This weekend marks both World Lion Day and World Elephant Day, celebrating two of the world’s most beloved and remarkable species. In honor of these occasions, we are excited to share the Elephant Crisis Fund 2018 Interim Report and the Lion Recovery Fund 2018 Progress Report; each report shows how—with support from generous and visionary donors— these Funds are making strides to stop the ivory crisis and to recover lions.
This World Lion Day marks the one-year anniversary for the Lion Recovery Fund (LRF); to date the LRF has supported 28 projects from 20 partners in 14 countries. We have funded some genuine innovations, including a campaign against the consumption of bushmeat in Zambia’s urban areas. We have invested in projects to protect lion populations that are dangerously plummeting and those that are keeping stable populations strong. This includes projects that are protecting three of the four remaining populations of the critically endangered West African lion and protection for a large lion population in the iconic Serengeti National Park.
The Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF) has invested in key projects to conserve critical elephant habitat in the Central African Republic’s Chinko Nature Reserve. Chinko Nature Reserve was on the very brink of collapse due to poaching which had emptied the area of wildlife; now it is a beacon of hope. With the backing of Elephant Crisis Fund partner African Parks, Chinko acquired a patrol aircraft and built a ranger post. Chinko is starting to fill with wildlife once again and we have every reason to believe that elephants will be among the animals repopulating this landscape. To date, the ECF has supported 197 projects from 63 partners in 32 countries.
Across Africa, elephants and lions are facing dire threats, we are losing elephants to a poaching crisis that is part of a devastating global ivory trade and in just 25 years we have lost half of Africa’s lions from threats like human-lion conflict and habitat loss. But the Elephant Crisis Fund and the Lion Recovery Fund are helping to turn the tide for these incredible animals.
We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all of our supporters whose generosity is helping ensure that elephants and lions remain part of our planet’s rich and diverse future.