Predator Resistant Bomas
"Big cats are under siege."
What is a boma?
A boma is a livestock enclosure, stockade, or corral used in many parts of Africa to protect the livestock at night. It helps to keep the goats, sheep and cows IN and the predators OUT.
The growing human population has encroached into wildlife habitat and caused an escalation in human-predator conflict. Local communities living adjacent to protected areas now have less tolerance for predation as livestock losses become more frequent (livestock often accounting for the entirety of their financial wealth). Understandably, they sometimes take the law into their own hands by illegally killing the predators.
Furthermore, due to the illegal bush meat trade, which has, in many places, decimated the natural prey for big cats, predation on domestic livestock has become more prevalent. In short, big cats are under siege. Historically, Maasai communities have co-existed with wildlife in a harmonious way. As their lifestyle changes to a less nomadic lifestyle, the result has been an inevitable increase in conflict with wildlife. Coupled with that, the ongoing increase in livestock numbers exerts increasing pressure on natural habitats that support the dwindling prey base of the big cats .
How We Help:
AKTF, in partnership with the Maasai livestock owners, work hard to save predators in the Mara ecosystem by building predator-resistant livestock enclosures (bomas) that protect livestock from wildlife attacks. As of 2018, with support from National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative (NGBCI), Oracle, Eden Wildlife Trust, and other generous donors, we have installed approximately 800 fortified bomas with metal corners and eight-foot chainlink fence. The fences are supported by high tensile wire (a very sturdy type of wire that requires fewer posts and less wood from surrounding forests.) These modernized bomas have been 99% successful in protecting the livestock from big cats, hyenas, honey badgers and other predators.
AKTF aims to continue working with several conservancies in the Mara region by providing training and means to reduce conflict between humans and big cats. We do this through community meetings, workshops and films showing how the Maasai successfully co-exist with the predators.