Individual study: Boma fortification is cost-effective at reducing predation of livestock in a high-predation zone in the Western Mara region, Kenya
Sutton A.E., Downey M.G., Kamande E., Munyao F., Rinaldi M., Taylor A.K. & Pimm S. (2017) Boma fortification is cost-effective at reducing predation of livestock in a high-predation zone in the Western Mara region, Kenya. Conservation Evidence, 14, 32-38
Lions Panthera leo kill livestock in the pastoral steppe of East Africa. The subsequent lethal retaliation by livestock owners has helped reduce lion numbers by more than 80% and driven the species from most of its historic range. This conflict is especially intense along the western edge of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, where some of the densest lion and livestock populations in Africa overlap. We evaluated the effectiveness of implementation for one proposed solution – the Anne K. Taylor Fund’s subsidized construction of fortified, chain-link livestock fences (‘bomas’) – in reducing livestock loss to depredation. Between 2013 and 2015 we collected 343 predation reports, based on semi-structured interviews and predation records. We used these data to study the impact of subsidised boma fortification on the depredation of cattle, sheep and goats. Of 179 fortified bomas, 67% suffered no losses over one year whereas only 15% of 60 unfortified bomas had no losses over one year. Furthermore, losses of greater than five animals per year occurred at only 17% of fortified bomas, compared to 57% of unfortified bomas. The overall reduction in losses to predation at fortified bomas equated to savings of more than $1,200 USD per household per year.