Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Using Bomas to Protect Livestock Against Lion Attacks

The following is reprinted from the National Geographic Website. I hope to visit Kenya later this year and the Maasai who are becoming an important part of lion conservation in that area. Both Born Free and Living with Lions have begun programs using bomas to protect livestock against lion attacks. This is important because many wild lions are killed in retaliation for doing what comes naturally to them - stalking and killing prey. In most cases, that prey is actually livestock that belongs to someone who depends on that livestock to support their family.

This initiative is an important one that I hope will continue to grow and be used throughout Africa where retaliatory killings of lion are far too commonplace. In the near future, I hope to raise funds to help these groups erect more bomas. Fantastic job by Living with Lions and Anne Kent Taylor!


Big cat populations in East Africa are rapidly declining due to retaliatory killings by pastoralists who are increasingly intolerant of livestock predation. In the Masai Mara, the problem threatens one of Africa's most famous and important lion populations.

Big Cats Initiative grantee Anne Kent Taylor is working with local Masai communities to significantly reduce predation by securing livestock in enclosures, or bomas. This project expands an existing project in the Mara that has effectively reduced human-lion conflict, including revenge killings of big cats.

Kent Taylor and her team are creating 200 Masai bomas with 8-foot (2.4-meter) chain link fence barriers, to be completed over the next two years. They have experienced a 100 percent success rate with the 70 bomas created previously.

Photo: Reinforced boma fence
A boma in the Masai Mara was fenced with funding supported by the Big Cats Initiative.
Photograph by Anne Kent Taylor

Education and Outreach 
To gain understanding and support, Kent Taylor holds community meetings, shows conservation films, and teaches conservation in the schools. The team encourages local participation in the program by employing and training Masai field personnel. All technical knowledge gained from the project will be shared freely with conservationists and communities facing similar challenges. Conservationists in three other key lion strongholds have already adopted the methods of Kent Taylor and her team.


Animals Matter.

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