In many parts of Africa, wildlife ranges widely and well beyond the boundaries of protected areas like national parks and game reserves where it interacts with rural communities. The Maasai Steppe in Tanzania is an excellent example of such a system where the majority of critical wildlife habitat lies outside of two national parks. The lack of fences and the free movement of wildlife across this great expanse are keys to the survival of large populations of zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and eland as well as large carnivores like lions and cheetah. Assisting local communities who live among these incredible species to monitor, protect and manage wildlife in a manner that complements their traditional lifestyles is an important goal of our wildlife conservation initiative.
Large carnivores represent a major target of our wildlife conservation efforts. In addition to their sheer magnificence, the continued presence of animals like lions, cheetahs and wild dogs is an important indicator of intact wildlife populations ranging across large, healthy habitats. They are also highly valuable species to community-based wildlife tourism projects. Yet, from a local point of view, large carnivores are a great source of conflict when attacking and killing livestock. Finding preventative solutions to these conflicts is an example of a shared priority, resulting in APW’s unique and highly successful Living Walls project.
Visit the links below to learn more about our Wildlife Conservation Initiative:
Our successful lion conservation efforts include the installation of APW’s unique, culturally appropriate and environmentally-friendly Living Walls. Creating a win-win-win scenario, these special enclosures protect livestock from lions, keep lions out of the way of Maasai spears and contribute to habitat protection.
Within Tanzania, the Maasai Steppe is home to a resident population of wild cheetahs which the world knows little about. Sightings, spoor counts and discussions with Maasai pastoralists indicate that cheetahs roam widely throughout this large ecosystem. However, habitat loss and fragmentation, prey loss and conflict with livestock owners all threaten the long-term survival of the cheetah in this great landscape.
Building upon ten years of experience working with Maasai communities and wildlife in the Maasai Steppe, APW’s unique approach to human-wildlife conflicts focuses on the development of simple, community-led monitoring systems. This approach empowers local villagers to target problem species, to assess and monitor conflicts and to develop culturally appropriate solutions to human-wildlife conflicts.
“Boma fortification, such as APW’s Living Walls program, is the most cost-efficient
and effective means of immediately preventing human-wildlife conflict that I have personally encountered. Less conflict means less retaliation which means more wildlife.
It’s just that simple.”
- Dr. Luke Dollar, National Geographic Big Cats Initiative