Paul Thomson, MESc

2011 TRI Fellow in Kenya

Investigating the Factors Shaping Human-Predator Conflict in Samburu, Kenya


Lions (Panthera leo) have been extirpated from at least 83% of their historical range in Africa and less than 2,000 lions remain in Kenya. Retaliatory killing in response to conflict between pastoralists and lions is the most prevalent and serious threat to the lion population in northern Kenya. To investigate the contextual factors underlying conflict, interviews were held with Samburu livestock keepers following all reported incidents of conflict with predators in Westgate Community Conservancy over a three month period. A questionnaire was used to record quantitative and qualitative data to address the following questions: Do certain livestock husbandry practices favor predator attacks? How do livestock keepers respond to predator attacks and why? What husbandry practices better prevent predator attacks and thus in turn reduce the need for retaliatory killing? The results of this study can be utilized throughout the region to improve livestock husbandry practices and promote large carnivore conservation.