Nonprofit conservation organization African Parks has completed a series of lion translocations from South Africa to Malawi as part of its wider efforts to restore Malawi’s parks. As a result, lions can once again be seen at the Liwonde National Park for the first time in 20 years.
Seven lions from South Africa joined two males brought from the Majete Wildlife Reserve in March to re-establish the species in the park. Their arrival also follows the recent reintroduction of cheetah to Liwonde in May 2017, as part of a wider initiative to restore predators to the region.
Predators serve an important ecological function. “Bringing back lions restores a key species that is critical to the healthy functioning of the natural system” said Patricio Ndadzela, African Parks’ deputy director of conservation. “Symbolic of the Malawian Government’s commitment to revitalizing its parks and wildlife, the translocation also contributes to the establishment of a significant national predator population and to the development of sustainable tourism economies to promote local livelihoods and socio-economic growth.”
African Parks partnered with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, the Dutch government, the Lion Recovery Fund and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to translocate the lions.
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