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Lion Center Initiatives

Coming Soon: Snapshot Safari

The University of Minnesota Lion Center's Snapshot Safari project aims to develop effective new management techniques that maintain ecological stability in parks and reserves where lions and other African predator species have been reintroduced. The reintroduction of lions and other indigenous predators into parks and reserves smaller than 600 square miles often overwhelms prey species resulting in highly invasive management practices. Building upon the Lion Center's successful citizen science research project, Snapshot Serengeti, Snapshot Safari will (a) research the population dynamics of South African National Parks (SANParks) that have reintroduced lion and predator species, (b) develop non-invasive management techniques to maximize predator and prey ecological sustainability, and (c) engage public audiences worldwide in a new citizen science project even more expansive than our flagship Snapshot Serengeti project.

All About Lions

How much can an adult lion eat in one feeding? Why do male lions have manes? Do lions purr like house cats? The answers to these questions and more can be found by visiting the All About Lions section and visiting our frequently asked questions page. 


Research at the University of Minnesota Lion Center covers a broad range of topics, from cave paintings documenting the existence of Panthera atrox some 35,000 years ago, to managing human-lion conflict and the evolution of group living amongst lions.


If your organization would like to collaborate with us on interpreting lion research data, please contact Craig Packer at 612-625-5729 or

Policy and Conservation Efforts

The Lion Center is initiating new interdisciplinary efforts to better protect lion habitat. 

Lion populations face major challenges including habitat loss, conflicts with livestock herders and inadequate funding for managing game reserves and national parks. While trophy hunting often claims credit for providing the funds to maintain parks, the revenue is grossly overestimated (see "Trophy Hunting Fees Do Little to Help Threatened Species" - New York Times) and photo-tourism only generates adequate funding in a few areas (see "Loved to Death: It's not just hunting that's decimating Africa's wildlife" - Salon).

New Lion Center research projects will highlight conservation policy disparities across the African continent and propose humane population management of enclosed wildlife parks in South Africa.