Ewaso Lions founder, Shivani Bhalla, was awarded the 2013 Rabinowitz-Kaplan Prize for the Next Generation in Wild Cat Conservation. A fourth-generation Kenyan, Bhalla has carried out lion conservation initiatives in the Samburu-Isiolo ecosystem in northern Kenya since 2002. Bhalla produced the first accurate estimate of the lion population in Samburu, and demonstrated that lions move frequently between the region’s National Reserves and adjacent areas of human settlement - a recipe for increased human-lion contact and conflict.
Recognizing the significant need for mitigation of human-lion conflict plaguing the region, Bhalla founded Ewaso Lions in 2007 – a community-based lion conservation and research organization. Today, Ewaso Lions monitors all lion prides in the region and works with stakeholders to implement innovative conservation initiatives that reduce human-lion conflict and raise awareness about the importance of conservation.
Now on track to complete her PhD thesis at Oxford University, entitled “The ecology and conservation of lions within the Samburu-Isiolo ecosystem in northern Kenya,” and collaborating closely with other lion conservationists in eastern and southern Africa, Shivani Bhalla exemplifies the expertise, dedication and impact on the future of wild cats that the Rabinowitz-Kaplan Prize was created to honor. (x)