Amy Dickman, project leader of the Ruaha Carnivore Project in Tanzania, recently wrote to us about the success of the community camera trap programme. We are seeing real results now thanks to an enormous amount of hard work from Amy and her team on the ground working with the local communities, which brings a lot of hope for the preservation of endangered large carnivores.
Hyaenas and livestock
Along the south eastern border of Ruaha National Park there can be up to 90 attacks on livestock by spotted hyaenas every month. Sometimes they come to the households at night and others kill livestock that was lost and left alone in the bush. What would you do if you were a livestock keeper and found a hyaena den close to your home?
In the past, these dens would normally have been set on fire or snares put around the vicinity. But these days things are different! In Mafuluto village the pastoralists, who found this den, went straight to the Community Camera Trap Officers and suggested they put the camera traps near the den to gain more points for more veterinary medicine.
The camera trap programme
RCP’s innovative Community Camera Trap programme awards villages benefits for wildlife captured by camera traps on village land. And this is an amazing example of this programme changing attitudes and behaviours. Every wild animal caught in the camera traps gives the village points. Each hyaena sighting gives the village 15,000 points! With the constant activity around the den, Mafuluto managed to accumulate over 6,000,000 points and defeat the other three villages in their group.
That will translate into $2,000,000 Tanzanian shillings (£660) that the village will use to improve their health care and education, and to buy medicines for the livestock keepers. It also translates into five more hyaenas in village land and great images that will help provide insights into hyaena behaviour and ecology. And, of course, we also get to enjoy these beautiful pictures of this young cackle hyaenas.
Thank you to all our supporters and we hope this little story will make your day, as it made mine!
Learn more about Amy’s work and our partnership with her and the Ruaha Carnivore Project conserving endangered lions and other carnivores in Tanzania here: