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Between Marsabit National Park in Northern Kenya and Meru National Park in Central Kenya lies a historic migration route critical to the country’s emblematic and threatened species. Endangered African Wild Dogs, Grevy’s Zebra and Beisa Oryx all use the corridor, as do Vulnerable African Elephants and Lions. But this swath of savanna and shrubland is under increasing pressure from unsustainable resource use. As a result, habitat fragmentation and human-wildlife conflict threaten to disrupt the movement of key species across the landscape.
Community conservancies promote human-wildlife coexistence and are creating an expanding mosaic of protected areas across northern Kenya. Rainforest Trust and local partner Northern Rangelands Trust seek $1,855,829 to establish four new community conservancies to secure the connection between Marsabit National Park and Meru National Park. Comprising a total of 3.2 million acres, the conservancies will operate in collaboration with local communities, provide economic opportunities, reduce human-wildlife conflict and ensure sustainable habitat management.
*Carbon Storage figures represent estimated metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents stored in above-ground live woody biomass at the project site, as converted from Aboveground Live Woody Biomass Density data provided by the Woods Hole Research Center through climate.globalforestwatch.org.
Black Rhinoceros (CR), African Wild Dog (EN), Grevy’s Zebra (EN), Beisa Oryx (EN)
Savanna and shrubland
Habitat fragmentation and degradation, wildlife poaching, conflict over resources
Northern Rangelands Trust
Price per Acre:
Carbon Stored (metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents)*:
Shrubland and savanna make up most of the rangelands of northern Kenya and provide habitat for iconic, threatened herbivores like African Elephants, Black Rhinoceros, Grevy’s Zebra and Beisa Oryx.
Predators in the Marsabit-Meru Corridor include African Wild Dogs, Lions, Cheetahs and Leopards, all of which the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists as threatened worldwide. These species rely on vast ranges, which often causes conflict between humans and wildlife where those ranges intersect with communities. But Kenya’s wild habitats are already shrinking due to encroachment from human development, leaving migratory routes fragmented and making it harder for these species to move around the landscape. So as the region’s communities continue to grow, involving them in conservation and environmental stewardship becomes even more important.
The most significant threats to wildlife are habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, wildlife poaching and conflict over resources shared by both humans and wildlife.
These issues have led to significant declines in wildlife populations over the past 50 years. But unsustainable grazing and agriculture continue to expand, leaving little suitable habitat for wildlife outside of formally protected areas. This reality puts wildlife in close proximity to human settlements, causing more conflict where farmland and wildlife corridors meet. In the future, these threats are only expected to increase due to changing lifestyles in local communities, continued poaching and growing pressure on already scarce resources.
The communities living in the proposed conservancies are mainly pastoralists, with approximately 20,000 people moving throughout the Marsabit Meru corridor seasonally.
As conservancies expand across the region, communities continue to request assistance from Northern Rangelands Trust to manage their land under this model. These conservancies are entirely community-owned and managed by locally elected boards. Conservancies bridge the gap between conservation and community needs, promoting sustainable resource use and environmental stewardship. All community members are involved in conservancy management, regardless of gender, age or ethnicity, which helps ensure that these benefits have equitable distribution.
Thanks to the generous support of our Board members and other supporters who cover all of our operating expenses, Rainforest Trust is able to allocate 100% of donations to conservation action. No board member receives financial benefit and our staff salaries are modest.
Rainforest Trust is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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