The death of a cow, goat, or sheep represents a serious loss for rural people, who may kill wild predators in retaliation. We designed Living Walls as a win-win solution for people and nature.
Due to habitat loss and a decrease in their natural prey, large carnivores live closer to humans than ever before. As a result, they often turn to the livestock of local herders for an easy meal.
To reduce this type of human-wildlife conflict, African People & Wildlife (APW) partners with communities to build Living Walls – environmentally-friendly corrals that keep livestock safe.
What are Living Walls?
Designed hand-in-hand with local people, Living Walls are in high demand across northern Tanzania. Local involvement is strong, with individual owners contributing 25 percent of the cost. APW’s Warriors for Wildlife team monitors Living Wall conditions to ensure that the structures remain effective over time.
A recent study shows that people who own Living Walls are more likely to be positive and optimistic about coexisting with large carnivores. To date, more than 1,600 Living Walls positively impact more than 18,000 people and keep more than 250,000 livestock safe every night. Living Walls have led to the planting of more than 214,000 living Commiphora, or similar, trees.
Benefits of Living Walls
- Protect livestock from attack
- Prevent the retaliatory killing of wildlife
- Uplift livelihoods
- Improve local attitudes toward large carnivores
- Contribute to habitat preservation
- Demonstrate the value of shared knowledge
- Exhibit culturally appropriate solutions
Learn how a Living Wall has improved the life of a Maasai herder and his family.
Building a Living Wall
Community members harvest limbs of living Commiphora trees.
With help from African People & Wildlife, community members plant the trees in a circle and dig a furrow around the perimeter.
Together, we ground the chain-link fencing in the furrow and wrap it around the trees.
Finally, we secure the chain-link fencing to the trees. The trees continue to grow and add height to the wall.
Our Living Walls are 99.9 percent successful in preventing attacks on livestock, which results in fewer retaliatory lion killings. No lions have been killed at homesteads where Living Walls are installed.
Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, African People & Wildlife
Our programs positively impact thirty-five communities in six critical conservation landscapes across northern Tanzania.
Northern Tanzania Big Cats Conservation Initiative
APW helps to preserve some of Tanzania’s most threatened big cat populations.
Warriors for Wildlife
APW’s Warriors for Wildlife team provides rapid response to human-wildlife conflict events across thirty communities in northern Tanzania.