The energy, food and financial needs of our species pit us against various flora and fauna in our complex ecosystems. But human encroachment on habitats and migration routes is not the only way we are facing off with wildlife. Humans are also actively wiping out iconic species like the elephant, lion, and rhino by turning them into commodities.
Group ranches host significant proportions of Kenya’s terrestrial wildlife populations—including elephants that live outside or use lands beyond protected areas—and are predominantly inhabited by pastoralists. Since its implementation in the 1960s, the group ranch model has struggled to meet the demands of rising human and livestock populations and climate change impacts. Constrained by a lack of open space critical to their livelihood and facing dwindling prospects, group ranch pastoralists are increasingly sedentarized and diversifying into cultivation and tourism, often at the expense of wildlife populations and ecological processes.
The population of the Kilombero District in Tanzania is heavily reliant on agriculture. Approximately 100,000 small-scale farmers cultivate predominantly rice and cocoa. On average, their fields are only around 0.5 hectares in size. Roughly 35% of the farmers are female. Economic dependence and lack of management knowledge lead to high losses during both harvest and processing, resulting in insufficient income.
After many gloomy days, finally some good news for the African elephant, buffalo, and giraffe.
While it’s often what gets the most attention, wildlife trafficking isn’t the only threat to Africa’s wildlife. As people and wildlife increasingly find themselves in closer quarters a new problem is intensifying: that of human–wildlife conflict.