EnviroThursday - "Lion Rangers: Community Conservation of the Desert-Adapted Lions"
Speaker: John Heydinger, Co-founder of the Lion Rangers
Humans, livestock, and lions have inhabited shared landscapes in northwest Namibia for hundreds of years. Currently, human-lion conflict (HLC) threatens pastoral livelihoods and the viability of the region’s desert-adapted lion (Panthera leo) population within communal conservancies. The Lion Rangers, local pastoralist-conservationists, monitor the desert-adapted lions and work communities, government, and researchers to limit HLC for the conservation of this iconic population. Co-founder of the Lion Rangers John Heydinger will discuss the challenges of integrating community- and evidence-based conservation within natural and social science frameworks. What are the prospects for the desert-adapted lions? For locally-led conservation in a globalizing world? What happens when rural development and wildlife conservation are in tension in the Global South? John will address these topics.
A trained historian and conservation biologist, John’s work focuses on integrating social and ecological factors for locally-centered wildlife conservation. He is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Minnesota.