Niassa Lion Project
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The Niassa Lion Project serves to secure and conserve lions and other large carnivores (leopard, spotted hyaena and African wild dog) in Niassa National Reserve, northern Mozambique by promoting the coexistence between carnivores and people and directly mitigating threats. We acknowledge the costs to Niassa communities who live with carnivores while recognizing the potential of these carnivores to provide substantial ecological, cultural and economic benefits to Niassa Reserve and Mozambique. Our vision is a unique wilderness of Niassa National Reserve where lions and other carnivores continue to persist with the full participation and support of Niassa’s local people.
Niassa National Reserve (NNR) is located in northern Mozambique on the border with Tanzania midway between the coast and Lake Malawi/ Niassa. It is one of the largest protected areas (42 000 km2; 16000 ml2) and most undeveloped places in Africa. The protected area supports the largest concentrations of wildlife remaining in Mozambique including at least a third of the national lion population (800-1000 individuals of a national population of 2700) and more than 350 African wild dogs. In 2012, this area was again recognized as one of ten last lion strongholds in Africa. NNR is linked to Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania through the Selous Niassa Wildlife Corridor which strengthens its importance as a priority for lion conservation in the region.
The Niassa Lion Project believes that conservation actions have to culturally appropriate, locally derived and empowering for local communities if they are to be successful. NLP has a long term view and is deeply engaged with local residents, the management authority of the Niassa National Reserve, schools, tourism operators, and the bordering nation of Tanzania in its spectrum of conservation, scientific, and educational activities.