PhD candidate / guest
Mr. Francis L. Lesilau (Msc), Silver Star (SS) of Kenya, holds a Master of Science degree in Sustainable Management of Natural Resources from University of Leicester in UK. He has a graduate Diploma and Certificate in Conservation and Management of Wildlife from College of African Wildlife Management-Mweka, Tanzania.
Mr. Francis L. Lesilau (Msc), Silver Star (SS) of Kenya, holds a Master of Science degree in Sustainable Management of Natural Resources from University of Leicester in UK. He has a graduate Diploma and Certificate in Conservation and Management of Wildlife from College of African Wildlife Management-Mweka, Tanzania.He also has several Diplomas and certificates related to conservation and management to his credit. He joined the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) in April, 2015 as a PhD researcher at Leiden University, Netherlands.
Lesilau is decorated with a Silver Star (SS) of Kenya by His Excellency the President of Republic of Kenya, in recognition of the outstanding and distinguished services rendered in Republic of Kenya for Wildlife Protection, Conservation and Management in 1996.
He was also awarded Wildlife Conservation Heroes Award in 2000 of Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement award by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) through Species Survival Network (SSN) for extra ordinary courage and commitment to Wildlife Protection, Conservation and Management.
Lesilau is a career Wildlife Management Conservationist with 24 years’ experience gained in diverse and dynamic work environments of Wildlife Protection, Conservation and Management. Currently he works with Kenya Wildlife Service as Assistant Director, Head of Wildlife Protection Department in Nairobi, Kenya. He has undertaken some of most successful wildlife Conservation, Park Management and Community work in Kenya.
He is a member of wildlife introduction, re-introduction and translocation committee in Kenya which developed Conservation, Protection and Management Strategy of most of endangered species such as Black Rhino, Carnivore, Grevy Zebra, and Mt Bongo among others. He is also a member of Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Level 6 Certificate in Management and Leadership (QCF) (UK). He is also a member of Species Steering Committee in Kenya and African Lion Working Group.
Human - Lion Conflict around Nairobi National Park: Lion Population Structure, Diet, and Movement in a Semi-Fenced Park.Human-lion conflict has been an increasing problem in Kenya, especially around Nairobi National Park. In recent years Nairobi National Park lions have experienced a serious threat due to retaliatory killing by local communities outside the park. The main aim of my PhD research is to analyze factors contributing to lion-livestock conflicts around Nairobi National Park (NNP). For the conservation of the lions, especially a better understanding of the factors influencing human-lion conflicts will help to develop science based solutions to resolve human – lion conflict.
The population of lions has declined in Kenya from 2,700 in 2000 and 2,200 in 2009, especially in pastoral community areas, which have been a stronghold for lions. Such a stronghold is represented by Nairobi National Park and its adjacent livestock areas. This park is located in the outskirts of the Nairobi urban conglomerate. The southern part of Nairobi National Park is not fenced and being the migratory corridor of wildlife, the lions have been exiting the park and causing increasing conflicts during the past years. The increasing trend of lions raiding livestock behavior in the southern buffer zones of Nairobi National Park has resulted in increased livestock predation and the retaliatory killing of 6 lions 2012.
Globally, conservation biologists generally encourage human-wildlife co-existence through conflict-mitigation programs, compensation schemes or payments for tolerance. However, despite coexisting for millennia, recent human activities have caused declines in carnivore populations and contraction of their geographic ranges. Especially large and dangerous carnivores, such as the lion, present a challenge in conservation science because of their large ranges, low densities and high propensity to livestock conflicts. Subsequent to recent retaliatory lion killings after livestock depredations, there is now an acute need for successful conflict mitigation to ensure the future existence of lions in Nairobi National Park.
His PhD research will focus on the conservation of lions inside Nairobi National Park and in the surrounding areas in relation to human – lion conflict around the park. I will look into factors influencing human-lion conflict, the lion’s prey choice and diet and home ranges and movements in a semi-fenced park. I will also cover with my research socio- economic aspects such as herding practices and traditional mitigation measures in contrast to modern measures (flash lights) and I will analyze their effectiveness against lion attacks.
The Nairobi National Park (NNP) Lion Project is a collaboration between the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) Leiden University in the Netherlands, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Leo Foundation in the Netherlands. The lion collaring program is funded by the Safaricom Foundation – Kenya and WWF-INNO. The Nairobi lion collaring was done on 25 -26th January, 2014 and during 31 January until 5 February 2015.