Photograph courtesy African People & Wildlife Fund
Grantee: Laly Lichtenfeld, Ph.D.
About the Project
Within Tanzania, the Maasailand Lion Conservation Program is located in the Tarangire ecosystem (3 million acres/1.2 million hectares), home to one of the country's most threatened lion populations. In this ecosystem, lions and the Maasai people live alongside one another outside the borders of Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks. People and lions come into direct and frequent conflict when lions attack and kill the Maasai's livestock and harm people. Intense retaliatory killing of lions occurs on a monthly basis.
The Maasailand Lion Conservation Program, a program with the African People and Wildlife Fund is led by Big Cats Initiative grantee Laly Lichtenfeld, Ph.D. This program represents a holistic and collaborative approach to lion conservation that integrates lion research, lion-livestock conflict prevention, lion habitat protection, and lion conservation education with the aim of improving the lives of lions and people alike. This program is building the capacity of Tanzanians to scientifically monitor their lion populations, to reduce direct conflicts with lions via lion-livestock conflict avoidance techniques, to protect lion habitat, and to improve ecological knowledge about lions among Maasai youth.
Part of the Big Cats Initiative grant will be used to install the African People and Wildlife Fund’s Living Walls. These walls directly decrease the number of lions killed annually in the Tarangire ecosystem. They are unique, culturally appropriate and environmentally sustainable lion-resistant enclosures. Using a unique combination of chain link fencing and fast growing trees as fence posts, these special enclosures keep cattle safe from lions—and lions out of the way of Maasai spears.
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