Big Life Foundation
Facebook icon twitter square red 64x Instagram Vimeo  DONATE

161106 1 1 Why Big Life Just Paid $34000 to 778 People

It was a marathon payout session of 13 hours that went well into the night. People came from far and wide, each one clutching the piece of paper that got them a place in the queue, each one there because of wild animals.

Day after day predators kill livestock in Amboseli. It’s infuriating for livestock owners, and the desire to kill in retaliation is strong and understandable. We’re seeing the results all over Africa, lions and other predator species in steep declines in areas where they conflict with humans. A situation that is no different from the fate of wolves in many countries of the northern hemisphere.

But things are different in Amboseli, where our local partners, the Lion Guardians, have documented a tripling of the local lion population. The obvious question is why?

One of the main reasons is pieces of paper, presented after a verification process, to any livestock owner following a livestock depredation. These claim forms are later exchanged for monetary compensation, but more importantly they is delivered to the person who has suffered the loss, at the time when they are most angry about it (and therefore most likely to kill in retaliation).

Payouts take place every two months only if no predator has been killed in retaliation during that period (in which case all claims for that area are nullified). The community pays 30% of the total compensation amount, and the most recent delay was while one community organised their contribution.

After a ten-month wait, the equivalent of approximately $34,280 was paid to 778 people for the death of 1148 animals over the period, an average of almost 4 livestock killed each day. The total economic loss was more than double that amount, but compensation trails market values and penalties are applied for livestock killed as a result of poor husbandry (i.e. livestock killed while unattended or lost) or bad livestock enclosures.

Despite all of these livestock deaths only one lion has been killed across this 400,000-acre area so far this year, and in this case a fine was paid by the community according to the compensation agreement.

The success of the Big Life compensation program demonstrates that while the desire to kill is strong, economic incentives are stronger. We cannot expect people to simply grin and bear the significant economic losses to predators. Compensation is a simple, efficient, and targeted solution to address the problem.

Share This
 
80% to 100% of Proceeds go to Big Life
January 22, 2018

THE FACES OF CONSERVATION SUCCESS

We’re excited to share some good news: the recent addition of seven cubs to one of the lion prides that once again roams the Chyulu Hills. 15 years ago, the last known lion pride in the Chyulu Hills was staring down the… Read More
Rest in peace Jagged Ear
December 21, 2017

REST IN PEACE, JAGGED EAR

It hurts to lose a friend, particularly one that has been around for so long. He lived through the ivory crisis of the 1980’s, and he just about lived through this one. We don’t know how it happened, only that he was… Read More
poachers strike with a silent weapon
December 10, 2017

POACHERS STRIKE WITH A SILENT WEAPON

It’s hard to hide a dead elephant. And it’s not common to have reason to, unless you’ve killed it of course. The poachers were professionals, they knew that the Big Life informer network would quickly report the… Read More
An Update Fron Our Director
October 31, 2017

AN UPDATE FROM OUR DIRECTOR (Q3 2017)

The end of the dry season is always a tense time for both people and wildlife, everything is in short supply, which manifests itself in many different ways. Hungry wildlife push the boundaries leaving safe areas in… Read More
A Maasai in Jackson Hole
October 22, 2017

A MAASAI IN JACKSON HOLE

By Daniel ole Sambu A few weeks ago, I was privileged to represent Big Life at the Jackson Hole WILD and Conservation Summit. It’s not your typical conference. Rather than focusing on PowerPoint presentations, Jackson… Read More
Protecting a Prehistoric Tank
September 22, 2017

PROTECTING A PREHISTORIC TANK

It’s been two years and 3 days since we lost Bahati, the young rhino that died after an epic effort to save his life after he was trapped in a snare. It was a terrible moment, but one that motivated us further in our… Read More
Keeping Tim Out Of Trouble: One Year On
September 20, 2017

KEEPING TIM OUT OF TROUBLE: ONE YEAR ON

It’s been one year since Big Life worked with Kenya Wildlife Service, WildlifeDirect, Save the Elephants and Amboseli Trust for Elephants to collar Tim, the beautiful Amboseli tusker and frequent crop-raider. Since then… Read More