The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo
by Amy Lignor
Each and every year the Wildlife Conservation Expo is held to address situations out there that are harming our world and its animal inhabitants. This time around, WCN’s annual Fall Wildlife Conservation Expo in October, will be focusing on various issues, but it is the King of the Jungle who will be taking center stage.
For those who are not aware, the Wildlife Conservation Expos are unique opportunities for all wildlife lovers to come together as a community and hear, first-hand, stories from the mouths of the conservation heroes. They travel from all over the world to the expo with tales about how endangered species are being saved, and what still must be done to make sure they do not disappear from the earth forever.
The Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) that holds this event is an organization engaged in protecting all endangered species as well as preserving their natural habitats. They do this by offering their support to entrepreneurial conservationists who constantly pursue innovative strategies and ideas that allow both people and wildlife to co-exist and thrive.
Making these connections – bringing together conservationists with passionate wildlife supporters – has enabled the WCN to raise more than $50 million for wildlife conservation. When it comes to the annual expo held in San Francisco, several guest conservationists attend in order to share their work with the public and share their knowledge among their peers. Over 40 environmental organizations exhibit at the event, and this time out there are speakers focusing on the mighty lion and what is being done to protect and attempt to save the literal “king” before one of the most beloved creatures goes the way of the Dodo.
Dr. Shivani Bhalla with the Ewaso Lions (EL) will speak about the wilds of northern Kenya, where people must live alongside many predators, the biggest of which is the lion. With only 2,000 lions left in Kenya, this region serves as an essential habitat for the big cats. Attendees will learn about the Ewaso Lions and how the organization uses community outreach and education programs to engage locals in conservation, and how those locals receive help in return.
With the Niassa Lion Project (NLP), Dr. Colleen Begg will be at the event speaking about the Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique. This is one of the last great wild places on Earth, and an important stronghold for African lions. The Niassa Lion Project draws together scientific study with passion and empathy for the disappearing creatures, and sound management practices. For them, conservation is as much about people as it is about the magnificent lions.
This is one spot in the world that would literally take your breath away if you were to see it. The dramatic landscapes play home to wildlife populations that remain largely untouched, while also being one of the dwindling few ‘safety zones’ left for the African lion.
Take note that lions have disappeared from 83% of their historical range on the continent, so every remaining viable habitat is crucial. The greatest threat to lions comes from a disgusting growth in trade of lion skins, claws and teeth. What the Niassa Lion Project is striving to do on a daily basis is to build a sustainable lion-friendly community. They do this by working closely with community members, government officials, reserve management teams and even tourism operators because everyone who does their part is considered a very necessary cog in the wheel.
The attendees to the expo will be intrigued to learn about the lions who live with some of the world’s poorest people. NLP’s goals are to reduce food insecurity and provide alternative livelihoods and income for people living inside Niassa Reserve. These “alternative livelihoods” programs are active in five villages and include small livestock breeding, conservation agriculture, elephant beehive fences with honey production, and crafts groups. And a team of 26 wildlife guardians are working in 30 villages to monitor the lions, stay aware of both mortality and conflict issues, and remain the direct link between conservation programs and communities.
Tickets go on sale this week, August 15th, and it will be an extremely educational and fun trip for you and the family. Learning about this true wildlife corridor and these “wildlife guardians” that work every single day to stop poaching, spread community outreach and institute ongoing camera trapping programs to assess wildlife densities, is an experience you will not forget. If you are a passionate wildlife lover, the WCN Expo being held on Saturday, October 14, 2017 (10am-6pm) at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, CA, is one “must-do” that “must” go on your list.
Take the time to learn about the African lions and the work that is being done (and still needs to be done) in order to make sure the King of the Jungle remains on his throne.
Source: Baret News