Lion Recovery Fund

A collaborative granting initiative which releases funds to partner organisations who conserve and protect lion populations


In the last 25 years, Africa’s lion population has declined by approximately half. The Lion Recovery Fund’s goal is to stabilise and eventually double this population. However, this vision requires the collaboration of different actors and organisations.

The Lion Recovery Fund therefore acts as a collaborative granting initiative which directs 100% of all donations directly to partner organisations with core conservation aims including the recovery of lions, managing lion landscapes, researching the lion population, and removing threats such as poaching.

A key element of the Lion Recovery Fund strategy is to encourage governments, non-profits, philanthropists, and the public to engage in conservation. For this to occur, the Lion Recovery Fund recognises the importance of mediating human-lion conflict at the local level by minimising the burden that communities feel when sharing their landscapes with lions, and instead fostering pride around African wildlife. The Disney Conservation Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Network cooperatively launched a global campaign called ‘Protect the Pride’ to educate people about the lion crisis and encourage lion conservation.


The Lion Recovery Fund also aims to build local leadership and see more Africans in leadership positions within the conservation field. With regards to reintroduction programmes specifically, local communities will be involved heavily to ensure that they are aware of the lions re-entering the region. Other projects will directly benefit the local people living alongside lions. This requires the fulfilment of the Lion Recovery Fund’s goal to elevate the scale of funding available for human development and wildlife conservation-related projects.

The Lion Recovery Fund was created by the Wildlife Conservation Network, in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, in order to fund conservation actions. The Lion Recovery Fund provides funding to effective and vetted partners who work collaboratively to increase the lion population. A committee comprised of conservation experts ensures that donations and grants are spent where they can have the greatest impact.

As a fellow collaborative granting initiative, the Lion Recovery Fund shares a similar business model with Wild Philanthropy, as well as analogous core conservation values. The Lion Recovery Fund relies on institutions who share their vision of a thriving lion population across Africa, such as Wild Philanthropy. With financial, emotional and in-kind support, the Lion Recovery Fund can continue to provide grants to their collaborative partners on the ground who improve the lives of lions and the people who share landscapes with them.