Biologist, Conservationist, & Portlander. My passion lives in Africa.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Nonlethal method of saving cattle from lions.

5:22 PM Posted by Tara Easter No comments
Female scolds male after an unsuccessful mating in Etosha National Park.
Currently listed as "Vulnerable" by the IUCN, African lion populations have dropped significantly in the past decade. Facing threats such as habitat encroachment, poisoning, prey decline, as well as the diseases that more dramatically plague smaller populations (referred to as the "small population paradigm"), these cats are unfortunately on their way to the endangered species list

Most of these issues are a result of human wildlife conflict in Africa. Urban areas are developing further into previously natural areas. Agricultural pesticides accidentally poison the cats, or, direct poisoning occurs to rid a pastoral neighborhood from the threats to their livestock. Projections of where lions will roam in the future are bleak, but one young man in Kenya created a way to protect his precious cattle from predation using nonlethal methods, giving hope for the king of the jungle:

Boy scares off lions with flashy invention

What I like most about this story is this:
What's even more impressive is that Turere devised and installed the whole system by himself, without ever receiving any training in electronics or engineering."
This is simple innovation that has multiple positive implications at its best, and it's inspiring

As I currently battle to make a career out of solving human-wildlife conflict (similar to this situation), I find myself constantly losing to another resume with a larger list of credentials. But I think conservation NGO's, especially in America, have lost sight of  the ability to solve problems driven by passion, and harnessing the resources at hand. I hope examples like this will set precedence for conservation projects to come. 

He got it right this time ;)


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