A Maasai Warrior for Wildlife stands with a blue sky behind him

Warriors for Wildlife


Our Warriors for Wildlife team provides rapid response to human-wildlife conflict events across 77 rural communities in northern Tanzania.

Using the ArcGIS Online suite of apps and tools, more than 115 Warriors report from the field on livestock attacks, large carnivore presence, and Living Wall requests. ArcGIS data collection applications transmit the data from a smartphone app to a cloud-based server in real time, allowing African People & Wildlife (APW) staff to quickly determine human-wildlife conflict hotspots and direct field staff to areas where tensions are highest.

Who Are Warriors for Wildlife?

Because Warriors for Wildlife were born and raised where they work in northern Tanzania, these men and women understand the unique challenges faced by the local people. When a human-wildlife conflict event occurs, Warriors are often able to defuse the situation and prevent their fellow community members from retaliating against wild animals. They also work to change long-held negative perceptions about lions, elephants, and other wildlife, offering solutions and guidance for a peaceful coexistence.

Herd of elephants near the trees

Breaking the Cycle of Elephant Conflict

In the Ngorongoro landscape, there’s intense competition for shared resources as human activities expand and elephants search for food and water. To reduce tensions and promote coexistence, Warriors for Wildlife are trained in elephant behavior and proven interventions to address issues like crop raiding. The distribution of Human-Elephant Conflict Mitigation Kits in local villages is essential for success and includes strategies that do not harm wildlife:

  • 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

Responsibilities of Warriors for Wildlife

Defuse human-wildlife conflict events and educate local communities about the importance of conservation

Warriors for Wildlife defuse a potential human-wildlife conflict in Tanzania

Collect and analyze real-time data from the field

Warriors for Wildlife collecting data

Monitor the presence of big cats and elephants so that community members can keep their livestock and crops safe

Two Maasai warriors looking at the horizon with mapping tool

Locate lost livestock at pasture

Two Warriors for Wildlife using a GPS device after recovering livestock

I want to help people eliminate their fear of living with lions. I want them to understand that when lions are healthy, the ecosystem is in balance and the Maasai community is also healthy.

Elvis Kisimir, Human-Wildlife Conflict Program Officer


Impact Summary

Our programs positively impact 77 communities in 6 critical conservation landscapes across northern Tanzania.

Two lions sitting in the grass

Living Walls

Living Walls are environmentally friendly, predator-proof corrals that prevent retaliatory lion killings by keeping livestock safe.

Aerial view of a Maasai homestead with Living Walls

Northern Tanzania Big Cats Conservation Initiative

APW helps to preserve some of Tanzania’s most threatened big cat populations.

Pair of lion cubs in the grass