Communities and Carnivores in Ruaha

Across the continent, Africa’s large carnivores are facing an uncertain future.

Both the lion and the cheetah are now classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN, with as few as 23,000 and 10,000 individuals remaining in the wild respectively. 

The African wild dog, meanwhile, is Endangered, with merely 6,600 estimated adults remaining.

Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park is a vital stronghold for these keystone species, holding over 10 percent of the world’s remaining lions, as well as the third largest population of African wild dogs.

The park is also home to one of just four large cheetah populations remaining in East Africa. Ensuring these key carnivore groups endure here is critical to their species’ survival.

The animals living in Ruaha National Park rely heavily on the adjacent land; land they share with local villages. This frequently brings carnivores into contact with poor communities that rely on livestock for their livelihoods.

Attacks on livestock by lions and leopards can cost these communities 18 percent of their annual income, a devastating blow for families struggling to survive.

This has sparked intense human-wildlife conflict, leading to the highest recorded rate of lion killing in modern times.

Oxford's Ruaha Carnivore Project, supported by AWF, has been reducing conflict here since 2011, e.g. by predator-proofing livestock enclosures.

These efforts have successfully reduced attacks on livestock by 60 percent, leading to an 80 percent decline in the killing of lions, cheetah, wild dogs and leopards by humans.

Learn more about what makes this project successful, and see how else we're creating common ground for carnivores and communities:


Jerri Hatch Garrett Vollstaedt / Martin Harvey Stephen Ham Mwagusi Safari Camp James Weis Federico Veronesi / Phil Perry Wildlife Photography Billy Dodson Christian van Winkle Nancy Lewis Pietro Luraschi

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