Urban expansion has devastated once-rich wildlife populations in lands south of Nairobi, Kenya
Article / Biodiversity / East Africa / Environment / ILRI / Kenya / Pastoralism / Policy / Rangelands / Wildlife

Urban expansion has devastated once-rich wildlife populations in lands south of Nairobi, Kenya

The Athi-Kaputiei ecosystem covers about 2,200 square kilometres of Kenya’s Kajiado County, south of Nairobi. It is also home to Nairobi National Park—the world’s only game reserve within a major city. The ecosystem has experienced some dramatic changes since the late 19th century. The accounts of early writers paint a picture of a spectacular ecosystem teeming with diverse resident and migratory wildlife. Records describe abundant wildebeest that migrated seasonally with other wildlife species, livestock and pastoralists. In a recently published study my colleagues and I examined the impact of land fragmentation in the Athi-Kaputiei ecosystem between 1977 and 2014. Our study shows that urbanisation and development has put the ecosystem in distress. It has fragmented the landscape which has reduced the ability of animals to migrate as they used to. The result is that their numbers have plummeted. Continue reading

Lions and people and livestock (‘Oh, my!’): New research shows they can coexist within community conservancies
Article / Biodiversity / East Africa / Environment / Kenya / Pastoralism / Policy / Rangelands / Wildlife

Lions and people and livestock (‘Oh, my!’): New research shows they can coexist within community conservancies

Humans and lions can coexist through the creation of community conservancies—privately protected areas that engage local people in conservation and ecotourism. These conservancies can help stem the unrelenting loss of lions, whose population has been in decline across Africa, and pose a viable solution to an old problem. Continue reading