African Lion & Environmental Research Trust

Africa Needs Lions

aka ALERT   |   Los Altos, CA   |  http://www.lionalert.org

Mission

The African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) is dedicated to a multi-disciplinary approach for the facilitation and promotion of sound conservation and management plans for the African lion (Panthera leo) and the ecosystems on which the species relies.

Through responsible development we aim to realize the species’ potential to provide substantial social, cultural, ecological and economic benefits, that are distributed equitably amongst stakeholders to promote sustainable motivation in them for the protection of Africa’s natural heritage.

Ruling year info

2012

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Norman Monks Ph.D.

Main address

c/o Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP P.O. Box 1707

Los Altos, CA 94023 USA

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EIN

45-3782687

NTEE code info

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Chizarira National Park Project

Implementing a responsible development approach to lion conservation in Chizarira National Park, Zimbabwe

Population(s) Served

Human-lion conflict issues are widespread across Africa and are responsible for plummeting wild lion populations across the continent. With an increasing lack of prey availability and suitable habitat, lions have become a hazard to many local communities through the killing and/or injuring of livestock and people as they search for food. As a result, lions are viewed as dangerous pests and are subject to retaliatory killings by local people or are translocated or destroyed by Problem Animal Control departments of wildlife authorities, charged with dealing with human-wildlife conflict issues. In Kenya alone, an estimated 100 lions are killed on average every year in retaliatory killings by locals. However, more lions are killed than officially reported, as a result of conflict.

As lions roam into human settlement areas at night to prey on enclosed livestock, the design of corrals (animal enclosures) is a key aspect to preventing attacks. However, lions can penetrate a vast variety of corral wall types and are able to scale often inadequately built structures. A hungry lion is a determined one!

In 2010, an 11 year-old Kenyan boy, Richard Turere, created his own method of protecting his family’s boma from lion attacks at night. Using a handful of torches, a second-hand car battery and a small solar panel, Richard created a flashing light system around the boma perimeter. Knowing that lions are naturally wary of people, he designed the lights to flash in sequence, giving the impression that someone was patrolling the enclosure with a torch. His family reported no further lion attacks once the lights had been installed.

Since then, a modified version of this system has been successfully used elsewhere in Kenya, and ALERT has adopted this method to reduce night-time attacks on livestock in the Hwange Communal Lands of Zimbabwe, with positive results. ALERT has partnered with Coventry University, who provided pilot funding to extend the initiative to help rural farmers in the Matetsi area. Thanks to that funding, we have been able to protect 16 homesteads from lions at night, which in turn has protected these lions from persecution. As part of this initiative Coventry researchers also interviewed 30 households to establish a basic history of livestock predation within the communities. This revealed that households are actually experiencing most of their livestock losses when animals are grazing during the day.

Thus the next stage of this project is to attempt to reduce attacks occurring during the day on livestock in open rangeland. To do so, we first need to establish where and when these attacks are taking place and the factors that make an attack more likely. ALERT, in conjunction with Coventry University, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) and affected communities, will train farmers to monitor, collate and interpret attacks using low-cost technology as they herd their livestock. EpiCollect is a freely available app that enables smartphone-based data collection. A similar protocol is already being employed with villagers in Zimbabwe to report incidences of elephant conflict. Livestock attacks, cattle movements and reports of predator sightings will be monitored and this data used to develop effective, low-cost mitigation strategies for local communities. Once set up, monitoring can continue indefinitely, provided airtime for the smartphones is available to the herders.

To get this initiative up and running, we need donations to fund the smartphones. We already have five smartphones, provided as donations to ALERT, but require funding for a further 20 at a cost of USD 75 each (20 for immediate use and five as spares in case of loss or malfunction). Local SIM cards are needed for the initial set up at a combined cost of USD 200, and the purchase of airtime for data upload for 20 smartphones for 12 months is USD 2,400.

With your help we can protect local people from losing their livelihoods to lions, and we can protect lions from losing their lives in a conflict battle which they can never win. Only through co-existence with people will wild lion populations be conserved in modern Africa. Help us find and test ways of ensuring this happens for the people and lions in this area of Zimbabwe.

Population(s) Served

Rural communities in Livingstone, Zambia, are suffering the devastating effects of human-elephant conflict, both economically and emotionally. While elephant populations have historically utilised the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, they are also now increasingly roaming into community farmland, destroying crops, killing livestock, and attacking local people. In common with many locations across Africa, elephants in this area have become increasingly bold. For Livingstone communities, conflict with elephants is an everyday issue, creating a climate of genuine fear and negative perceptions towards the species. This unfortunately has resulted in their persecution, with local people having no reason to support their conservation.

