Laikipia Pastoralist and Wildlife Situation

Thursday 09 February 2017

Drought conditions and expanding human populations place pressure on Lakipia landscape

Some conservancies have been affected by these tensions

Ol Pejeta Conservancy remains unaffected and a safe place to experience Kenya's wildlife

Drought driven tensions in Kenya between semi-nomadic pastoralists, conservations and landowners recently resulted in severe pressure on the biodiverse Laikipia landscape. In a desperate search for pastures and water, parts of the landscape were deluged with thousands of head of cattle, displacing wildlife and throwing years of cooperative livestock/wildlife conservation programmes into some disarray.

The future for the rhino, elephant and other endangered wildlife in Africa now hangs in the balance. Whatever precipitated the recent tensions - the unfettered increase in livestock, the current drought, political incitement – it is clear that human population growth is creating more and more pressure on land and wildlife habitat with potentially dire consequences for wildlife right across the continent.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya is the model for change. It is home to the largest black rhino population in East Africa and sanctuary for the world’s last three northern white rhino. Good management, communication and strong community relationships has helped Ol Pejeta weather the storm. Apart from operating a technologically sophisticated security system to ensure the safety of wildlife, they have also proved that an integrated system of wildlife and livestock grazing brings community and conservation closer together, while also benefiting the grasslands and landscape too. In defence of their livelihoods, community involvement becomes a forceful deterrent.

Helping rhinos is proud to partner with such an innovative and forward thinking organisation as Ol Pejeta Conservacny.