Livestock farmers in the Rorya region, located close to Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, are increasingly facing predation by predators. This results in an ever-increasing conflict between man and animal, as cattle farmers lose their livestock and with it part of their annual income. In order to stop these predators they take matters into their own hands. By means of poisoned meat they kill the predators, most of which are hyenas. Poisoning can have a negative impact on the populations of this animal outside, but also within the national park.
Through questionnaires administered to pastoralists in six villages in this region, a picture is created of the extent of predator predation in the area, along with the extent of subsequent poisoning by pastoralists. Also, the origin of the hyenas that move into the villages is determined by DNA testing, so that it becomes clear whether the animals come from the national park or not. Camera traps are used to count the numbers of animals visiting the villages at night. With this information, the goal is to get more clarity on predator predation and measures can be made to assist the local population.
This research by the University of Dodoma and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research should ultimately ensure that pastoralists experience less loss of livestock due to predators and therefore less poisoning occurs. It will also help local people find ways to protect their livestock from predation, such as building night shelters. This should reduce poisoning and thus the danger to the populations in this region as well.