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!
Hunting pressure on forest animals in Africa is on the increase
09.02.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Man-made underwater sound may have wider ecosystem effects than previously thought
05.02.2016 | University of Southampton
Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels
A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...
Indications of light-induced lossless electricity transmission in fullerenes contribute to the search for superconducting materials for practical applications.
Superconductors have long been confined to niche applications, due to the fact that the highest temperature at which even the best of these materials becomes...
Researchers at King’s College London and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom have for the first time demonstrated a direct link between the Wbp2 gene and progressive hearing loss. The scientists report that the loss of Wbp2 expression leads to progressive high-frequency hearing loss in mouse as well as in two clinical cases of children with deafness with no other obvious features. The results are published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.
The scientists have shown that hearing impairment is linked to hormonal signalling rather than to hair cell degeneration. Wbp2 is known as a transcriptional...
Pollens, the bane of allergy sufferers, could represent a boon for battery makers: Recent research has suggested their potential use as anodes in lithium-ion batteries.
"Our findings have demonstrated that renewable pollens could produce carbon architectures for anode applications in energy storage devices," said Vilas Pol, an...
Automobiles increase the mobility of their users. However, their maneuverability is pushed to the limit by cramped inner city conditions. Those who need to...
09.02.2016 | Event News
02.02.2016 | Event News
26.01.2016 | Event News
09.02.2016 | Event News
09.02.2016 | Materials Sciences
09.02.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering