This project was born out of an interest to know the number of lions within Yankari Game Reserve, North eastern Nigeria; where I was employed as a research officer vested with the responsibilities to design and execute ecological research projects. I interacted with park wardens and other staff to get an idea about the number of lions, what I got was educated guesses. I was therefore prompted to estimate the population of lions within this reserve; to make the information available for lion lovers and for proper conservation management of this prestigious species. I started by employing the method of direct observation and count to achieve my goal. As the survey began the number of times lions were encountered in the field was too small to achieve substantial result; but there was daily encounter of faecal droppings and footprints. Deliberations commenced with the members of the population biology group at the department of Animal Ecology to see the possibility of using faecal sample DNA to estimate population size.
This project aims at employing faecal sample DNA to estimate population size and to also determine the level of gene flow that exist within and between lion populations.
I worked as a research officer under Savanna Conservation Nigeria for two years. Now I head the A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Centre (APLORI) based in Yankari Game Reserve, where I design, execute and coordinate research activities that take place there. I take master students at APLORI on field course and teach conservation genetics.
Tende T, Ottosson U, Hansson B, Åkesson M, Bensch S (2010). Population size of lions in Yankari Game Reserve as revealed by faecal DNA sampling. Afr. J. Ecol. 48(4): 949952.
Olmos, F., Ottosson, U. & Tende, T. (2008). A new record of the White-crowned Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga for Nigeria. Malimbus 30: 169-170.