The Peregrine Fund has introduced the Community Coexistence Training Program in response to requests for help from local livestock owners to reduce livestock killed by lions and avoid lions being killed in retaliation. Often highly toxic pesticides are use to kill 'problem' carnivores. This indiscriminately poisons critically endangered vultures.
Community Coexistence Training Courses are designed to help communities to make the connections between pesticide/herbicide contamination and the illness or death of their livestock, whilst empowering individuals with the skills and knowledge to better protect their livelihoods.
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.
Community Coexistence Courses train the communities on:
How to better protect their livestock through constructing predator-proof bomas (livestock corrals)
Improving daytime herding practices
Improving livestock management.
We also recognize that community groups, village elders and government workers typically do not understand the impact of individual poisoning incidents and have little idea about how to respond if a poisoning occurs in their area.
Poisoning Awareness Topics:
Hazards associated with using poisons and secondary poisoning
Signs and symptoms of wildlife poisoning
Basic information on chemicals commonly used
Personal safety and basic equipment required
Decontaminating a poisoning site
Photo: Ami Vitale
Photo: Ami Vitale
Each course is a full day and care is taken to include a mix of community members (sexes, age groups and social standing) and include local healthcare workers wherever possible. This approach has already been shown to be an effective way of changing behaviours.
Our goal is to reduce human-predator conflict, reduce poisoning incidents that are often triggered by human-wildlife conflict and are the main cause of death for critically endangered vultures.
Photo: Darcy Ogada
Results since the Community Coexistence Training Program started in June 2018:
4 incidents where trainees have intervened to stop wildlife poisoning, including two lion prides, vultures and Grey-crowned Cranes
58% of our groups train others in their communities
The team has intervened in one case of suicide and to save 10 poisoned cows
13 poisoning incidents involving 24 animals (mostly dogs) where trainees either burned or buried the carcasses to prevent spreading
How can you help?
We want to organise 80 community coexistence training sessions in the next year. Then 1200 people in the community will be trained to understand the impact of individual poisoning incidents and how to respond if a poisoning occurs in the area.
Poisoning Detection Kits
Car fuel and
For a US Tax charitable donation:
100% of funds received through our fiscal sponsor Houston Zoo reach us.
100% funds we receive go towards our lion conservation activities in the field.
Houston Zoo Tax ID for US citizens is 74-1590271
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,
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.
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 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 form a key part of this new initiative.