Herding has begun!

Several years of training have culminated in the first EVER group livestock herd in Botswana~! The leadership of Eretsha Village have put their support behind our herding initiative and over 80% of the livestock from more than 20 herds will be brought together into a communal herd of over 1,000 animals for cooperative management. A Community Committee, made up of 10 villagers and our Pride in Our Prides staff, will make decisions about herding practices and devise a rotational grazing plan to maximize restorative ecological principles. This herd will be looked after by 6 herders that were hired from the Eretsha Community who have been trained and certified through the our herder training program.

Eretsha Herders front_ April 2019.JPG

Our herders will not only look after the livestock, but monitor rangeland health, treat livestock injuries and disease as well as mitigate conflict with predators. The herders will spend their days in the field, building a lion-proof livestock enclosure that can be moved throughout the grazing lands to keep the herd close to the best grazing areas.

building the kraal.jpg

The herding program could not have come at a better time. With predicted poor rains this year, livestock will be desperately moving to closer contact with lions and conflict will be rife. Our herders will provide an added layer of protection that will be a tremendous example for neighboring communities.

Herd in kraal1.jpg

Living With Wildlife Conference!

In January, our founder Dr. Andrew Stein was asked to participate in two panels during the Living With Wildlife Conference in Lewiston, Montana. Dr. Stein presented the early results of our Lion Alert System and provided a global perspective on human-carnivore coexistence relaying a variety of stories from him experiences working in Kenya, Namibia and Botswana. Though the communities may seem different at the surface, the concerns are often the same whether speaking to tribal communities in Kenya, Afrikaaner livestock farmers in Namibia or the ranching community in the American West.

20190125_104645.jpg

When livestock represent a significant portion of your income, any causes of additive losses can reduce profit margins and significantly impact the sustainability of the operation. Whether it’s lions sneaking out of protected areas or wolves reintroduced 20 years ago, livestock owners often incur the costs of living with these species even when compensation is minimal and predator management options may be costly.

IMG_3582.JPG

Over the course of the conference, Dr. Stein and University of Montana student Jenna Brendler were able to have great conversations with state wolf biologists, ranchers, members of non-profit organizations and colleagues. Thank you National Geographic and American Prairie Reserve for putting on the conference and inviting us to take part! We hope to build meaningful collaborations from these conversations!

Dr. Andrew Stein, Dr. Diane Boyd and Jenna Brendler discuss the scent marking study at the Living With Wildlife Conference

Dr. Andrew Stein, Dr. Diane Boyd and Jenna Brendler discuss the scent marking study at the Living With Wildlife Conference

Lions At the Gate! Nat Geo Shares News of Our Lion Alert System

IMG_1400.JPG

As lion populations plummet across Africa, innovative solutions must be employed to address the underlying conflict. If villagers knew when lions were about, they could take preventative measures to reduce the conflict and reduce the need for retaliatory killing.

Over the past 2 years, we have been developing an innovative alert system that notifies villagers via cell phone when lions approach the village. These alerts have reduced conflict by 50% when recipients heed the messages and use preventative measures. Read the Nat Geo article here with a link to the original manuscript!

Congrats to our Pride in Our Prides team!