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Human-wildlife conflict, benefit sharing and the survival of lions...


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#1 Game Warden

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 10:25 AM

"Human-wildlife conflict, benefit sharing and the survival of lions in pastoralist community-based conservancies."

 

By @Sara Blackburn et al.

 

Summary

 

1. Like many wildlife populations across Africa, recent analyses indicate that African lions are declining rapidly outside of small fenced areas. Community conservancies – privately protected areas that engage community members in conservation – may potentially maintain wildlife populations in unfenced pastoralist regions, but their effectiveness in conserving large carnivores has been largely unknown until now.

 

 

To read Sara's paper, click here. (Opens a PDF webpage.)

 

Read Sara's Safaritalk interview here.


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#2 Sara Blackburn

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 10:39 AM

Thanks Matt.

 

For those who don't wish to delve into a long article, there is a good summary here:

http://timesofindia....ow/51525935.cms

 

And also a blog post here:

https://jappliedecol....wordpress.com/

 

I'd love to hear people's thoughts on the research and hopefully how it may help lion conservation in the future. 


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#3 JakeGC

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 11:19 AM

Thank you Sara and it is encouraging to see a scientific study which confirms the important role of the conservancies in expanding the area of habitat for lions and a key reason why Lion densities increased by 2.6 times higher than those reported previously in 2003.

It is interesting to note that wild prey biomass density was 2.6 times higher in the conservancies than in the Reserve and higher densities of small and medium herbivores utilize conservancy land.

 

Of course while we must recognise the importance of the Mara Reserve as an extension of the Serengeti eco-system and as a vital protected area for wildlife including lions, your study shows that "Mara conservancies are effectively a buffer zone between the MMNR and agricultural areas to the north, but have proven to be effective conservation areas in their own right and would benefit from extended buffer zones of their own."

And also important to note that your study shows that Maasai settlements within a lion pride home-range which were not conservancy members had the biggest negative impact on lion numbers whereas conservancy settlements, which benefit financially from wildlife through their membership, had no negative impact on lion survival.

Best wishes

Jake

 


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#4 Game Warden

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 11:38 AM

@Sara Blackburn @JakeGC

 

Mara conservancies are effectively a buffer zone between the MMNR and agricultural areas to the north, but have proven to be effective conservation areas in their own right and would benefit from extended buffer zones of their own.

 

Maasai settlements within a lion pride home-range which were not conservancy members had the biggest negative impact on lion numbers whereas conservancy settlements, which benefit financially from wildlife through their membership, had no negative impact on lion survival.

 

These two commentaries really prove the importance of the conservancy model: but one wonders what would have become of these areas had the Mara area been fenced as had previously been proposed I believe. Therefore is fencing, "Fortress conservation", best for conservation or negating the effects of HWC? Or, as the conservancies have proved in your comment, Jake, the way forward? Perhaps one size does not fit all.

 

When one thinks of how many properties there are within the Masai Mara, this model, in comparision to that of the conservancies, is obviously not working as you state above...

 

Eventually if lion ranges could be increased, you would need to further buffer the buffers but in reality, how much further can the greater Mara ecosystem extend?

 

@Calvin Cottar talks a lot about the issue and especially fencing in the 3rd issue of Safaritalk's Magazine...


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"Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you." - African proverb.

 

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How to post images in the text.

Want to tag another member in a post? Use @ before their display name, eg @game warden






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