for the local farmers to save their cattle!
Reminds me of the reported use some time ago of pre-recorded tiger’s roar to drive stray elephants back in to the forests and save the crops from damage.
A British scientist Dr Neil Jordan believes if he can stop African lions killing farmers’ cattle, then farmers will stop killing the endangered lions. ‘Farmers currently have very few effective tools to prevent this devastating lion-livestock conflict. Unfortunately shooting or poisoning predators is not only used as a last resort, farmers often feel it is their only resort,’ Dr Jordan said.
The conservation biologist, who works with the University of New South Wales and Taronga Zoo in Sydney, is trialling his theory in the Okavango Delta in Botswana.
‘Lions are supreme ambush predators, they rely on stealth. When seen they lose this element of surprise and abandon their hunt,’ he said.
The idea is to trick the big cats into thinking they have been seen by drawing eyes on the back of the cows, so that they are intimidated and do not attack. The scientist has already carried out a small 3-month sample test of his theory, which gave promising results. ‘While 3 out of 39 unpainted cows were killed by lions, none of the 23 painted cows from the same herd were killed,’ he said.
Dr Jordan is now fundraising to be able to buy more of the equipment needed to carry out further tests. He hopes his idea will provide local farmers with a low-cost and non-lethal tool to reduce livestock losses without having to kill lions.
African lion populations are in decline throughout most of the continent. ‘In 1975 there was an estimated 250,000 lions in Africa, yet today the continent wide population stands at a mere 25 – 30,000 individuals. ‘This staggering 80-90 per cent decline combines with the fragmentation and isolation of those remaining sub-populations with little long-term viability,’ World Lion Day reports.
Source: dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3675414/British-scientist-stops-lions-hunting-cattle-Botswana-painting-faces-behinds.html dated 5 July 2016 vide sampspeak.in.