Did you know that it’s estimated that there are only three hundred lions remaining in Eastern Africa around Tangier National Park? Three hundred lions isn’t many. Announcing a new opportunity for classrooms to help support important lion conservation work in Kenya and Tanzania.
Here’s the problem:
When lions attack livestock, it threatens the livelihood of the whole community. As a result, communities often retaliate by killing lions. Luckily, there’s a solution. Protecting livestock from predation helps protect big cats from retaliatory killings. Bomas are a simple solution for a big problem.
A boma is a fortified enclosure that protects livestock from being killed by lions. When built and maintained correctly, they are nearly 100% effective at protecting lions.
Big Cats Initiative grantee, Ann Kent Taylor, recognizes that protecting livestock helps to protect lions. Read her story to learn more.
Here’s how you can help:
- Learn about the issue using our free educational resources. For students grades 3-5, use this activity to address threats to big cat populations. For students grades 6-8, use this activity. Read a case study detailing real-world work done with bomas. Finally, explore this interactive map depicting Africa’s declining lion population.
- Once your students understand the issue, use the Build a Boma campaign to demonstrate how they can make a difference in the world. Sign your classroom up to fundraise as a group at buildaboma.org. Name your group after your school or school mascot, and share your classroom fundraising page with your community.
- Put the FUN back in fundraising. Share your Build a Boma page with your community using the custom URL you create. Get creative! Will you hold a Build a Boma bake sale? Host a screening of the Lion King with a suggested donation to attend? How will your students educate others about the problem at hand?
This is a project for students to tackle together because even a small contribution can make a big difference. Each boma costs only $500 to fortify and improve and $25 a year to maintain.
Big Cats Initiative grantee and conservation biologist Laly Lichtenfeld says:
Your efforts to raise funds for Build a Boma will make a tremendous impact on my work. The “Living Walls” (aka boma fences) that we are building are helping to prevent retaliatory killings and ensure the survival of big cats, while also improving the lives of local people. With your support, we can continue to protect lions for many years to come.
And, because every dollar you raise goes directly toward protecting lions, you can be assured that your new classroom project is making a meaningful difference.
Build a Boma is a global peer-to-peer fundraising campaign from National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative that is saving lions and other big cats. Every dollar raised will go directly toward building and maintaining livestock enclosures called bomas in Kenya and Tanzania. Visit buildaboma.org to get involved.
To learn more about the Big Cats Initiative and the work our grantees are doing, visit causeanuproar.org.
Written by Samantha Zuhlke, National Geographic Education