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Turing lion killers into lion defenders
Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park has the highest rate of lion killing in East Africa. Lions frequently come into conflict with locals, and when they prey on their livestock they’re often killed in retaliation. Sadly, young warriors are also traditionally encouraged to hunt and kill lions in return for status and cattle.
We’re working with local communities to change attitudes towards lions. Firstly, we’re helping by protecting livestock more effectively. Traditional enclosures aren’t very effective but it costs a lot to strengthen them. So we’re helping improve enclosures with diamond mesh fencing, and supplying villagers with Anatolian guard dogs that can protect the grazing herd in the day. Fewer attacks means fewer lions killed in revenge.
We’re also encouraging young warriors to protect lions rather than hunting them. By employing them to patrol the village, help install the enclosure protection and chase off lions that are close to the village, they can achieve the warrior status they would have previously gained from killing lions.
And lastly, we’re engaging the villagers in lion monitoring by enlisting them to place wildlife camera traps on their village land. The cameras capture images of wildlife passes through their land. Each image generates points, with the most threatened and predatory animal, such as lions, wild dogs and leopards, being worth the most points. Every three months, each participating village receives financial incentives for the amount of wildlife photographed, and the village with the most points wins $2,000 worth of health care, education and veterinary support. This is so important to the local communities, and is making a huge difference. We’ve already seen a reduction in lion killings.
These measures will help make a huge difference to lions and people alike in Tanzania, will you help us?