Herders & wildlife conservation in Laikipia, Kenya

Pastoral systems have long overlapped with wildlife in African rangelands. With growing recognition of the importance of wildlife outside of protected areas, conservation efforts focus increasingly on combining wildlife and livestock keeping, often involving pastoralists. The article “Herders and herdsmen: the remaking of pastoral livelihoods in Laikipia, Kenya” (2017, 11pp, published in Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice) examines how livestock and wildlife co-exist outside protected areas in Laikipia County, Kenya, through conservation activities by private landowners and pastoral group ranches. Based on interviews, surveys and participant observation, the article shows how powerful landowners involved in commercial ranching combined with wildlife conservation are using Laikipia pastoralists as hired herders. This has caused many pastoralists to shift from own livestock ownership to caring for livestock belonging to others, and has substantial implications for local livelihoods.

Posted on 24 June 2017 in Pastoralist Livelihoods & Nutrition