“If the Mara wants to continue to exist as a primary wildlife tourism destination in the future much change and better land use planning is required. Otherwise we will end up once again with another wildlife reserve doomed…..”
“…..the Musiara Marsh area that gave the pride its name has become a ‘no go area’ for a proper pride….”
Two Maasai herdsmen have been charged after allegedly poisoning a famous pride of lions in Narok, south-west Kenya, a wildlife official said.
Why has this been done? Presumably, because humans are encroaching into lion habitat for agricultural needs (and their herds entering lion territory). What incentives can be made to stop the Maasai from edging the African lion even closer to extinction?
There are resources within the park (reserve) boundaries, such as access to water bores/holes that the herdsman need for their cattle and have ‘roaming rights to use’ – but the more herds are taken into habitat that contains lions, or the more lions are pushed out of their natural habitat towards human habitats/herds, the more likely it becomes that this type of ‘conflict’ will occur.
The answers must be in sharing resources, or more spending on exclusive water supplies (etc.) for herdsman’s needs, plus safe fenced enclosures (with ‘lion lights’ to deter interest) for the protection of herds at night (when lion attacks become more prevalent I understand), plus financial compensation for lost cattle when an attack does occur.
None of the above should be too expensive, or hard to organise (in theory) compared with the loss of precious lions from a dwindling wild population. The question is, why is it not happening more widely from the inflow of funds from tourism etc.? Some charities and efforts are working in this direction, this ‘problem’ must be solvable from the Maasai herdsman’s perspective, as well as for the protection of lions, a sustainable solution is possible surely?