Effects of land use changes on herbivores of Masai Mara ecosystem

The Narok District has undergone rapid changes in land use patterns from nomadic pastoralism to a sedentary and farming lifestyle. In this study we describe wildlife and livestock numbers and past and present land-use patterns in three group ranches from 1975 to 1997. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of land-use changes on herbivore populations. Research methods included observation and interpretation of satellite imageries and aerial photographs, field checks, participant observation and secondary data. Results indicate that human settlement areas have increased significantly (χ² = 11.475, 3 df, p=0.001), while natural vegetation area has decreased insignificantly (χ²ᵣ = 0.2, 3 df, p = 0.777) between 1975 and 1997. Trend analysis indicated an increase in livestock numbers (601100 + 843 year; ꭇ² = 0.127; P=0.018), a decrease in wildlife numbers (953400-632 year; ꭇ² = 0.272; P = 0.036) and an overall increase in large herbivore numbers (155000+211 year; ꭇ² = 0.150; P=0.043). The information gained in this study can be used in the process of zoning the dispersal areas for different land uses. Also, if supported by a further study it can establish the optimum sustainable land use(s) around Masai Mara Reserve, that can assure the coexistence of man and wildlife.

Publish DateSeptember 4, 2023
Last UpdatedSeptember 4, 2023