Senior Research Fellow, Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford
Research: Resolving conflict between humans and large carnivores around Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Species/Topic: Carnivores, especially lion, cheetah, African wild dog, leopard, and spotted hyena
Abstract: Human-wildlife conflict is a critical conservation issue, and is the single most important threat now facing large carnivores in East Africa. It is imperative to mitigate this threat in areas where such species still have a chance of long-term persistence. Tanzania is a globally important area for carnivore conservation, with its Ruaha landscape highlighted as a particularly high priority region. However, there is intense human-carnivore conflict in Ruaha, driven by livestock depredation, poverty, little knowledge about carnivores, incorrect identification of livestock losses, and few benefits from wildlife. This project aims to lessen such conflict by employing local people to improve livestock husbandry, reduce depredation, improve kill identification, and improve knowledge about wildlife. The project will provide significant conservation-related benefits such as education, training and employment, and will reduce the negative impacts of carnivore presence, thereby improving both the cost-benefit ratio of carnivore presence and the likelihood of their continued persistence.