Livestock, wildlife & other biodiversity in Kenya

Studies since 1995 of cattle and wild grazing animals on savanna rangeland in Laikipia, Kenya, have led to better understanding of competition and coexistence between these two groups of herbivores and how they affect biodiversity. By 2011 the research revealed, among other things, that: 1) the pastoral practice of keeping livestock overnight in corrals (“bomas”) produces long-lived nutrient hotspots preferred by both livestock and wild herbivores; 2) fire is valuable for improving grass quality, with benefits for both livestock and wild herbivores; 3) pastoral practices that reduce woody cover (e.g. burning, making bomas) create local habitat patches that are preferred by wild herbivores; and 4) despite competition between livestock and wild herbivores, coexistence between them can be managed and there are several positive interactions between livestock husbandry and wild herbivores and other biodiversity. The full paper “Lessons on the relationship between livestock husbandry and biodiversity from the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE)“ was published in Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice 2012, 2:10.

Posted on 25 December 2012 in Pastoralism & Natural Resources, Value of Pastoralism