This is the fourth post in our series on the top 10 wildlife conservation challenges and solutions, to provide some quick and easy to read background information to our game Conservation Crisis.
Challenge #4 – Human-Wildlife Conflict
As the habitat of many species continues to be intruded upon by human pressures, many animals are often forced to search for food outside of their natural habitat, in human-dominated terrain. That creates human-wildlife conflict; for example, gorillas leaving their forest home to raid farmer’s fields or leopards killing livestock as they struggle to find wild prey. Avoiding human-wildlife conflict is therefore vital, both to save the lives and livelihoods of local communities and to prevent animal’s destructive behaviour causing resentment among local populations and therefore undermining support for conservation.
Solution #4 – Wildlife Fences
Wildlife fences come in many different forms, but they are all broadly designed to achieve the same goal; stop wildlife entering people’s land and causing damage to crops, livestock and people themselves, to reduce human-wildlife conflict. The fences may conventional barriers, such as stone walls to keep animals out of land, or they may be more innovative, such as a series of flashing lights used to keep lions away from livestock in Kenya. There are natural solutions, too, including ‘bee-fences’, beehives connected by wire around farmer’s
fields, so when an elephant knocks the wire the bees swarm out and chase them away; not only are a farmer’s fields protected, but they also get honey from the hives.