For GEO Magazin Germany on assignment with the Samburu moran of Ewaso Lions, northern Kenya

In 2010, Ewaso Lions launched Warrior Watch, which protects lions by engaging Samburu warriors, a group traditionally neglected in conservation decision-making. Warrior Watch makes warriors ambassadors for lions within their communities, while raising awareness about conservation and advocating for peaceful co-existence with lions and wildlife. The program builds on warriors’ traditional protection role by increasing their ability to mitigate human-carnivore conflict. The warriors serve as a network working across multiple communities, enabling us to monitor threatened species and record conflict incidents over a wide-ranging area. Ewaso Lions works with local community leaders to select Warriors and train them in wildlife ecology, conservation, human–wildlife conflict transformation, security issues, and more. Over time, Warriors are trained to collect data and use GPS, allowing us to map wildlife presence and movements – Following lion attacks on livestock, Warriors encourage herders not to take retaliatory action and help recover lost livestock. Warriors investigate problem animals and consider different solutions for reducing future livestock attacks. Warriors promote conservation and tolerance of carnivores at the community level by facilitating dialog about conflict and conservation. Each week, the Warriors meet as a group with Ewaso Lions staff to report on wildlife sightings, incidents of human-wildlife conflict, community awareness meetings, and livestock issues. In turn, Warriors receive educational lessons in English and Kiswahili and arithmetic, as well as a small monthly food stipend and meals during the weekly meetings.