Coexistence Co-op

The Coexistence Co-op is a partnership between

Lion Landscapes and The Peregrine Fund to REDUCE livestock lost to large carnivores, and STOP the resultant use of highly toxic pesticides to kill 'problem' carnivores, and that indiscriminately poison critically endangered vultures.

The Coexistence Co-op is an innovative education, training and conflict management program with activities aiming to: 

  • Reduce the biggest underlying cause of poisoning by improving the capacity of livestock owners to better protect their livestock.

  • Reduce the incidences of poisoning in response to livestock loss by informing local communities about the human and livestock health risks of using poison and providing an alternative mechanism for responding to livestock loss to lions.

  • Minimise the impacts of poisoning by responding quickly and effectively to any poisoning incidents so that wildlife deaths, and human and livestock health risks, are minimised.

 

There are three main project activities;

The Lion Ranger program,

which works to train and equip a core number of selected National Police to become rapid response units capable of responding effectively to incidences of human-carnivore conflict following agreed best practices for lion conservation.

Community Coexistence Training, which works with local livestock owners directly to build their capacity to prevent livestock depredation, and spread awareness about the human and livestock health issues associated with the mis-use of poisons.

Collaring for Coexistence provides conservation livestock owners with real-time lion movement information from GPS collars via a mobile phone app developed by Save the Elephants, allowing them to keep livestock away from lions or be on guard when lions are near. Collaring for Coexistence also tests new technologies that protect livelihoods and lions.

Background story

The Situation:

The Laikipia-Samburu ecosystem supports the 3rd largest population of lions, hyenas and wild dogs in Kenya sharing the landscape with people and livestock. Lions are normally the hardest of all the large carnivores for people to share the landscape with, but the region supports an estimated 300-350 individuals. 

Laikipia’s commercial ranches and conservancies are particularly important for lions; supporting almost 80% of the population and replenishing numbers in the surrounding communities, where conflict is often higher. While the pastoral communities support lower densities of lions, lion-human coexistence in these areas is critical for ensuring landscape-scale connectivity and securing stable populations inside the commercial ranches, conservancies and reserves. 

 

The Problem:

During 2017 the lions of Laikipia were exposed to tens of thousands of weak, malnourished livestock for a prolonged period of time. The vast number of livestock not only diminished wild prey numbers but also became an easy target and source of prey for the lions. Although the cattle have since moved on from Laikipia and the remaining wild prey has gained strength, carnivore conservation organisations in Laikipia have been overwhelmed by requests for help from local livestock owners in response to livestock being killed by lions and other carnivores. If sufficient help is not forthcoming, there is a real risk that desperate livestock owners will resort to killing the carnivores concerned, too commonly using poisons, which devastates carnivores, scavengers and carrion birds, and threatens human health.

The Solution:

The Coexistence Coop; A joint initiative between Lion Landscapes, The Peregrine Fund, 

conservation partners and local communities to reduce livestock killing by lions and stop retaliatory poisoning by people. The Lion Rangers Program and The Community Coexistence Training Program form a key part of this new initiative and they are supported by our Collaring for Coexistence Program.