The Bell Bookshop is supporting lion conservation through sales of a children’s book by Dr Amy Dickman, Kaplan Senior Research Fellow in Wild Cat Conservation at Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU). Lion numbers have halved in the last twenty years and this iconic species is now in serious trouble, with fewer wild lions left in Africa than rhinos or elephants.
Speaking at Phyllis Court earlier in the year, Amy talked about her work in Africa where she has specialised for over 20 years in human-carnivore conflict and community-based conservation. In a captivating presentation to Probus members, Amy described her inspirational work in Tanzania, where she founded the Ruaha Carnivore Project in 2009. Now employing over 70 Tanzanians, the project runs a number of programmes, working with local communities and achieving vital conservation successes. Ruaha is one of Africa’s most important landscapes for large carnivores, this vast wilderness supports nearly 10% of the world’s remaining lions, one of only four cheetah populations in East Africa with >200 adults and the third biggest population of endangered African wild dogs.
Amy has published over 70 academic papers and book chapters on large carnivore conservation, and has now written a children’s book, Darem the Lion Defender. The book celebrates ten years of the work of the Ruaha Carnivore Project. The captivating story is about a boy from the marginalised Barabaig tribe, showing how he works with the project to help protect lions and other carnivores, thereby empowering his local community. Copies are being distributed to schools and rural communities around Ruaha and beyond to raise awareness of the project’s work to conserve carnivores in partnership with local communities. With beautiful illustrations by Kayla Harren and text in both English and Swahili, this story is for children everywhere.
Darem the Lion Defender is a heart-warming tale about a boy who loves lions which will enchant readers of all ages. Copies of the book are available through the Bell Bookshop for a £10 donation, all proceeds will go to help lions and local communities in Africa.
For more information about Amy Dickman’s work, visit www.ruahacarnivoreproject.com