Changing Planet

Uncharted Territory for Gorongosa’s Lions

The Cheringoma Plateau on the eastern boundary of Gorongosa National Park is a stronghold of biodiversity and until recently largely unexplored, particularly for large carnivores. In April of 2013 Projecto Leões joined an expedition to document biodiversity on the Plateau. During the survey a team of 15 leading scientists yielded 1,200 species, of which 500 are new to the Park and most are new to Mozambique. Of the 1,200 species at least 10 are new to science.

Gorge_Paola PLG 2013
Limestone gorges span the eastern sector of the Park and connect with the Urema River in the heart of Gorongosa National Park.

During the dry season following the expedition, Projecto Leões deployed a camera array on the Cheringoma Plateau and just a few days ago (April 1, 2014)  we were able to fly into the area via helicopter to retrieve our data and redeploy cameras.

Domingas in helicopter
Domingas Aleixo – a PLG intern – flies into the gorge to retrieve camera data.

And we are happy to report a new pride! These photographs of a female with her cubs were snapped in one of the beautiful gorges that flow off the Plateau into the heart of the Park. This represents the first visual confirmation of a lion pride in this sector. This sighting was not to far from where we documented the first hyena in 2012.  We have great hope for discovery and conservation of this eastern section of the Park which is the link to the larger Gorongosa-Marromeu lion conservation unit and landscape and the critical scale at which we need to work to conserve large carnivores in Central Mozambique.

PLG - new pride 3

PLG - new pride 2

Paola is Associate Director of Lion Conservation in Gorongosa National Park's Conservation Department. Her team is dedicated to the recovery and conservation of lions and all large carnivores in the wilds of the Greater Gorongosa Ecosystem, Central Mozambique. She is a 2014-17 Big Cat Initiative Grantee.
  • Nancy stein

    Congratulations! From the other side of the world. – so great to see those muscular bodies and the cub!

  • phillip carr

    Congratulations. It is so nice to receive good news in this often troubled world of ours.

  • Giovanna Paola Mirella Bartolini

    Congratulations . .Always a perfect reason to celebrate . New lives . .new generations . …

  • Jim Cashel


  • Prasanth

    This is really great. Good initiative and good results.

  • pelagia

    congradulations! i hope you will discover a lot and may the girls do their best.

  • pelagia mukumba Pita

    well done.



  • Andrew

    I guided in the the park for a number of years. I always wanted to explore the eastern block. Sadly we were limited due to road network and river crossings over the Urema river. So happy to see the lioness and cubs and the progress in the wildlfe.

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