Photo: Reinforced boma fence

A boma in the Masai Mara was fenced with funding supported by the Big Cats Initiative.

Photograph by Anne Kent Taylor

Livestock Enclosures

Grantee: Anne Kent Taylor

About the Project

Big cat populations in East Africa are rapidly declining due to retaliatory killings by pastoralists who are increasingly intolerant of livestock predation. In the Masai Mara, the problem threatens one of Africa's most famous and important lion populations.

Big Cats Initiative grantee Anne Kent Taylor is working with local Masai communities to significantly reduce predation by securing livestock in enclosures, or bomas. This project expands an existing project in the Mara that has effectively reduced human-lion conflict, including revenge killings of big cats.

Kent Taylor and her team are creating 200 Masai bomas with 8-foot (2.4-meter) chain link fence barriers, to be completed over the next two years. They have experienced a 100 percent success rate with the 70 bomas created previously.

Education and Outreach

To gain understanding and support, Kent Taylor holds community meetings, shows conservation films, and teaches conservation in the schools. The team encourages local participation in the program by employing and training Masai field personnel. All technical knowledge gained from the project will be shared freely with conservationists and communities facing similar challenges. Conservationists in three other key lion strongholds have already adopted the methods of Kent Taylor and her team.


Big Cats News

Weird and Wild

Read more fascinating animal stories »

Wildlife Watch

Read more wildlife exploitation news »

Images From the Photo Ark

Learn more about National Geographic's mission to create a visual archive of the world's animals—before they disappear »

Animals A-Z