know the lion research of 2011 came to the conclusion of the existence of only two adult lions, that's just two lions. After an absence of 5 years, we have the research of Mr. Martial Kiki, it is worth mentioning that he received a scholarship from the WCS to research lions in Yankari and Kainji Lake, so he had all the logistical support and all the practical orientations of where and how Find lions in Yankari. The result of this research finding no evidence of lions, regardless of any analytical optics to be used, is bleak, catastrophic. How important it would be if such a research report could substantiate the WCS reports! It is possible to criticize the study methodology of this research, but to ignore the result is not relevant from any point of view whatsoever.

 

 

From the moment that Mr. Philip Henschel report quantitatively mapped the existence of lions in 21 areas of West Africa, I followed Yankari's situation. The marginal / peripheral areas of the reserve are not suitable for lions because the Rangers do not patrol much of that area due to the absence or lack of maintenance of the road network, including bridges, these areas are fully known for their high poaching rates. There is also an aggravating factor that is the trade of lion pieces for religious rituals. Let us remember the lion cub who was accidentally killed by a vehicle and his body soon disappeared. Establishing a uniform balance: research x reporting WCS is a task that depends not only on the study of the Yankari lions situation, but also on the overall view of the accelerated process of ongoing lions' extirpation in the other protected areas of West Africa. It is a unique, multifaceted more repetitive recipe, and in all other areas where today it was found that lions were "probably extirpated", went through periods of doubt and denial. There are many practical conservation actions for elephants and none for lions. "No one protects something that no longer exists." Anyway, I'd like to share your optimism and your enthusiasm.

 

 

I very much wish the future will prove my mistake and the lions will recover in Yankari.

 

 

Regards,

 

  Matias

Edited by Matias Cox
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