Understanding where these elephants are, and how they are utilising their environment - particularly in human-dominated areas - is vital to enable conflict mitigation strategies to be devised which are specific to this locale and this particular population. ALERT’s project to monitor migration and movement patterns has the potential to protect human and elephant lives in the Livingstone area, as co-existence is made possible. If conflict with elephants can be reduced, we anticipate an increased tolerance towards the species amongst local communities. Only then can the benefits of elephant presence begin to be appreciated, their conservation welcomed, and retaliation killings prevented.

We have already identified over 400 individuals utilising the Park and are gradually increasing our knowledge of migration and movement corridors. The goal of this latest phase of the project is to build a comprehensive picture of how elephants are getting from these boundaries into community farmlands. With a lack of roads making access difficult if not impossible in some areas, coupled with the fact that elephants mostly travel after dark, finding out how they are able to access farmland is a challenge. By fitting satellite radio collars to sample elephants, enabling us to monitor migration and movement patterns with greater accuracy and ease, we can assume them typical of the regional elephant population as a whole.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To ensure viable populations of lions remain a part of Africa's ecosystems, and thus are able to continue to provide balance to the functioning of those ecosystems.

To utilise a responsible development approach to lion conservation.

Unless the people of Africa want to conserve lions by benefitting from their presence, the species will continue to decline until they are all gone.

We believe the challenges facing Africa can most effectively be met by uniting community and policy makers with conservation managers, researchers and business leaders. In doing so we can make the best decisions for Africa’s people, its environment and its wildlife whilst creating benefits for stakeholder groups that generate sustainable motivation for sound conservation management . This union ensures both present and future generations are able to enjoy the benefits of Africa’s environmental services by integrating the protection of natural processes with economic and social development in a process we term responsible development.

Our environment is shaped not just by geography and bio-physical factors, but also by socio-economic, legal and political ones. ALERT therefore takes a holistic approach to conservation recognizing that our actions must address all these factors if our programs are to succeed. To that end our efforts are channelled through three entities:

ALERT implements sound conservation and management plans for the African lion, fostering African solutions to African challenges

CCWA focuses on the diversity of Africa’s wildlife in recognition of the symbiotic relationship between the lion and the delicate ecosystems on which it relies.

ACT promotes community action in support of conservation by empowering people to protect and restore their environment and improving livelihoods through benefit sharing and social development programs.

ALERT's principle resource is its staff:

Dr. Norman Monks, our Director of Conservation, has an MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of Kent, a Certificate in Industrial Environmental Management from Rhodes University, and a Doctorate in Wildlife Management from the University of the Free State. Norman’s 36 years of experience of working for the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority included management of the Authority’s Game Ranching Research Unit, as well the management of Mana Pools, Gonarezhou and Matopos National Parks. Norman is a member of the African Lion Working Group and IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group.

Dr. Jackie Abell, our Director of Research, graduated with an MA (Hons) from Dundee University in Psychology, an MSc from Lancaster University in Critical Social Psychology, a second MSc in Animal Behaviour from Manchester Metropolitan University, as well as a Doctorate in Philosophy/Psychology from Loughborough University. Jackie is affiliated with Coventry University and is a member of the IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group.

Andrew Conolly, our Founder, is a Zimbabwean entrepreneur who has been nominated to receive the prestigious Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation. Michael Crowther, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo, which initiated the Prize as part of its core mission to advance animal conservation stated. “There’s now pretty much a universal understanding in conservation circles that the Indianapolis Prize is the Nobel Prize of animal conservation. If you’re a wildlife conservationist, you want to win this thing.”

David Youldon, our Chief Operating Officer, joined ALERT in May 2005, at which time nothing more existed of the charity except the name and a broad concept. Since then David has overseen the growth of ALERT year on year in terms of; the breadth and depth of our programs, our funding levels, support within the conservation ‘industry’, and global reach in raising awareness of the need for urgent action to ensure a secure future for Africa’s lions. In 2010 David was awarded the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Personality of the Year Award for conservation and environmental contributions to the industry. A graduate of Ealing and Warnborough Colleges as well as Oxford University, David is currently affiliated with Edinburgh University and is a member of both the IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding & Reintroduction Specialist Groups.

Additional staff, trustees, technical advisors and partners, not listed specifically here provide expertise in a diversity of fields to ensure that the Charity, and its programs are managed and undertaken at the highest levels of governance, transparency, scientific vigour

Details of our progress achieved on our many programs can be viewed in our annual reports, viewable at http://www.lionalert.org/page/our-annual-reports

Financials

African Lion & Environmental Research Trust
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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African Lion & Environmental Research Trust

Board of directors
as of 10/15/2017
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Andrew Aldridge

No Affiliation

Andrew Craig Aldridge

No Affiliation

Tami Matthews

No Affiliation

Sandra Berrey