Former WildCRU Panther Receives Whitley Award
Serge Alexis Kamgang honoured for his work in northern Cameroon.
Former LMH MCR member and 2016 WildCRU Panther Serge Alexis Kamgang was presented with a 2023 Whitley Award by Princess Anne at a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London. He was accompanied by LMH Fellow and WildCRU Founding Director Professor David Macdonald and LMH SCR member Dr Dawn Burnham.
As a recipient of the prestigious award, Serge will receive £40,000 in project funding to support his lion conservation and education project in the Bénoué ecosystem in northern Cameroon.
The Bénoué ecosystem is a critically important area for lions and large mammals. However, habitat fragmentation and declines in prey populations, along with an increase in people and livestock in the region is leading to escalating human wildlife conflict, threatening already dwindling lion populations. Serge and his team are working with stakeholders, combining local knowledge with technology to mitigate the rising tensions.
Working in the area since 2009, Serge leads the only lion conservation project in the region. Tackling human-lion conflict and ineffective wildlife management, Serge and his team will gather vital data on lion and prey populations using camera traps and satellite collars, and will strengthen the capacity of park authorities to reduce pressures from habitat fragmentation and transhumant livestock. They will train young community members as lion guards, who monitor movements of lion and cattle, document cases of depredation, and identify conflict hotspots, warning herders when lions are near. Serge and his team will also conduct educational campaigns on the importance of lion conservation, building a positive future for the region through inclusive conservation.
Like Serge, all those undertaking the WildCRU’s Postgraduate Diploma in International Wildlife Conservation Practice – nicknamed affectionately WildCRU Panthers – are members of LMH’s MCR, and many have gone on to bring great pride to the College with their accomplishments around the world.
You can watch a short video on Serge’s work narrated by Sir David Attenborough below.