Amboseli National Park has been severely suffering during the drought that has affected the whole of the Amboseli ecosystem, including Mbirikani, Eselenkei and Olgulului Group Ranches where the Lion Guardians work. Many hundreds, if not thousands of wild herbivores have been dying and moving away from the area, leaving it severely lacking in prey for lions and hyenas.
The carnivores have been turning to Maasai livestock instead, as their natural prey is so limited. Conflict and tension is high, and the Lion Guardians in the area have been doing all they can to reduce retaliatory attacks from herders against the carnivores. It has been an extremely busy time for the Lion Guardians who are still on high alert.
However, the huge area of Olgulului, south of Ambosli National Park is not covered by the project yet, and tension is extremely high, with lion hunts ever imminent – a worrying situation, which has unfortunately led to a number of lion attacks, and some deaths (see Lion Guardians blog and Maasailand Preservation Trust’s blog).
In order to reduce this, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) have started to relocate zebras and wildebeest from Naivasha to Amboseli, to provide some natural prey for the carnivores. We hope that this will indeed help to reduce conflict between predators and people, but we also must start to employ Lion Guardians – members of the Maasai communities to work with their families and friends to protect their livestock better, educate them about the importance of carnivores, and monitor the lions in the area.
Please help us to do this by making a donation to the Lion Guardians project on this blog, or raising awareness about the Lion Guardians by telling your friends and spreading the word!