Navigation Links
Living with lions
Date:10/24/2007

There are many historical stories of shepherds and travellers encountering lions, for example the Old Testament contains dozens of tales about attacks on flocks and people by these fierce predators. Lions have now disappeared from most of their former range, but for livestock owners around the Waza National Park, Cameroon, living with lions is a daily reality. Although loss of human life is rarely reported, lion predation can cost the herders close to 1000 US$ per family each year. Scientists from the Resource Ecology Group, Wageningen University and the Institute of Environmental Sciences, Leiden University, investigated the factors that contributed to these losses and why pastoralists continued to graze their herds close to the lions hunting grounds, which has recently been published in the African Journal of Ecology.

The team found that people living closer to the Waza National Park enjoy better access to pastures and water points, but bear the heaviest losses. These herdsmen said that the benefits of improved grazing and water outweigh the cost of lion kills. Further from the park, depredation decreases, but during the wet season, when water is abundant and lush vegetation offers hiding places, lions wander off and take livestock at larger distances. The research also showed that having cattle increases the risk of losing goats or sheep to lions, probably because sheep and goats graze with the cows further away from the villages and in larger numbers, which makes it easier for lions to approach livestock unnoticed. Herdsmen even claimed that lions follow nomadic herds during the wet season far outside the park, and during this period these lions also raid sedentary livestock of villages they pass.

Surprisingly, herdsmen who try to chase the lions away when attacked reported larger losses, probably because the confusion created scatters the herds, and lions benefit from this.

One day around noon, while interviewing some villagers, two researchers were called by some excited herdsmen, who reported an attack by lions. The group headed to the scene just outside of the village, only about a kilometre from where the interview was taking place, and found three dead sheep and a calf, with clear bite marks in their necks. One of the herdsmen explained:

We tried to chase away the lions, but they werent impressed and only moved a bit further away from us, where they grabbed another sheep. Thats how they do it, they just kill. Theyve taken one sheep with them, but the calf and the other three sheep were killed for nothing. We cant eat the meat, as Muslim traditions require animals to be killed by a Muslim

The research team recommended that herding methods could be changed in order to decrease the livestock losses, such as by having protective thorn enclosures, called bomas, or more herdsmen, as dogs for guarding livestock are not a suitable alternative in this Islamic part of Cameroon. Lion predation is a common phenomenon in the area, and people have accommodated these violent encounters in their day-to-day life, and apparently make a trade-off between the extra benefits of living closer to the national park, and the increased risk of losing animals to lions.


'/>"/>

Contact: Davina Quarterman
davina.quarterman@oxon.blackwellpublishing.com
01-865-476-307
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Gene therapy converts dead bone graft to new, living tissue
2. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop tool that uses MRI to visualize gene expression in living animals
3. World-first Living Donor Islet Cell Transplant A Success; Procedure Offers Promise For Diabetics
4. Programmable cells: Engineer turns bacteria into living computers
5. Living with salt
6. Nanoscale method for investigating living systems
7. Living anti-HIV gel shows early promise
8. Student scientists create living bacterial photographs
9. Team led by Carnegie Mellon University scientist finds first evidence of a living memory trace
10. Living taste cells produced outside the body
11. Predicting successful outcomes in living-donor liver transplants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)... YORK , June 2, 2016   The Weather ... is announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers ... by being able to ask questions via voice or text ... Marketers have long sought ... the consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... -- VoiceIt is excited to announce its new marketing ... working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will offer an ... slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, collaboration between ... Both companies ... "This marketing and technology partnership allows VoiceIt ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... Lithuania , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, ... released the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System ... of large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process ... accuracy using any combination of fingerprint, face or ... MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)...   Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism ... today awarded as one of the World Economic ... most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology ... world in the nutrition, health and consumer goods ... customers including Fortune 500 companies to design microbes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical journal articles ... findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma website. ... blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point doctors to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... supplements, is pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into ... for over 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: