THE SOCIAL ECONOMIC COST OF LION DEPREDATION ON LIVESTOCK IN THE AMBOSELI ECOSYSTEM, KENYA
The African lion population in the Amboseli ecosystem of Kenya has been on the decline in recent years, a trend largely attributed to retaliatory killing by the Maasai due to livestock predation. The local people incur a lot of financial costs due to predation of livestock by lions, but little is known about the extent of this loss. This study was carried out in the Olgulului Group Ranch (OGR) located adjacent to Amboseli National Park in June 2009. The main objective of the study was to assess the economic cost of livestock predation by lions in Amboseli ecosystem. Specific objectives of the study were: to determine the cost of livestock predation by lions in the Amboseli ecosystem, to compare the cost of livestock predation by lions relative to other large predators, to assess whether killing of livestock by lions and other wildlife results in the highest loss of livestock compared to diseases, drought and theft, and to investigate the husbandry practices used in the study area to minimize livestock attacks and determine their effectiveness against the attacks. Questionnaires, focus group discussions, key informants interviews with officials from OGR, KWS and compensation scheme organizations were the methods used to collect information. Cluster and systematic sampling techniques were used to select a sample of 200 respondents from OGR. Lions were blamed for 40.2% (US$ 374,603) of the total cost of livestock lost to wildlife between 2008 and June 2009, and represent an economic concern for livestock owners. The differences between the mean costs incurred due to losses attributed to lion US$374,603, hyena US$276,321, and leopard US$117115 were significant (F=34.297, df=2, 1782, p=0.00). The costs of livestock lost to hyena and the lion were not significantly different (q=0.24, p=0.968), while the economic losses of livestock to drought US$1,334,718, wildlife US$946673 and diseases US$370813 were significantly different (F=61.484, df=2, 1782, p=0.00). Lions caused greater economic damage compared to hyenas because they attacked cattle which had high economic value. Although the mitigation measures including well built livestock enclosures and use of dogs, used against livestock attack were successful in deterring other wildlife species, none of them deterred attacks of livestock by lions. Addressing human-lion conflict adequately calls for an improvement in livestock husbandry practices in order to minimize problems facing livestock production systems in the study area.
SubjectHUMAN- LION CONFLICT, LION DEPREDATION, LION DEPREDATION ON LIVESTOCK IN THE AMBOSELI ECOSYSTEM, LIVESTOCK PREDATION EFFECT ON LION POPULATION
- MURIUKI W. MARGARET.pdf
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