Craig Packer: Real Price Tags for Wild Lion Prides

This week’s It’s Hot Out There brings Craig Packer, conservation ecologist and professor at the University of Minnesota, into our den. Though given his expertise on lions, this segment may be better characterized as within his den and not ours. We caught up with Craig on his visit to the School of Natural Resources and Environment, where he discussed the keys behind conservation ecology in Africa.

Craig explains his vocal support for fencing the boundaries between people and large animals, arguing a clear divide will protect both humans and wildlife. Addressing the distinction between the conservation of larger and smaller animals (such as birds and butterflies), he speaks to the broad economic and societal implications of conservation efforts.

We want to thank Craig for taking the time to contribute his insights to our Conservation series, in which we have tackled the complicated and interlinked challenges of poaching, wildlife trafficking, and bushmeat off-take. (Craig was so nice, he even gave one of our interviewers a copy of his book!). We would also like to thank Kate Brooks, photojournalist and documentary filmmaker, who called in to Friday’s broadcast and contributed the photos featured here, two from her kickstarter and another from an article in the Smithsonian Magazine. Be sure to tune in this coming Friday to hear about the challenges of funding large-scale conservation, in the case of the Bird’s Head Seascape in Indonesia.

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