discussion / Human-Wildlife Conflict  / 29 February 2024

Lion Deterrence

Hello! We are a group of students at UC Berkeley working to design a lion deterrence system that is more affordable and cost-effective for community livestock protection and human-wildlife coexistence in rural Zimbabwe. The main solutions we are considering are the use of artificial eye spots to trick lions and solar-powered LED lights. We are hoping to connect with anyone in this field who can give us any advice or suggestions. 

maybe not very helpful and techy stuff, but indeed interesting to prevent livestock predation if you haven't seen one


Hi @rokshanabushra 

So are you looking to replicate something like this?


This is, in principle at least, fairly simple, as it's really just some red LEDs and a small solar-battery power system. You could buy one of the commercial options and do a teardown (or I can do it if you like, as I'd be interested to find out exactly what they are doing). 

In lieu of that, I suspect a light-dependent resistor is probably used to control the lights coming on at night (i.e. something along these lines: https://www.instructables.com/How-to-Make-LDR-Darkness-Sensor-Circuit-Simple-DIY/).

If you employ some sort of 'blink' or flashing protocol (you could use a 555 timer to keep the costs down), you could save quite a bit of power (compared to running the lights constantly). For example, something along these lines: https://www.instructables.com/Adjustable-SingleDual-LED-Flasher-Using-555-Timer-/ You could also add a PIR motion sensor so it only comes on when nearby motion is detected, but of course the costs of building goes up. 

There are also a few off-the-shelf flasher designs that might be cheap enough already to consider (e.g. https://www.ledsales.com.au/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=142_143&products_id=2820). This seems like a reasonably good option for low power, although I have no idea how well it actually works...You can also buy LEDs that flash by themselves (e.g. https://www.ledsales.com.au/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=148_152_159&products_id=2951).

If you think sounds might also help (e.g. human noises etc.), check out the Boombox from Freaklabs: https://freaklabs.org/technology/boombox/ and it should be possible to add 'eyes' in the form of reflectors, or, some kind of LEDs that activate at the same time as the sound. You could contact Akiba or Jacinta about it as I am sure they'd help if they can: https://freaklabs.org/about/#:~:text=providers%20including%20ARGOS.-,the%20team,-Chris%20%E2%80%98Akiba%E2%80%99%20Wang

Anyway, happy to help if I can and all the best for the project.