For hundreds of years young men from some ethnic groups in Tanzania, called “lion dancers” because they elaborately acted out their lion killing for spectators, were richly rewarded for killing lions that preyed on livestock and people. Now when a lion dancer shows up he might be called a rude name rather than receive a reward, according to a new UC Davis study.
Some villagers are snubbing the lion killers, calling them “fakers” and contemplating punishing them and those who continue to reward them, said Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, anthropology professor at UC Davis. That’s because the lion hunters are killing lions that are not a threat to people or livestock and live in a national park.
A Tanzanian lion dancer does the lion dance, which captures the adventures of the lion killer. (Adi Swami/photo)
This surprisingly rapid change in a long-standing cultural practice has positive implications for efforts to save lions, said Borgerhoff Mulder, lead author of “From avengers to hunters: Leveraging collective action for the conservation of endangered lions.” The paper was published in the May edition of the journal Biological Conservation.
Traditionally, after killing a predatory lion using only a spear and shield, the hunter would travel from village to village, perform the dance and be showered with gifts including livestock and even a night with young women in the village.
“This change in behavior offers an intriguing solution to the problem of illegal hunting insofar as the community is policing itself,” Borgerhoff Mulder said. “It is a real opportunity to work with a community that is changing its customs in a way compatible with a conservation goal.”
A change coming from within the community will also be more long-lasting than rules and regulations from the outside, she said.
The study interviewed 198 households with 73 reporting being visited 128 times by dancers between 2001 and 2010. The households rewarded 96 dancers (75 percent) and did not reward 33 (25 percent). Although most households are still rewarding the dancers, 96 percent stated that the nature of lion killing had changed, and 72 percent said that the young men were killing lions just to acquire wealth.
“The hunters are going deep into the national park, the border of which is 8 to 10 miles away,” Borgerhoff Mulder said. “People are saying they are cheats and are not going to give them gifts any longer. The community has found a reason for policing itself. This is a rare instance of wildlife conservation and community actions working in tandem.”
UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.
Jeffrey Day | Eurek Alert!
Analytical lamps monitor air pollution in cities
26.05.2015 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
Nordic forests under pressure
26.05.2015 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Many joining and cutting processes are possible only with lasers. New technologies make it possible to manufacture metal components with hollow structures that are significantly lighter and yet just as stable as solid components. In addition, lasers can be used to combine various lightweight construction materials and steels with each other. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen is presenting a range of such solutions at the LASER World of Photonics trade fair from June 22 to 25, 2015 in Munich, Germany, (Hall A3, Stand 121).
Lightweight construction materials are popular: aluminum is used in the bodywork of cars, for example, and aircraft fuselages already consist in large part of...
Using ultrashort laser pulses, scientists in Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have demonstrated the emission of extreme ultraviolet radiation from thin dielectric films and have investigated the underlying mechanisms.
In 1961, only shortly after the invention of the first laser, scientists exposed silicon dioxide crystals (also known as quartz) to an intense ruby laser to...
The only professorship in Germany to date, one master's programme, one laboratory with worldwide unique equipment and the corresponding research results: The University of Würzburg is leading in the field of biofabrication.
Paul Dalton is presently the only professor of biofabrication in Germany. About a year ago, the Australian researcher relocated to the Würzburg department for...
Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.
Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...
Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services
To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...
20.05.2015 | Event News
18.05.2015 | Event News
12.05.2015 | Event News
29.05.2015 | Life Sciences
29.05.2015 | Health and Medicine
29.05.2015 | Physics and Astronomy