To reduce attacks, we need to reduce contact between carnivores and people and their livestock.
The best solutions are locally-derived, sustainable and low-tech. Communities in Niassa have always lived with large carnivores and have developed many ways to reduce conflict. We combine our knowledge of carnivore behavior and lessons learned elsewhere with local knowledge to improve on existing solutions and success rates. We have compiled a detailed database on the attacks on people by lion, leopard and spotted hyaena in the past 30 years. This has allowed us to identify behaviours that make people vulnerable to attack (sleeping outside, walking alone) and find solutions.
Effective solutions are always the result of partnerships with communities. Our extension team visits villages throughout Niassa Reserve on a regular basis, providing one-on-one assistance with planting living fences, building goat corrals, and encouraging safe behaviours. In collaboration with Reserve management, communities are visited soon after a carnivore attack to collect detailed information on what happened to prevent it happening again and to empathise with the victims. We host trips of school children and their teachers to our field camp to introduce children to lions and other animals.
Our Human-Lion Conflict Toolkit is the collaborative result of a recent workshop organised by us and the Rufigi Man-Eating Project. Over two days of intensive discussion, the collective knowledge and experience of 18 researchers and fieldworkers from 10 projects in the region were distilled into a detailed set of solutions and developed into a practical toolkit with details of each technique including costs, elements of success, and materials needed. It also includes pictures that can be used in the field. This Toolkit is meant as a dynamic, practical document and is updated each year with new information. If you have something to add, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can download the Human-Lion Conflict Toolkit here. You are welcome to distribute freely.