Our work

For decades, Craig Packer and his research team conducted comprehensive long-term research on lion behavior and human-lion interaction for the famous Serengeti Lion Project. Their findings shaped the way we understand lions and their role in savanna ecosystems and identified new approaches for protecting these charismatic but dangerous predators.

In 2016, the United States designated African lions as an endangered species, highlighting the growing threats to this iconic species. Retaliatory killings by local communities, extensive habitat loss, widespread poaching and poorly regulated trophy hunting have all contributed to the precipitous decline of lion populations across most of Africa.

The Lion Center at the University of Minnesota is tackling the complicated issues around lion conservation through advocacy for direct international funding for African wildlife reserves and development of innovative strategies to protect both lions and vulnerable human communities in an ever-evolving landscape.


The challenges

As apex predators, lions have a disproportionate impact on their environment, and, as an indicator species, they reveal the health of their environment. Our researchers have been studying lions for decades yielding fascinating insights. 

Learn more about lion research.

As an iconic species, lions attract enormous public attention, but they present significant threats to the lives and livelihoods of local people. The Lion Center is studying new approaches to mitigating these dangers. 

Learn more about lion conservation.

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