We are thrilled to announce that RCP’s Director, Amy Dickman, has been named as one of three international finalists for the prestigious Tusk Conservation Award! This awardrecognises individuals who have undertaken outstanding, inspirational conservation work throughout Africa, and will be presented by Prince William at an Awards Ceremony in London on November 25th. The finalists have also been invited to have afternoon tea with Prince William the day before the event, which will be a great opportunity to talk about the importance of large carnivore conservation in Ruaha.
Even if Amy isn’t the eventual winner, being a finalist generates invaluable attention for the Ruaha Carnivore Project – RCP’s work has already been highlighted in the Telegraph newspaper, and a short film about the project will be shown at the ceremony. We are all extremely excited about this, and have our fingers crossed for the 25th!
Updates from September and October are now available online. In this issue, read about RCP Director Amy Dickman’s nomination for the prestigious Tusk Conservation Award! Other featured stories in this update include dangers of life in the brush, more information on livestock guarding dogs, Lion Guardian park trips, and more! Download the September & October 2014 Project Update
Project updates from August are now available online. This issue features coverage of the Lion Guardian Games from the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. You can also read about a new school joining the Kids 4 Cats programme, carnivore sightings and more! Download the August 2014 Project Update
Project updates from July are now available online. This update features some publicity from Africa Geographic and Cincinnati Zoo. In this issue, you can also read about our DVD night (with record attendance!), health management practices of the livestock guarding dogs, and more! Download the July 2014 Project Report
Project updates from June are now available online. This issue covers a special visit from Paul Funston, Panthera’s lion expert and a visit from representatives of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Also included is a summary of the Ruaha Roundtable, challenges for the livestock guarding dog programme, and more. Download the June 2014 Project Update
Project updates from May are now available online. In this update, you can read about livestock guarding dogs (LSGDs), redesigning bomas, Simba Scholars, and more! Download the May 2014 Project Update
Take a look at our project updates from April. Read about the Lion Guardians, Simba Scholar selections, and see some great camera trap pictures! Download the Project Update from April 2014
The Ruaha Carnivore Project’s 2013 annual report is now available online! Read about our focuses of 2013 and the progress that was made throughout the year. Download the 2013 Annual Report
Mongabay.com, the popular website that focuses on environmental and conservation issues, has published an in-depth interview with Dr. Amy Dickman about the Ruaha Carnivore Project’s work in the Ruaha landscape of southern Tanzania. Read the interview at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0910-hance-dickman-ruaha.html.
We are thrilled to announce that RCP’s Community Liaison Officer, Ayubu Msago, has been selected as one of the Disney Conservation Heroes for 2013! Msago truly deserves this honour – he has dedicated his whole career to wildlife conservation and has made huge positive impacts on both people and wildlife.
In 2009, Msago was part of the small team that started RCP under very difficult conditions – there were only 3 people living in small tents in a very remote wilderness area, and the local tribe, the Barabaig, were extremely secretive and hostile. Msago worked tirelessly to build a field camp for the project and spent years patiently trying to build relationships with the Barabaig, who were killing an extremely high number of lions, usually in response to attacks upon livestock. One night, a young Barabaig girl went missing, and Msago helped organize a search party for her and searched for 3 days till she was found, very dehydrated but alive, in the bush. This helped him bond with the fearsome Barabaig warriors, and enabled him to become the first outsider that they accepted and were willing to work with.
Msago also hashelped villagers protect their livestock from carnivores by constructing more than 50 predator-proof corrals, and not a single head of livestock has been lost in one of these enclosures. Msago works tirelessly to help villagers prevent carnivore attacks, and even heroically saved the life of a villager who was being attacked by a lion, at extreme risk to his own life. With only one bullet left in his gun, he chose to protect the villager rather than save a bullet in case it was needed in self-defence, and chased the lion off by shooting over her head.
Long-term conservation depends upon local people seeing real benefits from conservation, so Msago has also worked endlessly to develop meaningful community benefit initiatives. He worked with the national government to equip a healthcare clinic, helped establish secondary school scholarships for pastoralist children and developed a program to link village schools with international schools. He is endlessly passionate about conservation – he conducts wildlife DVD nights in local villages, which have engaged over 10,000 people so far, and has taken hundreds of warriors, women and schoolchildren on educational visits to the nearby National Park. Living in a small, remote tent, hundreds of miles from his wife and children, Msago is making a huge difference to the conservation of over a tenth of the world’s remaining lions, while also helping local communities see real benefits from carnivore presence. His dedication, passion and patience have played a huge role in RCP’s success – lion killings have declined in the core study area by 70%, and that could never have been achieved without Msago – he truly is a conservation hero and we are thrilled that he has received this international recognition.
In her next visit to the United States in late March/early April, Dr. Amy Dickman, Director of the Ruaha Carnivore Project, has public talks scheduled in Des Moines, Iowa, and Houston, Texas.
Amy will be speaking at Des Moines’ Blank Park Zoo on March 28 as part of the zoo’s 2013 Conservation Series. A social lasting from 6:00 p.m. will be followed by Amy’s presentation at 7:00. Tickets are $15 for zoo members and $20 for nonmembers and can be purchased here.
On April 9, Amy will speak at the Houston Zoo as part of its Call of the Wild series. The Houston Zoo’s Brown Education Center Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and Amy’s presentation will begin at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $12 for nonmembers and $10 for members. Click here to purchase tickets for the event.
Please revisit this page as additional public events will be added as they are confirmed.
In late February 2013, the Ruaha Carnivore Project (RCP) launched a subsidised veterinary medicine programme that provides high-quality medicines to Ruaha-area pastoralists at a subsidised cost. The programme is in response to a survey of local villagers conducted by RCP, asking what benefits they would most appreciate from carnivore presence.
The medicines are available to people who have worked with RCP to fence their bomas (livestock enclosures), to reward those who have invested in predator-proofing and to encourage others to follow suit. And, because the majority of livestock loss in this area is due to illness and injury, not wildlife depredation, the medicines will help villagers reduce losses to disease, thereby improving their economic security.
We are grateful to the American Zoos and Aquariums Conservation Endowment Fund for helping us purchase and distribute the medicine.