Introducing the Ewaso Lions team:
Shivani is a Kenyan wildlife biologist who has lived and worked in Samburu district for over 8 years. Currently she is pursuing a PhD at the University of Oxford. Her research on Samburu’s lion population inspired the creation of the Ewaso Lions project. Her study on the population size, structure and movements of lions in Samburu was the focus of her MSc. at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. She received her BSc. in Environmental Science from Lancaster University. Previously, she has worked for the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Save The Elephants, where she promoted environmental education programs among schools and students in Samburu. Shivani is a Bronze-level guide with the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association, and her articles and photographs have been published in Applied Animal Science Behavior and National Geographic magazine. She was the recipient of “Africa’s Young Women Conservation Biologist of 2009″ award by the Society of Conservation Biology.
Paul has over six years professional experience in African wildlife conservation. He recently completed his Master’s degree at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and his research focused on minimizing human-predator conflict. Paul provides organizational oversight and management of Ewaso Lions’ operations at every level. Before joining Ewaso Lions, he worked with the African Wildlife Foundation in Kenya and Washington, DC. Born in New Zealand and raised in the USA, Paul holds a BSc in Wildlife Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan. In 2007, Paul was selected for the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Defenders of Wildlife. He co-founded the Pangolin Conservation Support Initiative, and remains active raising awareness about the illegal trade in this endangered Asian mammal.
Jeneria Lekilele – Field Officer
When it comes to getting work done in the field, Jeneria is the man for the job. Whether aiding in a lion collaring operation or teaching the Warrior Watch programme, Jeneria combines competence and local knowledge to ensure our field work gets done. And being the striking warrior that he is, he gets that work done in style. Jeneria has experience in the tourism industry and hails from Sasaab village in Westgate. If he wasn’t working with lions he says he would do elephants “because they’re big.” Sorry, lions.
Ngila Ltenesi – Community Officer
Ngila continually holds dialog with community members across our study area to spread a conservation message, collect reports on instances of human-wildlife conflict, and help herders prevent livestock loss to carnivores. As the liaison between Ewaso Lions and local communities, he listens to what people have to say, and this invaluable feedback ensures that our community programmes are most effective.
Ewaso Lion Scouts
Three Lion Scouts help monitor the lions and other wildlife within Westgate Community Conservancy and keep local communities informed on predator locations so as to avoid conflict. Moses Letitiya (on the right) is based at his home area of Sasaab village; Francis Lendorop (left) lives in the Remot area; and Jeremiah Letoole (centre) comes from West Gate village.
The Lion Scouts go on daily patrols to record information on lion sightings and tracks, wild prey and livestock locations, and any reports of human-wildlife conflict. They also provide information to their local communities on ways to protect livestock from predation. The scouts have received formal training and are equipped with hand-held radios, GPS units, binoculars, uniforms, and other field supplies.
Yesalai Lemachokoti – Assistant Community Officer
Yesalai is a young Samburu warrior who comes from the Sasaab area in Westgate Conservancy. Yesalai is our Assistant Community Officer and assists Ngila to work with communities and to record all incidences of conflict. Yesalai mainly covers the Sasaab area and is based out of the Ewaso Lions Camp. Yesalai also participates in Warrior Watch.
Nilanga has over nine years of experience in various aspects of wildlife conservation, including programme development, communications, partnership building, and implementing international conservation campaigns. She has a BA in English and a Master’s degree in Journalism. Nilanga has worked for Oceana and currently coordinates field programs for Defenders of Wildlife. She was also selected as a member of the 2007/2008 class of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program and completed a conservation education project on okapis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her interest in human-wildlife conflict and coexistence keeps her deeply committed to Ewaso Lions where she coordinates efforts in the U.S. with a special focus on partnership building, program awareness and outreach, strategic planning and program management, as well as fundraising and donor relations.
Laikos Letupukwa – Camp Cook
Letupukwa is the Ewaso Lions Camp cook and helps maintain camp. He comes from the Wamba area near Westgate and was formally trained at a hotel on the Kenyan coast. He keeps our team well fed and fueled for the field.
Emma Knott – Scientific Research Assistant
Emma analyses data collected by the Ewaso Lions team, with particular focus on lion population dynamics and association analyses. She is also developing the Warrior Watch education programme by providing lesson planning support, teaching materials, and an individual progress reporting system. Emma recently graduated with an MSc in Conservation Science from Imperial College, London. Emma’s history with Samburu goes back to 2005 when she interned with Save the Elephants. She has been assisting Ewaso Lions since 2011 and has spent many memorable months living in Ewaso Lions Camp with the team.