International Journal of
Biodiversity and Conservation

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-243X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 553

Full Length Research Paper

Livestock depredation by wild carnivores in the Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem, Tanzania

Franco Peniel Mbise
  • Franco Peniel Mbise
  • Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Realfagbygget, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway.
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Gine Roll Skjærvø
  • Gine Roll Skjærvø
  • Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Realfagbygget, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway.
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Richard D. Lyamuya
  • Richard D. Lyamuya
  • Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Realfagbygget, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway.
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Robert D. Fyumagwa
  • Robert D. Fyumagwa
  • Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, P.O. Box 661, Arusha, Tanzania.
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Craig Jackson
  • Craig Jackson
  • Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Høgskoleringen 10, 7491 Trondheim, Norway.
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Tomas Holmern
  • Tomas Holmern
  • Norwegian Environment Agency, Brattørkaia 15, 7010 Trondheim, Norway.
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Eivin Røskaft
  • Eivin Røskaft
  • Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Realfagbygget, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway.
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  •  Received: 14 November 2017
  •  Accepted: 17 January 2018
  •  Published: 31 March 2018

Abstract

Livestock losses caused by wild carnivores foster negative attitudes and promote retaliatory killings, threatening the future of carnivore populations. Measures to bring about coexistence between humans and carnivores are of great importance to carnivore conservation. The study questionnaire survey involved 180 respondents from Eastern Serengeti tribes (Maasai and Sonjo), all of which owned livestock. Reported livestock depredation in 2016 by the Maasai tribe (pastoralists) was higher than that by the Sonjo tribe (agropastoralists) because the Maasai own many livestock and live closer to the Serengeti National Park boundary. Most livestock depredation occurred during the day when livestock were out feeding and during the dry season. Spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) were the most commonly reported carnivore responsible for livestock depredation. Livestock depredation caused by lions (Panthera leo) and cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) was only reported by the Maasai tribe. Leopards (Panthera pardus), jackals (Canis spp.), and African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) were responsible for more livestock depredation of the Maasai livestock. A similar study was performed six years earlier, in 2010. Therefore, this study brings insight to the temporal changes of livestock depredation patterns and changes of carnivorous species causing livestock depredation in the Eastern Serengeti ecosystem. The Maasai and Sonjo are the main tribes living in the Eastern Serengeti ecosystem. The Maasai preferably use knives and/or spears, whereas the Sonjo use bows and poisoned arrows to protect their livestock against depredation by wild carnivores, and both tribes prefer the use of multiple techniques to increase the efficiency of livestock protection.

Key words: Boma, herding, Maasai, preferences, Sonjo, tribe, weapons.