National lion action plans and strategies in Benin, Cameroon and Senegal
Lions Panthera leo in the region of West Africa are threatened with extinction. As a contribution to a major conservation effort three related Lion Conservation Workshops in Benin, Cameroon and Senegal were organised with funds from the National Geographic Big Cat Initiative to develop National Conservation Action Plans for lions.
These three countries harbour (parts of) the three main Lion Conservation Units in West Africa ; (A) W-Arly-Pendjari, (B) Benoue-Gashaka Gumti and (C) Niokolo Koba and adjacent parks. The workshops were bilingual (English and French). For each country national lion conservation strategies were developed and are now in the process of approval. In addition after each workshop, eco-guards have been trained in camera trap techniques, track surveys and large carnivore ecology.
All countries were given a Bushnell digital camera trap for experimental purpose. Additional objectives included were : (1) where relevant include other large carnivores (2), and to convene regional carnivore conservationists (3) under the umbrella of the Regional Carnivore Initiative for West and Central Africa with the aim to strengthen conservation efforts directed at lions, leopards Panthera pardus, cheetah Acinonyx jubatus, African wild dogs Lycaon pictus and hyaenas Crocuta crocuta and Hyaena hyaena.