FORUM FOCUS 1604 - page 1

CONSERVATION INACTION
April 2016 IssueNo. 7
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Invasivespecies,
Opuntia
Pg2
TwigaTally results,
GGRupdate
Pg3
WorldClass focuson
Lewa
Pg4
MountKenyaTrust
Pg6
Livesof Laikipia
Pg8
INTHIS EDITION
L
aikipia has always been a
rangeland. For as long as
people can remember, the
plateauofLaikipiahas been a location
of low rainfall, abundant grasses,
livestock, andwildlife.
In previous editions of the Forum
Focus, we have presented LWF’s
efforts to rehabilitate grasslands in
parts of Laikipia through a seven-year
programme of Holistic Management
(HM). These efforts focused on the
group ranches of the Naibunga, Il
Ngewsi andLekurrukiConservancies.
The results of this work were
presented at last year’s LWF Annual
GeneralMeeting.
An evaluation of the holistic
management programme showed that
people had improved their knowledge
and attitude towards adoption of HM.
However, most felt that efforts to
manage group ranch rangelands last
year were a failure. Their struggles to
hold on to grass reserves and enforce
grazing plans were undermined by
livestock keepers and herders from
outside theCounty.
Residents of these group ranches
also believe they are worse off than
five years ago, despite efforts to
practiceHM.
ForumFocus has also presented the
importance of grass for inter-county
peace. In 2015, we had approximately
450,000 visiting livestock, and some
3,000 herders and their families visit
Laikipia. Fifty-two human deaths
resulted from conflicts over grass
and water in the County, much of it
unreported by themedia or officials.
So what’s the future of our
rangelands? 90% of Laikipia is “high
and dry” –mostly too dry or too high
for cultivation. 75%of the land isused
for ranching and livestock. 5% of this
totalofdry land isdedicated towildlife
tourism alone. Thus Laikipia’s future
is linked to the futureof its rangelands.
Ranching, livestock, and rangelands
members of LWF see the future of
Laikipia relying on 4 things:
TheFutureof Laikipia’s
Rangelands
One – Linking the rangeland
management efforts of Laikipia with
our county neighbours in Baringo,
Samburu, Isiolo, and Marsabit. We
have a responsibility to work with
neighbouring counties to address
rangelands and livestock across the
Ewaso and Baringo landscapes. We
can’t solveour rangelandmanagement
problems in Laikipia by isolating
ourselves. We must find ways of
working between counties so that the
approach to grass and water access
is part of a regional plan to keep
rangelands alive and healthy, and
people peaceful.
Two–GrazingPlans. For centuries,
pastoralistcommunities inKenyahave
used Laikipia as a dry-season grazing
reserve, and vice-versa. It wasn’t
so long ago that Laikipians (both
European and African) who suffered
from drought sought assistance from
their neighbours to the north. They
took cattle from Laikipia to greener
pastures in the lands nowbelonging to
the Samburu and Rendille. But right
now there is nothing but confusion
surroundingaccess, suchashowmuch
livestock can enter different sections
of the rangelands, who pays how
much for this access, and how water
and grass are shared. We must stop
this confusion, and bring common
sense, organisation, and clearly
defined rules into our rangelands. We
need people to respect community
grazing plans. We also need to
develop conservancy grazing plans
and county grazing plans that respect
larger areas of our rangelands. These
plans need to guide the distribution of
livestock and themovement of people
legally, effectively and safely over the
landscape.
Three – Holistic Management.
LWF believes that the future success
of our rangelands’ health lies within
us. By this we mean that the future
of our rangelands is within our hands
and our experience. We believe that
rangeland health can be revived using
local knowledge and techniques, and
that livestock and wildlife are part
of the solution, not the problem. The
cornerstones of holistic management
already exist in Laikipia and in our
rangelands system. We just need to
focuson themandmake themstronger.
Some ideas are:
Successful rangelands
management depends on strong
social institutions.We are stronger
andmore successful together than
as individuals, thuswemust come
together.
Our rangelands require us to
restore soil health and increase
MzeeOleNomboyo of Ilpolei
claims that communities can
easily succeedwith their planned
grazing so long as they arewell
informed and arewell aware of
what is happenin
g.
Ilngwesi senior grazing
management committeemember
and supervisor,
Mr. OleTunkai says holistic
management is the best practice
hehas ever seen.
He advises people to standfirm
and fulfil what theyhave been
tasked to do. Leadership roles are
always accompanied by criticism,
so, take afirm stand!
Continued on page 3
Predic'ons
1.
Higherdensityandqualityoftreesonconservancieswillsupportmore
giraffes.
2.
Moreinfantsandjuvenileswillbefoundongroupranchesbecauseof
lowerpredatorpressure.
Conservancies
¥
Fewlivestock
¥
Treesabundant
Groupranches
¥
Lotsoflivestock
¥
Treescut
Ques'ons
Whichlandscapehasmoregiraffes?Whichhasmoreinfantsandjuveniles?
LandscapeFeatures
Thanksto:
Group Ranches
Conservancy
LearnMore:
IBEIS.org
KidsTwigaTally!
TheKidsTwigaTallyisthefirstOmethatagiraffecensushaseverbeencountedbyprimaryschoolchildren.70childrenfrom8urbanandruralschools
inNairobiandLaikipiaphotographedpopulaOonsofreOculatedgiraffesonconservanciesandpastoralistgroupranches.Theytook1339photosthat
wereenteredintoImageBasedEcologyInformaOonSystem(IBEIS)soXwaretodeterminehowmanyuniqueindividualgiraffeswerepresent.A‘sight-
resight’analysisofthesephotographsshowedthattherewere376giraffesontheconservancyand80onthegroupranch.Thesizesandsexesof
giraffesinthesephotosalsodeterminedgroupcomposiOon.EngagingstudentsteachesthemaboutwildliferesearchandconservaOon.
-Lotsofgreen,densetrees
-9.2giraffes/Km
2
-MorePredators->23%young
-Fewerbrown,leaflesstrees
-2.0giraffes/Km
2
-FewerPredators->43%young
ParticipatingSchools:
BrookhouseSchool
KiberaSchool forGirls
KimanjoPrimary
MpalaAcademy
NdururiPrimary
Ng'aboloPrimary
Ol JogiPrimary
St.Christopher's,Nanyuki
Forcenturies, pastoralist peoplesof KenyahaveusedLaikipiaasadry-seasongrazing reserve
Ilngwesi grazingmanagement
Supervisor,Mr. Siparo
Kinyaga believes thatHolistic
Management practice is neither
easynor difficult but totally
depends how one prepares one’s
heart for the job.He thinks people
must avoid politicking amongst
each other.He encourages
people to share information and
decisions on grazing plans, and
be tolerant of one another.
1 2,3,4,5,6,7,8
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