RUAHA CARNIVORE PROJECT
A project of Wildlife Survival Fund: Investing in endangered species before it’s too late.
Ruaha landscape, Iringa region, Tanzania
African wild dog, lion, cheetah, leopard, spotted hyena
IUCN Red List Status of Focal Species
Africa wild dog—endangered; lion—vulnerable; cheetah—vulnerable;
leopard—near threatened; spotted hyena—least concern
About the Project
Resolving human-carnivore conflict in Tanzania’s Ruaha landscape
Tanzania’s Ruaha landscape is one of the most important areas in the world for threatened large carnivores. This 50,000-square km landscape, which includes Ruaha National Park, trophy hunting zones and village land, supports over 10% of the world’s remaining lions, as well as globally important populations of leopards, cheetahs, African wild dogs and spotted hyenas. However, these vital populations are threatened by intense conflict with local people on the park boundary, as the carnivores impose high costs on local people through livestock attacks, and provide few or no benefits to offset those costs. Furthermore, villagers have very little conservation awareness and do not know that the Ruaha area is globally valuable in terms of its large carnivore populations. These factors produce intense hostility towards lions and other large carnivores around Ruaha, and the highest documented rate of lion killing in East Africa.
Therefore, there are three priorities which urgently need addressing to improve lion conservation in this important area:
- Reduce the costs imposed by carnivores on local people, specifically by reducing attacks upon livestock.
- Provide relevant community benefits that are directly linked to the presence of wildlife.
- Improve local conservation knowledge and awareness.
The Ruaha Carnivore Project has made significant headway in terms of reducing this human-carnivore conflict over the past 5 years, but now needs to continue and extend its work for continued success and long-term positive impacts for both carnivores and local communities.
African Carnivores at Woodland Park Zoo
Some of the iconic predators of the Ruaha landscape can be seen at Woodland Park Zoo. Look for lions in the zoo’s award-winning African Savanna exhibit, and a temporary cheetah exhibit in the Wildlife Survival Zone.
To learn more:
Read the African lion fact sheet
Read the cheetah fact sheet