The main threat here is human-carnivore conflict and carnivore killing, particularly on village land to the south of the Park. In-depth research has revealed that conflict is driven by depredation, but also by deeper-rooted antagonism because wildlife imposes high costs and generates few or no benefits to local communities. These issues will be addressed during the course of the project.
This project will do two main things to address the stated conservation problem above – it will reduce the damage caused by carnivores by fortifying livestock enclosures, and will provide tangible benefits to local communities as a direct result of wildlife presence. These actions will contrinbute towards the solution of the issue by reducing depredation on livestock, providing significant improvements in healthcare, education and veterinary medicine, improving household economic security in this poverty-stricken area, improving attitudes towards conservation and reducing the killing of large carnivores and other wildlife.
The project will also provide landscape-level data on carnivore presence in order to inform conservation planning. This work will reduce the key conservation problem stated above, improve local livelihoods and provide authorities with data for conservation planning. It will improve the status of large carnivore populations and empower local communities in this critically important landscape.
The expected results are as follows:
- Overall livestock depredation in study households reduced by at least 70% by the end of the grant period;
- At least 60% of households in the 16 villages with community camera-trapping report recognise tangible benefits from the presence of wildlife on village land by the end of the grant period;
- Conflict-related carnivore killing (and the associated, incidental killing of other wildlife species) reduced by at least 70% in the 16 villages with community camera-trapping by the end of the grant period;
- Reliable data on the distribution and ecology of Ruaha’s lion, leopard, cheetah and African wild dog populations generated and shared with at least five key stakeholder agencies for conservation planning, by the end of the grant period.
This project is a part of the IUCN SOS African Wildlife initiative, which is funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG Devco) through its B4Life initiative.