Thursday 21 December 2006
The P.R.I.D.E. Initiative stands for "Protection, Research, Implementation, Development, and Education" and is dedicated to raising resources and awareness to save Africa's imperiled lion population through a combination of applied scientific research, preserving large conservation landscapes, and community development. In November 2006, the Lion P.R.I.D.E. Initiative achieved a historic milestone when it surpassed its first year fundraising goal of $100,000. "We are absolutely thrilled that the Lion P.R.I.D.E. Initiative has secured over $100,000 in support for lion conservation and research projects in Africa," commented John Banovich. "We are very proud that P.R.I.D.E. is supporting some of the most passionate and brightest conservation professionals working in Africa today." Funding for the P.R.I.D.E. Initiative has been made possible by the generous donations of Banovich supporters around the world.
"AWF is extremely pleased that P.R.I.D.E. is providing substantial support to lion research and conservation efforts in East and Southern Africa," said AWF President Patrick Bergin. "The projects supported by P.R.I.D.E. are answering important scientific questions regarding lion conservation and enabling our talented conservation professionals to work with communities to ensure that lions survive in Africa for future generations."
The African Wildlife Foundation and internationally recognized artist John Banovich partnered to launch the Lion P.R.I.D.E. Initiative. Banovich is among the most renowned wildlife artists in the United States, and his art is appreciated by collectors internationally. He specializes in large oil paintings of animals from around the world. Banovich is talented, prolific and dedicated-both to his art and to preserving the wild places where the animals live.
Funding from the Lion P.R.I.D.E. Initiative presently supports three important lion conservation and research initiatives:
AWF's Large Carnivore Research Project. Since 2003, Gosiame Neo-Mahupeleng has been studying the population dynamics, movement patterns, and incidents of conflict between humans and lions in AWF's Kazungula Heartland, which spans the border regions of Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
AWF's Maasai Steppe Lion Research Project. Led by Bernard Kissui, this is AWF's newest species research project. Its launch in mid-2006 would not have been possible without critical funding from the Lion P.R.I.D.E. Initiative. Bernard has been investigating the demography and dispersal patterns of lions in and around Tanzania's Tarangire National Park and conflict between lions and humans in surrounding communities.
Dr. Laurence Frank's Laikipia and Kilimanjaro Predator Projects. Through these two projects, Dr. Frank and his team collaborate with communities in Northern and Southern Kenya on ways to ensure that humans and lions can continue to share the landscapes they have for millennia.