Ol Kinyei Conservancy Shortlisted as Protected Area
Thursday, 24 September 2015
The Ol Kinyei conservancy in the Mara ecosystem in Africa, where Oxford Brookes’ Spatial Ecology and Landuse Unit (SELU) has been working to monitor and model the response of the landscape to the expansion of the conservancy, has been shortlisted to be included on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Green List of Protected Areas. At present there are only two IUCN Green List Protected Areas in Africa.
Ol Kinyei conservancy was formed in 2005 through a partnership between local community landowners and a wildlife tourism company. It was the first conservancy in the Mara ecosystem, with an area of over 8,000 acres originally set aside by the community for wildlife, in exchange for a land-lease agreement which regulates livestock grazing.
After it was expanded in 2012 to 17,500 acres, the SELU became involved, working to assess change in wildlife distribution patterns and overall abundance as a result of the reduction/removal of cattle.
Preliminary data indicates that for many herbivore species there has been a very positive response to the creation of the conservancy, with several species showing considerable range expansion and population growth. In tandem with the herbivore increase there has been a substantial uplift in the resident carnivore population. This is good news all round - more wildlife to view for the visitors to the conservancy, an ecosystem beginning to resemble its former self and local communities benefitting directly from wildlife tourism.
IUCN “Green Listing” allows conservancies to be used as a demonstration for the potential for successful Protected Area management to policy makers, funders, investors and the public.
More information about the IUCN is available on their website.