Editor-in-Chief: Denys, Christiane
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Assessment and mitigation of human-lion conflict in West and Central Africa
The lion (Panthera leo) is most threatened in West and Central Africa; livestock encroachment and indiscriminate killing of lions are the main threats. Human-lion conflict mitigation is therefore key to persistence. Several experiments were carried out in the region to assess and mitigate human-lion conflict. In Pendjari National Park in Benin, enclosures of clay instead of the usual thorny branches reduced depredation figures by half. Around the Niger side of ‘W’ National Park, depredation was estimated at US$138 per household per year and occurred mostly while grazing; people identified improved herding as the most appropriate measure. A livestock corridor through a chain of protected areas has helped reduce conflict in Benoue National Park, Cameroon. Close monitoring and enclosure improvements reduced depredation from 9 to 0 attacks in enclosures and from 60 to 18 on the pastures of six villages around Waza National Park, Cameroon. Cases in Chad and Guinea identified yet other mitigation measures, including the use of dogs, sensitisation over rural radio and using relevant Sourats from the Koran; data on effectiveness are lacking, however. These projects illustrate a varied suite of mitigation options and demonstrate that mitigation can be effective if the method is judiciously chosen and adapted to local circumstances.
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