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Lion cubs in Gorongosa, Mozambique
© Paola Bouley (Gorongosa Lion Project Director and Co-Founder)
NEWS DESK POST source Lusa

Lions in Gorongosa National Park (Mozambique) are benefitting from better conservation measures, and show a population increase to 146, the nature reserve announced on Wednesday.

“It is something I have not seen in the seven years we have studied the lion population,” Paola Bouley, deputy director of conservation, who leads the park’s Carnivores Project told Lusa.

According to a statement distributed on Wednesday, 13 new young males have travelled through the central area of Gorongosa Park, underscoring the importance of a growing lion population for biodiversity.

“The lions are sentinels. When conditions are bad, they suffer the first impact, but when life goes well, they recover quickly and that’s what we’re seeing,” Paola Bouley added.

Unlike in the past, none of the new males has been caught in traps. Before 2015, one-third of the lions in the park were captured, mutilated or killed by human activities, but the Gorongosa inspectors have turned the situation around, the deputy director said.

“They provide the lions with the security they need to prosper,” she added.

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African lions in the wild have fallen 70% in the last 50 years and disappeared from an area corresponding to 80% of their historically occupied space, the statement added.

Gorongosa National Park is Mozambique’s main wildlife national park, located at the southern end of the East African Rift Valley. It is home to some of the most biologically rich and geologically diverse ecosystems on the continent and is co-managed by the Government of Mozambique and the Gorongosa Project.

“The Park integrates conservation and human development with the understanding that a healthy ecosystem and healthy human communities are two sides of the same coin,” the statement said.

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