The Global White Lion Protection Trust overview

The Global White Lion Protection Trust - Overview

Established in 2002 by author and conservationist, Linda Tucker, the Global White Lion Protection Trust (WLT) is a South African based non-profit conservation and community development organisation.

Operating in the greater Timbavati bush region, the WLT is responsible for protecting the White Lions and developing the related cultural values that hold them sacred. In 2002, when the WLT was first established, there were no known White Lion individuals remaining in the wild in the Greater Timbavati and this had been the status for the past decade. With a critical need to supplement the White Lion gene in the wild, the WLT launched its world-first White Lion Reintroduction Program.

Today (2009) the Reintroduction Program can be considered successful as the founding pride hunts self-sufficiently and is reproducing without human intervention. The Reintroduction Program is not a breeding project and the lions are not held in captivity. Six years after its establishment, the WLT is gratified to receive occasional reports of the births of White Lion cubs in the Timbavati region (in addition to the WLT's own three cubs). This is highly significant as it confirms the conservation value of this rare phenotype in this specific region. However, we remain concerned for the survival of the White Lion gene since the last White Lion cubs to be born in the region in 2006 died shortly after their probable father was trophy hunted.

According to the definition of "critically endangered", (which refers to a population of less than 250 individuals in the wild), White Lions may be considered not only "critically endangered" but on the brink of extinction in their endemic habitat. The WLT is accountable to its Trustees and a panel of global advisors. The panel includes representatives from the South African Government, local and international conservation groupings and the South African business sector. The WLT campaigns for the protection of the critically endangered White Lion in its endemic wild habitat in the Timbavati at both provincial and national levels and is pursuing National - and indeed World - Heritage status for the White Lion site in the region.

For more information on the Global White Lion Protection Trust see