Hoboken Lecture 2019 - Money, Myths & Man-Eaters
On Wednesday 11 December 2019, the British Council, in partnership with Natural History Museum Rotterdam, The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and Codarts, presented the ninth Hoboken Lecture by British conservation biologist Dr Amy Dickman.
About the Lecture
Lions have disappeared from around 94% of their historic range and in the last twenty years their numbers have halved. There are now estimated to be fewer than 60 wild lion populations left, nearly half of which have less than 50 lions. The big cats are fading away before our eyes as we move towards an ever more crowded world in which they need a lot of space, and yet our fascination with these iconic beasts is not translating into effective conservation action.
Dr Amy Dickman established the Ruaha Carnivore Project in southern Tanzania in 2009, one of the most important areas in the world for lions, leopards and cheetahs. This remote landscape had been largely ignored by researchers but suffers the highest rate of lion killing documented in East Africa, as lions and other carnivores impose high costs on poverty-stricken local people. Amy and her Tanzanian team are researching the ecology of these vital populations and working to develop conservation plans and reduce human-carnivore conflict. The project focuses on reducing carnivore attacks on livestock, providing local communities with real benefits from carnivore presence, and training the next generation of local conservation leaders. It has been a challenging endeavour, given the remote location and the initial hostility of the secretive and little-known Barabaig tribe responsible for most lion killing. Amy will discuss the significance of this project, the difficulties of working in an area where witchcraft and mythology abound, and the conservation successes that are emerging from this important work.
About Dr Amy Dickman
Dr Amy Dickman is the Kaplan Senior Research Fellow in Wild Cat Conservation at Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU). She has worked in Africa for over 20 years specialising in human-carnivore conflict and community-based conservation. Working at the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia until 2005, she then moved to Tanzania where she studied for her MSc and PhD, establishing the Ruaha Carnivore Project in 2009. She is a member of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group, the IUCN Steering Committee on Human-Wildlife Conflict, the African Lion Working Group and is a National Geographic Explorer. Amy has published over 60 papers and book chapters on large carnivore ecology and conservation and received multiple awards for her work.