Yesterday, a famous Lion (Mohawk) from Nairobi National park Kenya was gunned down by the park rangers after it strayed into the human settlements.
A few houres later, another sub adult was speared by the Maasai community members who live adjacent to the national park. As recent as late last year, the Marsh pride from Musiara marsh was poised by Maasai Herders at the Maasai Mara National Reserve.
Going by this trend, Lions are slowly bearing the brunt of human wildlife conflict in a magnitude never seen previouslyAccording to the IUCN, among the major causes of threat are indiscriminate killing in defense of human life and livestock, habitat loss, and prey base depletion. Prey base depletion is partly linked to habitat loss.
In Kenya, of major concern is the growing human wildlife conflict emanates from;
Population Growth which has seen more and more excision of public and community resources. Approximately 10 to 15 years back, as you drove from Narok town towards the Maasai Mara National reserve, there was a stretch of vast land with resident migrant species. This wildlife dispersal areas are slowly been sold of to individuals who have subsequently fenced of hindering the movement of wildlife.
Climate change has also greatly affected the availability of natural resources. For the majority of pastrolist community who live off domestic animals, continued decline of rainfall levels year in year out has seen a major reduction in pasture, they resort to grazing their cattle inside the national reserves.
Poor government policies and uninformed policy makers have also greatly contributed by failing to come up with laws that protect natural habitats
Corruption has bedeviled the land demarcation process and seen natural habitats end up in the hands of unscrupulous dealers.
Will the Lions survive this multifaceted onslaught?
The communities surrounding these Wildlife conservation areas will need to be continuously sensitized on the importance of bio diversity not only to the current generation but even future generations.
Every citizen of the Human kind will need to take a more pro active role in being an ambassador of the world if we are to save the remaining wild species that roam the earth.
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