The Ruaha Carnivore Project
The Ruaha Carnivore Project, part of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit WildCRU, aims to help develop effective conservation strategies for large carnivores in Tanzania’s remote Ruaha landscape. This vast, amazing wilderness includes Ruaha National Park, which is the largest Park in Tanzania and the second largest in the whole of Africa. It is one of the most important areas of the world for large carnivores, supporting around 10% of all the lions left in Africa, as well as globally important populations of African wild dogs, cheetahs, leopards and spotted hyaenas. Given the dramatic declines undergone by all these species – for instance lions have disappeared from over 80% of their range, and resident cheetah populations from over 90% of theirs – this is an extremely important area for remaining carnivore populations.
However, Ruaha’s crucially important carnivore populations have been very understudied, which hinders the development of effective conservation strategies. Even more importantly, they are also threatened by severe conflict with humans around the borders of the Park, which results in many carnivores being killed every year.
Working with Partners
The Ruaha Carnivore Project works with partners within Tanzania and across the world to do two things: (i) gather baseline data on carnivore numbers and ecology, in order to help develop appropriate conservation strategies, and (ii) work closely with local communities to effectively reduce human-carnivore conflict. This work will have vital benefits for both people and predators in this globally important landscape.