Blog: Conservation Leadership

Of Lions and Warriors

This is part of a series of blog posts featuring guest speakers at the Wildlife Conservation Expo at Brookfield Zoo on Saturday, May 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The expo is presented by the Chicago Zoological Society, Wildlife Conservation Network, and Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Zenda lion at Brookfield Zoo

When Shivani Bhalla moved to Samburu, Kenya more than 10 years ago, she realized that no one had done any studies on the lions in the area before. Being a conservation biologist and full of passion to help big cats, she started a project called “Ewaso Lions” in 2007.  Ewaso Lions grew to become the foremost organization conserving Kenya’s lions and other large carnivores.
 
Through Ewaso Lions, Shivani has rallied for coexistence between people and wildlife. During her study, Shivani realized that the conflict between people and lions who share habitats has been one of the reasons for the decline in the lion’s population. Thus, education programs are vital to keeping a healthy and sustainable population of these big cats. She works with the local communities by educating them and getting them involved in conservation management of lions in protected areas and on private lands.
 
Shivani BhallaIn 2010, Shivani launched a “Warrior Watch” program which aims to engage Samburu warriors to promote human-predator coexistence and reduce human-wildlife conflict. Since Samburu warriors spend more time in wildlife areas, they know where lions are. This program has helped the locals understand more about the value of wildlife.
 
Shivani’s enormous work with lion conservation has earned her recognitions from prestigious organizations including a Whitley Award in 2014 and the Rabinowitz-Kaplan Prize for the Next Generation in Wild Cat Conservation in 2013. The National Geographic Society also named her an Emerging Explorer.
 
Wildlife Conservation Expo
Shivani is one of the featured speakers at the Wildlife Conservation Expo, a premier international conservation event that will bring researchers from the field and local and international organizations. He will be joined by four other global conservation leaders: Dr. Gary Wolfe, Vital Ground; Dr. Rodney Jackson, Snow Leopard Conservancy; Dr. Iaian Douglas-Hamilton, Save the Elephants; and Susana Cárdenas-Alayza, Msc., Chicago Zoological Society, Punta San Juan Conservation Program.  Tickets to the expo are available at $50, while student admission is $25. Register now at CZS.org/Expo.

Photo credit: Photo of Shivani Bhalla courtesy of Ewaso Lions website.

Posted: 5/8/2015 1:53:36 PM by Filed under: conservation, Ewes Lions, Shivani Bhalla


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