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Livestock depredation by lions (Panthera leo) in Waza National Park, Cameroon

A recent publication in Oryx, The International Journal of Conservation by Tumenta et al., 2013 (Leiden University) on human-lion conflict over livestock depredation in Waza National Park, Cameroon has demonstrated that the human-lion conflict remains an important factor in the depletion of lion populations.

Pastoralists around Waza National Park suffer high levels of livestock depredation, with most attacks occurring at night, increasing during full moon periods though not significantly. Consequently lions are killed in retaliation. Lions were economically a substantial threat accounting for total losses of EUR 100,000 per annum. 

Per household, resident pastoralists lost one cow and nomadic pastoralists two cows per annum, equating to c. EUR 260 and 520, respectively.

The best husbandry methods already in use in the area reduced livestock attacks by 25%. An improvement of these methods can further reduce livestock attacks. 

The researchers also demonstrated that to successfully mitigate the human-lion conflict around Waza National Park, solutions must be tailored according to whether a pastoralist is a resident or nomad in the Waza area. This is because these two groups of pastoralists suffer depredation of their livestock differently and apply different methods in attempts to reduce lion attacks on their livestock. 

The researchers also predict that if government efforts are not greatly improved to enforce law and provide resources on time in order to rescue the declining trend of the lion, this species might likely go locally extinct in this area in 10 years time.


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