Human Lion Conflict

The African lion faces multiple challenges associated with human population expansion. Lion habitats are being fragmented, their prey is depleted by poachers and indiscriminant killing is a widespread response for human-lion conflict.

A Human Wildlife Conflict case study by World Wildlife Fund stated: "With regard to lions, Stander (2005) found that re-location did not work for animals that had become habitual livestock killers and suggests that such "problem lions" require severe management actions such as lethal removal. Lethal removal is often the only way to deal with predators, elephants, and crocodiles that repeatedly cause problems and if they kill humans. In some cases it is possible to offer identified problem animals to hunters so that the local community can gain some income from animals killed."

Wildlife Damage Management (WDM) is the process of using various tools and techniques to alleviate Human-Wildlife Conflicts. Through WDM, individual animals causing damage to crops, depredating livestock, serving as disease vectors or threatening human health and safety may be appropriately managed. Trapping and hunting are some of the most prescribed methods for reducing conflicts with wildlife. SCI Foundation is committed to working with partners around the world to reduce Human-Wildlife Conflict, from white-tailed deer or African elephants damaging crops to large carnivores depredating livestock. One SCI Foundation project dedicated $19,000 to the Tarangire Ecosystem of Tanzania that combined predator population monitoring, public outreach, land-use mapping and livestock depredation abatement.

Recently, SCI Foundation contributed $20,000 to manage conflicts between humans and wildlife in Zimbabwe. In collaboration with Charles Jonga, Director of CAMPFIRE Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Authority, SCI Foundation is continuing to assist communities in securing their livelihoods while conserving wildlife. The current partnership between CAMPFIRE, Parks & Wildlife Authority and SCI Foundation will work to develop a community-based wildlife conflict strategy whereby Problem Animal Control (PAC) response mitigates damage and ultimately prevents poaching. Public education to eliminate retaliatory killing with indiscriminant methods will be an important component of the project. Reducing illegal activity by having an effective system to address problem animals will undoubtedly be favorable to future wildlife-dependent recreation in Zimbabwe. The objective is to increase acceptance of wildlife conservation initiatives through education and reducing the negative impact of wildlife on local communities. According to the Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation of the European Union (FACE), community-based natural resource management programs are highly promising for wildlife conservation through poverty reduction. Economic benefits including increased crop yields and revenue from science-based hunting programs directly stimulate the communities involved.

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