New Protocol to Help Combat Human Wildlife Conflict in Kenya’s Mara Rangelands

©Photo: Jonathan Irish

Conservation International (CI) has supported wildlife conservancies in Kenya’s Mara rangelands to enhance monitoring of Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) linked to climate change to help reduce the heightening loss of wildlife, livestock and human lives.

Under a three-month capacity building program, CI and the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA) have developed a monitoring and evaluation protocol for HWC as more frequent and intense droughts and floods linked to climate change drive HWC in the Mara region.

“Elephants are the leading cause of HWC in the Mara Ecosystem. If we are able to predict spikes in HWC corresponding to climate impacts such as rainfall patterns and drought, we can help conservation managers adapt to and mitigate the impacts of conflict, thus conserving elephants and saving human lives,” says Matthew Lewis, Regional Director for Biodiversity and Wildlife Conservation at CI’s Africa Field Division.

MMWCA brings together 16 wildlife conservancies managing about 140,000 hectares of land in the Greater Mara rangelands. The area hosts the greatest annual migration of wildebeest and zebra in Africa, where more than 1.5 million animals move between Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve and Tanzania’s Serengeti National park as they follow the rains. It’s also home to the Maasai indigenous peoples who earn a living keeping livestock and conserving wildlife.