A Vulnerable Landscape
Kenya and Tanzania are home to a spectacular array of wildlife. Living closely alongside the animals like elephants, lions, leopards and wildebeest that roam these vast plains are the Maasai people. They have long been the guardians of the land, with most relying on livestock for their income.
In recent decades, pressures on this diverse landscape have increased. The changing climate has made rainfall increasingly unpredictable, and long periods of drought often lead to poor crop yields for farmers. People and wildlife are also being brought into closer contact. With habitats and resources reducing, animals sometimes venture close to human settlements in search of food. Elephants and lions are sometimes killed to prevent them raiding crops, damaging water tanks, or preying on livestock.
Reducing Human Wildlife Conflict
In the areas around the Maasai Mara National Park, we’ve been working with community managed conservancies to help both people and wildlife coexist and thrive. We have supported elephant and lion collaring, to track their movements and use this information to help understand and manage human wildlife conflict. Simple, innovative methods have proved effective in preventing attacks in livestock. Solar powered predator deterrent lights were installed on livestock enclosures, to keep lions away, and therefore help protect livestock and reduce retaliatory lion killings.
Another vital project included the building and restoration of water tanks in schools. Solar powered electric fences were installed around these schools to prevent elephants from entering and destroying the tanks. The new fenced off water tanks will help protect the community against the effects of drought whilst also preventing people from coming into closer contact with elephants.
Positive Impacts for all
Through strong local partnerships and community-driven conservation, we support the efforts of local people to keep landscapes healthy, benefit from conservation and continue to be guardians of wildlife for future generations. Together we’ve improved livelihoods, created healthier habitats and helped people and wildlife to coexist in ways that benefit both. Protecting these important landscapes is essential if we want to secure a future for the iconic species that call these lands home.