Human-Lion conflicts : relocation of Tanzania Lions
of reading - words
After repeated attacks on people and habitations, Tanzania has decided to move an exceptionally large group of lions from the Serengeti National Park to another nature park. The increasing number of incidents in the region seems to be a direct consequence of the approaching human activities within the original habitat of the lions 🦁.
Conflicts between Humans and Lions.
Lions ans sunset in Tanzania.
The lion population in Africa is under great pressure. In the last two decades the numbers have decreased by 43% and the actual number of individual animals is estimated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at about 20,000. This puts the awe-inspiring predator undisputedly on the list of vulnerable species.
Humans are increasingly invading the lion's habitat and are therefore a major contributor to the sharp decline in the species. Just last September, the Tanzanian government declared the special status of 12 protected areas and seven wildlife and forest reserves null and void. Together, these areas accounted for some 700,000 hectares of land, which suddenly became available for people to settle, farm and graze livestock. Many wild animals had checked it out.
Humans and Lions closer and closer.
A similar situation applies to the troop of 36 lions, who have established their territory on the edge of the Serengeti National Park. There too, human activity is getting closer and closer to wilderness and has recently regularly caused conflicts with the natural needs and interests of the royal cat.
However, while in the West we often only see the importance of protecting this charismatic feline, the local population's feelings towards lions are much more mixed. They also have to deal with the direct effects of an attack by lions and wonder if they will still be able to make a living when their cow is killed, or if they themselves will be the victim of an attack. To prevent further conflicts between humans and animals, the 36 lions will be moved.
Relocation is imminent for the Lions.
Group of lions in Tanzania.
Already eleven members of the lion group have been captured and will be moved to Burigi Chato National Park, in northwest Tanzania. According to Simon Mduma, director general of the Wildlife Research Institute in the African country, it is the size of this particular group that gives them special treatment:
"If a single lion attacks people, we normally kill the animal, but this is a huge group that we cannot possibly deal with the same."
Shooting lions is a safety measure that people take out of self-protection, but Mduma indicates that this should not be a standard policy:
"Lions are becoming an increasingly vulnerable species and we want to act in a way that is sustainable and does not threaten the survival of the species."
After the first eleven, according to the research institute, nine more animals will find their home in Burigi Chato. For the other 16, a destination has yet to be found.
"More areas have been occupied by humans and this has had a great impact on lion life," says Dennis Ikanda, researcher at the wildlife institute. A choice for their new habitat cannot therefore be made lightly.
Uncertainty about future other species.
Male and female lions.
What the long-term consequences will be of the relocation of such a large troop of lions from the Serengeti National Park, does not emerge from the reports and remains unclear for the time being. These individuals will be saved from death, but the loss of the large hunters from the fragile ecosystem in the park may have a negative effect. The lion is at the top of the food chain and helps to regulate the number of other species in the Serengeti 🦌. In this way, certain species of large grazers do not become dominant, they do not compete with other species and the already declining biodiversity does not deteriorate further.
How will that work out with 36 fewer lions? Will the large grazers soon be the next species that is 'too much'?
Ben - Lion Republic writer.