Conflict frequently occurs between wildlife and people and when the livelihoods and safety of communities are threatened. Similarly the lives of wildlife can be threatened when they leave Protected Areas and predate on livestock or, in the case of elephants, destroy crops.
The Communities we are assisting are impoverished and are unable to put in place costly livestock protection measures to protect their cattle, goats and donkeys. As an NGO African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) is reaching out to two communities: one around Victoria Falls and the other around Chizarira National park in the Zambezi Valley. We are assisting them with measures that will reduce (mitigate) conflict, while at the same time ensuring that they are accountable for the mitigation measures and identify with the help projects.
To date we have used LED lights around livestock pens where livestock is kept at night, and also put in place predator-proof mobile pens where, similarly the livestock is kept at night. To date no predator attacks have taken place on livestock kept in these facilities but a lot of further assistance is needed.
It would be easier to build large livestock holding pens and pen in livestock from multiple homesteads. Unfortunately cultural beliefs will not allow one homestead to keep their livestock with livestock of another homestead, which means we have to assist individual homesteads.
While our aim is to support the communities against predation, we are equally committed to protecting the predators that may predate on livestock not kept safe. If livestock is killed villagers carry out revenge killings often through poisoning whereby whole prides of lion can be killed. The more protection we can give to villagers, the less chance predators will have of killing cattle or goats and the need for revenge killings is reduced or totally stopped.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions no progress has been made during the period covered by this report, however we have kept in touch with Community leaders and have assured them that we will continue to assist as soon as we can move about freely again.