Dr. Amy Dickman
Kaplan Senior Research Fellow in Felid Conservation, University of Oxford; Project Manager of Ruaha Carnivore Project
Research: Resolving conflict between humans and large carnivores around Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Abstract: Conflict with humans is one of the most significant threats facing carnivores, and effectively resolving conflict is a top conservation priority. Tanzania's Ruaha landscape supports globally important carnivore populations, but also suffers intense human-carnivore conflict, driven by livestock depredation, little knowledge about livestock protection or carnivores, and little alternative income for villagers. In 2010, Cleveland helped fund the establishment of a 'conflict monitors' program, where local villagers began to educate other villagers about best-practice livestock protection, carnivore identification, and the accurate identification and prevention of livestock loss. This scheme had significant benefits, reduced human-carnivore conflict, and is very popular with villagers. There is strong local support for project continuation, and further funding means we could continue and expand the conservation-related education and employment, and further reduce the negative impacts of carnivore presence. This will continue to reduce conflict and improve the chances of long-term carnivore conservation in the Ruaha landscape.