Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015,Not A Good Start for Lion Conservation!


While I had hoped to usher in the new year with a beautiful photo of the Serengeti, instead we are reporting on the killing of six lions outside of Tarangire National Park. Two of our Serengeti Watch team members happened onto the Maasai village where there was much chaos going on. When our team inquired it was learned that 6 lions had wandered out of Tarangire into a Maasai village and they were immediately killed. When one of our team went to the headquarters of the park to report it - he was told they already knew but had no intention of doing anything since the animals were outside of the park.

At the same time as I was getting the report from our team another team member pointed out that the following was posted on the TANZANIA FOR WILDLIFE page:

"New Years Day, Started with a SMS from my chair lady (TATO Conservation) Vesna Glamocanin Tibaijuka :informing me that Peter Lindstrom s Maasai Watchmen have told him about the Lion Killings that took place yesterday in Lake Burunge Area. Followed it up and the sad news is that 7 Lions have been killed related to Human/Wildlife conflict Area Lake Burunge
I have called a friend who works with Big Life in Sinya to get hold of the Chief Ranger in Burunge but could up date me on this issue Could not get hold of him but got his assistant and he has confirmed that 7 lions have been Killed by Maasai".

So not only is Africa's wildlife threatened by cartel based mass poaching - but - also human/wildlife conflict. This will be something that the new president when elected in Tanzania in October will have to address. Humans living up to, and by some reports IN national parks is a huge problem which pushes the animals into contact with humans thus causing conflicts - whether it is a herder that has lost a cow - or a farmer that has had his crops trampled by elephants. Animals need protected corridors around the park so that humans are not living right up to the edges. Recently 7 lions were poisoned outside of the Serengeti.

Population BoomThe habitat wisely set aside for protection at independence was done when the population of Tanzania was only about 10 million people. Now the population is pushing 43 million, Should Tanzania's current population growth projection remain intact, the country's population will hit 51 million in 2016 straining the provision of basic services, new data shows. 
By definition, protected areas restrict access by people, while protecting wildlife. It is easy to see why these areas are now under threat – human population increasingly restricts wildlife habitat, and human needs put pressure on the government to justify the existence of protected areas.
We do not have a photo from this incident yet - the photo posted is from the 7 lions that were poisoned outside the Serengeti in early December.

We will report more information as soon as we have it and may issue a call to action for our fans. Keep tuned.
Poisoned Lion:
Citizen article: PHOTO | ANTHONY MAYUNGA