BeeFencing & Lion Lights: Conservation Innovation!
Elephants are being killed at alarming rates for their ivory. Unfortunately, that’s not the only problem they face. Human-elephant conflict plays a major role in elephant deaths as well. As humans begin to cultivate lands once used by elephants for agriculture, it isn’t hard to image the confrontations that often arise.
Below are two very encouraging stories about people in Africa finding new ways to deal with human-animal conflict.
The first is a story of farmers in Western Uganda who have created beefences (method of haniging beehives to create a fence) to protect their croplands. Elephants naturally avoid contact with bees, therefore these beefences save the farmers fields from elephant destruction. The farmers do not lose their harvests nor do they have to attack the elephants, and they are able to harvest the bee honey for Malaika Honey with the support of the Volcano Safaris Partnership Trust, providing the farmers with an additional source of income through their bee-fences. Below is a video that the Omumashaka Beekeepers wrote and performed about the beefence.[youtube=http://youtu.be/WNOeTwCRLf4]
This second story is about a young 13-year-old boy, Richard Turere, in Kenya who devised a way to keep lions from attacking his families livestock. A method that does not entail killing the lion, and has 100% success rate for livestock protection! He noticed that the only times the lions didn’t go on nocturnal hunting raids for livestock was when someone was out walking with a flashlight. So he devised an automated lighting system powered by solar panels and old car battery the family used to operate their TV. The “lion lights” he created around the livestock would flash in sequence throughout the night, looking like someone was walking around the livestock with a light. His invention is working and now neighbors have asked for his “lion lights” as well. The Kenyan government is also supportive of this new invention.
Then invite five of your friends to do the same.
Together we can create a harmonious future for elephants and humans.