Tackling human-lion conflict in the Maasai Mara ecosystem

Jon McCormack
Grantee Kenya Wildlife Trust
Type Human-wildlife Coexistence
Location Greater Maasai Mara Ecosystem, Kenya
Grant Amount $205,130
Duration 3 years

The Greater Maasai Mara Ecosystem (GMME) in Kenya is home to about 500 lions and is of critical importance to the conservation of the species. Wildlife in the GMME is subject to a number of key threats, such as human-wildlife conflict. High densities of people live adjacent to the wildlife areas of the GMME, resulting in lions frequently coming in contact with livestock. Tackling human-lion conflict is critical to ensure continued local support for conservation efforts and to prevent retaliatory killing – particularly the kind that involves poisoning, a frequent response to livestock depredation by lions. The LRF supported Kenya Wildlife Trust to tackle human-lion conflict through the deployment of community ambassadors that respond to conflict incidences, warn communities of the approach of lions, and raise awareness about livestock husbandry techniques needed to minimize conflict. In May 2021, LRF provided a top up grant to support the salaries of the lion ambassadors to ensure they can keep operating in the field prior to inviting a larger proposal. In June 2021, LRF issued another grant to KWT to provide 2 years of support for their lion ambassadors programme. This grant will help to develop a plan for human-wildlife conflict mitigation in the Mara ecosystem. This project is of critical importance in promoting coexistence between people and lions and helping protect the integrity of Kenya’s largest lion population.