Within the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem, the Ngorongoro region is made up of rich ecosystems ranging from grasslands to forests. Fertile soils attract growing numbers of farmers along the edges – making the landscape a hotspot of biodiversity and human-wildlife conflict.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, spanning 8,292 km2, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to incredible mammal diversity, including lions, wildebeests, and a significant population of African elephants. Our work here focuses on building the capacity of communities and authorities to promote coexistence with wildlife in balance with local livelihoods.
Working together, we can urgently address human-elephant conflict in and around the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to safeguard both the survival of these magnificent animals and improve the livelihoods of local communities.
Donatus Gadiye, NCAA Elephant Monitoring Coordinator
On the Ground in the Greater Serengeti
Taking on an Elephant-Sized Challenge
Elephant populations in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) have fluctuated over the years during poaching outbreaks. While conservation efforts have been successful, new threats are creating tensions in the villages that surround protected lands. Now, in addition to poaching, elephant habitat is threatened by human settlements and farming activities, competition for grazing and water resources, and growing demands for tourist infrastructure.
To ensure a sustainable future for the NCA, it is vital to promote coexistence between people and elephants. Our team is on the ground working within local communities in partnership with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA).
Supporting Local Institutions
The first line of defense for elephants in the region is the support of rapid response coexistence teams. The NCAA and district government are using APW’s approach to community engagement to build relationships with the coexistence teams and villagers who have experienced crop raiding by elephants and other wildlife. They will work to mitigate human-elephant conflict while reducing illegal activities such as placing snares on the landscape.
By combining community outreach with proactive wildlife protection in the Greater Serengeti, we will be able to better monitor elephant populations and prevent future conflicts.
Promoting Wildlife Coexistence
Our Warriors for Wildlife (W4W) program has expanded to the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem! Working together with rapid response teams, W4W bring a unique skill set that helps prevent retaliation against elephants and wild animals following a conflict event. These locally-based human-elephant coexistence officers are trained in effective conflict interventions, ranging from education and specialty fencing to water tank protection and conservation agriculture.
The W4W network is also equipped with state-of-the-art technology that allows for mobile data collection of elephant movements and conflicts, offering new insights into wildlife corridors where further protection is needed.
Take Action for Elephants & People in Ngorongoro
For Warriors for Wildlife in and around the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the distribution of Human-Elephant Conflict Mitigation Kits is essential for success. Each kit builds on interventions that local people are using, like noisemakers and fires, and includes tools and techniques that enable farmers to protect their crops without putting elephants at risk:
- High-powered flashlights that serve as early warning systems in the night
- Chili bombs, which use smell and sound deterrents to scare elephants away
- Fireworks to chase elephants away from an area with sound and light