African lions and villagers would benefit from fences to protect them from each other, according to a new study by University of Minnesota researcher Craig Packer published online by Ecology Letters on Tuesday, March 5.
Fencing has long been anathema to most conservationists, but Packer said it offers the best hope for saving iconic African wildlife, an undertaking that will require sweeping measures rather than piecemeal efforts. In an interview, he called for an international “Marshall Plan” to erect fences where possible to protect people, lions, elephants and other threatened wildlife species.
Most African governments don’t have the resources to protect people and wildlife from each other, but without a massive increase in conservation funding nearly half of unfenced lion populations could decline to near extinction over the next 20-40 years. And in the long run, it would be more cost-effective to maintain lion populations in fenced reserves.
For the study, Packer and 57 colleagues compared population densities and management practices across 42 sites in 11 countries. Fenced reserves maintained lions at 80 percent of their potential population capacity on annual management budgets of about $500 per square kilometer, while unfenced populations required an average of $2,000 per square kilometer each year to remain at just 50 percent of their capacity.
“Even though lion habitat has been reduced by at least 75 percent over the last century, more still remains than can possibly be conserved,” said Packer, a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. “Several of Africa’s most famous wildlife areas involve large-scale migrations of wildebeest and zebra that could never be enclosed within a fenced reserve, so the lions’ last stand should be thought out carefully in terms of those places that can safely be fenced and those that will be worth the enormous monetary investments because they can’t be fenced.”
As encroaching civilization has brought people and lions into much closer proximity the incidence of lion attacks on humans and livestock has increased substantially. Not surprisingly, villagers retaliate by killing lions to protect their families and their livestock.
“We must never lose sight of the fact that the costs of lion conservation ultimately derive from the need to protect people from these animals,” said Packer. And lions are not alone in causing widespread human misery. “Elephants are in crisis, too, and although they are largely being decimated by ivory poachers, there’s little support for elephant conservation in rural villages because of the enormous damage they cause to crops. A fence that is lion-proof is also elephant-proof, so a well-designed policy of fencing would protect more than just lions.”
Because the findings from the Ecology Letters paper present such an enormous challenge for African governments and conservationists, the best hope may be to advocate for a “Marshall Plan” for African wildlife conservation, Packer said.
“If we’re serious about this, it means establishing fences around very large areas, such as the Selous Game Reserve, which is home to the largest remaining lion population in the world. Fencing the Selous, which covers an area of about 17,000 square miles, would cost something like $30 million. None of the world’s conservation agencies could afford that, but perhaps a global funding agency for developing countries would do it because fencing would protect humans as well as lions.”
The Latest Bing News on:
Marshall Plan for African wildlife
- VCU's newest building opens in Charles City for study of James River, its ecosystem, climate changeon October 14, 2021 at 5:11 pm
VCU christened the Rice Rivers Center research facility, a $7 million lab and office building designed for students and faculty who study the river’s wildlife ... 2023 on East Marshall Street.
- Things to do in the San Fernando Valley, LA area, Oct. 14-21on October 14, 2021 at 6:01 am
A woman takes a selfie in a captain’s chair at “Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds” at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. The exhibit, which opened on ...
- The 25 Cheapest U.S. Cities to Live Inon October 13, 2021 at 5:28 pm
Plan an extended ... and from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in nearby Huntsville. Tourism is another driver of the local economy, thanks to the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, the Carnegie ...
- Families of teens killed in house fire want them to be remembered for the joy they broughton October 12, 2021 at 3:25 pm
The Families of two teens who died in a house fire in Glace Bay, N.S., are hoping they're remembered for who they were.
- Why We Need Big Holistic Wildernesson October 7, 2021 at 5:00 pm
also form the crucial wildlife link between Yellowstone and the northern Gallatins and wildlands further to the north. Fortunately, Congress has not yet acted on the GFP plan. Of course ...
- Roll Call: Follow the key votes in Congresson October 4, 2021 at 6:56 am
Donfried has been president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States ... NAYS: Johnson R-WI YEAS: Baldwin D-WI AFRICA DIPLOMACY: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Mary Phee ...
- U.S. advances plan to protect Nevada flower near lithium projecton October 1, 2021 at 2:59 pm
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a proposed rule ... efforts or scared off potential customers, though. South African miner Sibanye Stillwater Ltd last month bought half of the Nevada ...
- Peatlandson September 28, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Environmental and wildlife charities say a ban will protect ... as part of a drive to improve the environment. By Claire Marshall The Forestry Commission says lessons will be learned after it ...
- Community newson September 23, 2021 at 5:00 pm
VSARA awarded grantSecretary of State Jim Condos and State Archivist Tanya Marshall announced ... through the Departments of Fish and Wildlife and Forests, Parks and Recreation, is developing a new ...
- Africa: 'Admit AU in G20 Group of Nations' - President Akufo-Addoon September 21, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Time for Africa Marshall Plan The President stated that even before the pandemic outbreak, many had concluded that the current structure of global economic co-operation, designed some 77 years ago ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
Marshall Plan for African wildlife
The Latest Bing News on:
African wildlife conservation
- Mountaineers summit for conservation in 6th annual Rhino Peak Challengeon October 19, 2021 at 5:21 am
The Rhino Peak Challenge enters its 6th year of successfully raising funds for conservation with a 21km climb of the iconic ‘Rhino Peak’.
- South Africa asked to protect wildlife, close commercial lion breeding industryon October 19, 2021 at 12:09 am
South Africa is being urged to immediately halt the domestication and exploitation of lions and the closure of captive lion facilities.
- A taste for pangolin meat and the fall of an African wildlife cartelon October 18, 2021 at 9:36 pm
Malawi police began investigating Lin’s network in early 2015. In December 2017, they caught his wife and son-in-law buying ivory from a Zambian national and arrested them. Lin, however, continued to ...
- Conviction in a Former Playground for Kingpins Could Save African Wildlifeon October 18, 2021 at 9:52 am
Yunhua Lin’s cartel had turned Malawi into a hub for ivory, rhino horn and pangolin scale trafficking. He was recently sentenced to 14 years in prison in the southern African country.
- African Tourism Board “One Africa” now has Open Ears at East African Communityon October 17, 2021 at 2:39 pm
The African Tourism Board is succeding in its mission to bring African tourism destinations together and promote the continent or regions of the continent as one tourism destination. African Tourism B ...
- New economic drivers for conservation in Africaon October 15, 2021 at 7:03 pm
In Africa, much of the success of wildlife conservation has been tied to income generated from the travel and tourism industry.
- Oregon Tech business professor completes work in South Africa through Fulbright Granton October 15, 2021 at 10:00 am
The U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board awarded a Fulbright grant to Sharon Beaudry of Oregon Institute of Technology.
- 75,504 global citizens urge Minister Creecy to finalise plans for a New Deal for People and Wildlifeon October 14, 2021 at 11:08 am
A weighty 75,504 global citizens (including at least 9,011 voices from South Africa) are calling on Minister Barbara Creecy ...
- Elephant kills South African man in Zimbabwe’s Mana Poolson October 14, 2021 at 4:52 am
A 71-year old South African tourist was trampled to death by an elephant “in full view” of his son at Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park, the country’s parks agency said Thursday, days after another ...
- Other Than Wildlife Safaris, It Is Now Golf Tourism in East Africaon October 6, 2021 at 4:29 pm
Not only wildlife safaris in East Africa, now sports tourism is coming up to boost leisure travel in the region to attract sports tourists to expand their travel packages from wildlife to sports ...