Individual study: Effectiveness of LED lights on bomas in protecting livestock from predation in southern Kenya
Okemwa B., Gichuki N., Virani M., Kanya J., Kinyamario J. & Santangeli A. (2018) Effectiveness of LED lights on bomas in protecting livestock from predation in southern Kenya. Conservation Evidence, 15, 39-42
Various interventions have been employed to mitigate livestock predation by lions and other carnivores. Livestock owners have typically employed lethal and/or non-lethal measures with varied successes and failures. Resolving the human-carnivore conflict is key to the survival of carnivores and ensuring local livelihoods and safety. Here we assess the effectiveness of placing LED lighting systems at bomas (livestock enclosures) in order to deter predator attacks at night in two group ranches surrounding Amboseli National Park, southern Kenya. Both the number of predatory attacks and the number of livestock killed were significantly lower after the LED lighting system was installed, compared to the period before the LED system was installed for the same boma, or compared to control bomas without LEDs. LED lights reduced the number of attacks on livestock in bomas by almost threefold, and reduced the number of livestock killed by over four times compared to the levels recorded before the LED lights were installed. The results provide clear evidence that the LED system, as installed at bomas in the study regions, was an effective means of reducing night-time predation on livestock, at least in the short term (six months) during which effectiveness was monitored.