Meet Shivani BIG CAT CRUSADER
Shivani Bhalla, a native Kenyan, has been active in wildlife conservation and research in northern Kenya for 10 years. Although this National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee stands barely five feet tall, Shivani does a giant’s share of work for lions with the organization she founded, Ewaso Lions. Ewaso Lions conserves Kenya’s lions and other large carnivores by promoting coexistence between people and wildlife. Using sound science, education, and capacity building to foster support for conservation, Ewaso Lions guides the long-term conservation management of lions in northern Kenya's communities.
Shivani works closely with Samburu communities to reduce livestock loss to predators, track lion movements in and out of protected national reserves, and monitor the lion population throughout the Ewaso ecosystem. As a direct result of the Ewaso Lions project, lion numbers in this ecosystem have increased from fewer than a half dozen to fifty or more over the past few years. In 2009, Shivani received Africa’s Young Women Conservation Biologist of the Year award from the Society for Conservation Biology. She is also a featured conservationist in the 2012 book Wildlife Heroes.