Leading Ecotourism operators join forces to launch the Lionscape Coalition

In partnership with the Lion Recovery Fund, Africa’s leading ecotourism operators, &Beyond, Conservation Travel Foundation by Ultimate Safaris, Singita and Wilderness Safaris, have joined forces to launch the Lionscape Coalition – an innovative initiative that has seen four commercial competitors come together to help secure a future for Africa’s lions and their landscapes.

Africa’s lion population has halved in the past 25 years, and the species is now officially classified by the IUCN as ‘Vulnerable’, with the West African subspecies ‘Critically Endangered’. Habitat loss and fragmentation, illegal wildlife trade, bushmeat poaching and human-lion conflict continue to threaten lions across Africa. Yet lions are a resilient species and a turnaround is still possible if these key issues are addressed. 

As apex predators, lions are regarded by scientists as an “umbrella” species; if a lion population is thriving, it means the entire ecosystem around it is functioning effectively. “Conserving wild lions is therefore synonymous with conserving African wilderness”, commented Paul Thomson from the Wildlife Conservation Network, which manages the Lion Recovery Fund (LRF). “With a unique ability to inspire and inform travellers about the threats faced by these magnificent cats – and the habitat they need to survive – Africa’s ecotourism industry can play a pivotal role in bringing them back, which is why are thrilled to launch this exciting new partnership.”

“The initiative taken by the Lionscape Coalition’s founding partners to look past their business imperatives and collaborate sends a powerful message that conservation is part of good business.” he added. 

Photo by Jason Nott

Lion Coalition Infographic