Protect Community Livelihoods,
Vultures and Lions.
people trained in our Community Coexistence Training Program
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.
Minimize the impacts of poisoning by responding quickly and effectively to any poisoning incidents so that wildlife deaths, and human and livestock health risks, are minimized.
Partners: The Peregrine Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Tusk Trust, Houston Zoo, San Diego Zoo Global, Living With Lions, KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service), Save the Elephants, Will's Africa Trust, University of Oxford WildCRU, Loisaba Conservancy, Sosian Ranch, Suyian Ranch, Mugie Conservancy, El Karama Ranch, Mpala Research Centre, Ol Maisor Ranch, Lewa Conservancy, Borana Conservancy, Savannah Tracking
The Laikipia-Samburu ecosystem is of global conservation significance for populations of black rhino, elephant, wild dog, Grevy’s zebra, Rüppell’s vultures, as well as Kenya’s 3rd largest lion population. These threatened species share the semi-arid 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 250-300 individuals. The region is also a stronghold for critically endangered vultures. 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 higher. The pastoral communities support lower densities of lions, but lion-human coexistence in these areas is critical for preventing retaliatory poisonings, while simultaneously ensuring landscape-scale connectivity and lion populations remain stable inside the commercial ranches, conservancies and reserves.
Community lands are under increasing pressure due to the rapid growth of human and livestock populations. Vast numbers of livestock not only diminish wild prey numbers, but also become an easy target and source of prey for lions. As livestock sustains families, its loss due to predation results in severe financial hardship and without immediate help livestock owners often retaliate against carnivores using poisons. Since 2002, 89 lions have been poisoned in Laikipia with ramifying consequences for vultures and other scavengers, as well as threatening human health. Vultures are disproportionate victims of poisoning and populations have crashed by >80% over three generations due primarily to the retaliatory poisoning of carnivores. Similarly, lion populations have declined across their range by more than 50% over the last two decades.The collapse of these threatened species is intricately linked.
The Coexistence Co-op is a joint initiative between Lion Landscapes and The Peregrine Fund, working in collaboration with local conservation partners and communities to reduce livestock killing by lions and stop retaliatory poisoning that particularly threatens vultures. Our holistic education, training and conflict management program works directly with livestock owners to build their capacity to prevent livestock depredation, and to address the widespread issue of wildlife poisoning through a One Health approach that emphasizes rapid response. At the foundation of this new initiative are our Lion Rangers and Community Coexistence Training programs, which are supported by our Collaring for Coexistence Program.