The Lion Center, College of Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
This study provides insights into the dynamics of livestock predation among three large African carnivores and factors related to retaliatory killings. The following are possible approaches for effective long-term conservation of large carnivores in the Maasai steppe:
- Because livestock predation is an important motivation for killing predators, human-carnivore conflicts could be reduced by improving livestock husbandry. For example, well over half of all livestock attacks occurred at night while livestock were kept in bomas. All three predators were able to surmount these simple thorn brush/wooden barriers. Chain-link fencing can be purchased locally for the price of a few livestock, and has the potential to be a cost-effective material for reducing the impact of large carnivores on livestock keepers.
- Because lions are subject to retaliatory killing when they venture into communal lands, information on their spatial-temporal movements would identify important wildlife refuge areas. Incorporating such information into village land-use plans would help pastoralists to avoid conflict-prone areas.
- Community outreach programs by the Tanzanian wildlife authorities (TANAPA and Wildlife Division (WD)) hold great potential to promote carnivore conservation by incorporating research findings and directly involving communities in conflict mitigation programs, primarily through improved livestock husbandry.