Painted wolf – 25,000 points! 

We were excited to read the latest from the Ruaha Carnivore Project.

Forming part of the mighty Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhesi ecosystem, Ruaha National Park is not only the largest park in Tanzania but the largest park in East Africa. Its plains are a predator’s paradise. Ruaha is home to 10% of the world’s lions and has the third-largest painted wolf population in the world. 

The Ruaha Carnivore Project has spearheaded an incredible community-run camera-trapping programme to gain insight into the lives of lion, leopard, spotted hyena and painted wolves, and to increase tolerance amongst rural villagers who live alongside them.

Communities compete against one another using the photographs they collect from their camera traps. Each quarter they stand a chance to win medical, schooling and veterinary supplies based on the number and types of species they photograph. 

Being the most endangered, the painted wolf is a whopping 25,000 points, whereas a lion is 15,000. In this area, it is the spotted hyena that is the biggest headache for villagers as they kill the most livestock. Fortunately, painted wolves, despite being the most successful predator in Africa, are not the main culprits in Ruaha.

Because they travel in packs, however, villages often rack up the points when painted wolves pass through. Points are redeemable for required development inputs in villages, such as boreholes, or building materials for schools and clinics.

 Ruaha Carnivore Projects host the first Carnivore Carnival 

Inspired by the Niassa Carnivore Project, the Ruaha Carnivore Project hosted the Carnivore Carnival, the first of many. Seventeen villages participated in a day of fun and safari. Games included tug-of-war, spear throwing, dancing and soccer. 

Testing of the first canvass bomas in East Africa.

This quarter has seen a lot of firsts – the first carnival and the first mobile canvass bomas have been tested in East Africa

Taking inspiration from the SITAB Conservation Trust’s Hwange Lion Research Project, the team built the first-ever ‘predator deflecting’ canvass boma in Tanzania. Predators like lions, cannot see through the white canvas and are therefore less likely to attack the cattle inside. A bonus, noted a pastoralist, is that the bomas protect the livestock from the wind too. 

Read more from the Ruaha Carnivore Project HERE.