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Environment

Supporting the Desert Lion Conservation – A Pledge to Protect the Namib’s Icons

todayNovember 7, 2023 8

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Desert Lion Conservation (DLC), also known as the “Desert Lion Project,” stands as a beacon of hope for the preservation of an extraordinary and endangered species, the desert-adapted lions of the Northern Namib. This small non-profit organization is dedicated to a mission that not only encompasses the survival of these majestic creatures but also serves as a model for harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife.

The Desert Lion Conservation under scientist, Dr. Philip Stander: “At the heart of our work lies an unwavering commitment to understanding and safeguarding these remarkable desert lions. Our primary focus centers on collecting essential baseline ecological data on the lion population, delving into their behavior, biology, and their unparalleled adaptation to survive in the unforgiving Namib Desert. This commitment to science and knowledge is a foundation upon which we build a better future for both the lions and the people who share their territory.

One of our fundamental goals is to address the pressing issue of human-lion conflict. As these unique lions continue to navigate their harsh environment, they often cross paths with the human population. We are fully aware that the coexistence of humans and lions is essential to the conservation of these magnificent creatures and the preservation of the delicate ecosystem they call home. Our work seeks to find common ground, forging a path towards mutual respect and sustainable cohabitation.”

Furthermore, Desert Lion Conservation understands the intrinsic value of these lions to the local and global community. Lions have long been revered as symbols of strength and majesty. The DLC’s efforts are aimed at elevating the tourism value of these extraordinary creatures, ensuring that their presence not only enriches the lives of local communities but also contributes to the broader understanding of the importance of conservation.

“Collaboration is at the core of our approach. We recognize that the challenges faced by desert-adapted lions extend beyond the purview of a single organization. We actively engage with other conservation bodies, both regionally and globally, to pool resources, knowledge, and expertise. By working together, we can more effectively address the threats and challenges these lions face and, in turn, better secure their future”, says Dr. Stander.

A group of four passionate Namibian cyclists who call themselves “Beau’s Pride” – Johan Liebenberg; Dewald Nel; Fanie Britz, and Bibi Cornelissen – has dedicated themselves to the mission of the Desert Lion Conservation in honor of the young Beau van der Westhuizen who had a deep love and admiration for the endangered desert lion. Beau passed away due to cancer just a few days before he would have celebrated his sixteenth birthday on 3 November 2022. Beau’s Pride will embark on a courageous and heartfelt mission to partake in the grueling annual Nedbank Desert Dash cycling competition, starting Friday, 8 December 2023 from the Grove Mall in Windhoek and finishing in Swakopmund on Saturday, 9 December 2023.

Beau’s Pride spokesperson, Roux-ché Locke: “As Beau’s Pride dedicate themselves to the Desert Lion Conservation mission, we are calling upon individuals, communities, and organizations to join us in this crucial endeavor. The Namib Desert and its iconic lion population need our collective support. By contributing to the Desert Lion Project, we are all helping to continue the DLC team’s essential work in the field, gather crucial data, and foster community-driven conservation solutions.

Desert Lion Conservation is not just a project; like the character of Beau van der Westhuizen, it is a symbol of hope and a testament to the human spirit’s capacity for compassion, understanding, and change. Their vision is a future where desert-adapted lions not only endure but thrive, where humanlion conflict is minimized, and where these magnificent creatures are celebrated as vital components of a unique and fragile ecosystem. Let us stand together in defense of the desert-adapted lions of the Northern Namib. In keeping alive Beau van der Westhuizen’s legacy to protect the desert lion, let us be their voice, their protectors, and their allies in a shared journey towards coexistence and conservation.”

For more information on how you can support Desert Lion Conservation and be part of this vital mission,
please visit the website https://www.desertlion.info/ “Together, we can ensure that the desert-adapted lions continue to inspire and thrive in the Namib Desert, securing their place as icons of both natural beauty and the enduring spirit of cooperation”, concluded Locke.

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