In East Africa, an estimated 70% of wildlife populations are dispersed outside protected areas on community land. The way of life of the pastoralists, essentially support the thriving of wildlife. However, pastoralism is slowly transiting to more sedentary forms of livestock production. The region‘s wildlife populations future now largely depends on the conservation of habitats and migratory corridors on private and communally owned lands with competing land uses. Community wildlife conservancies are one of the approaches of decentralizing wildlife management and curbing biodiversity and habitat loss at the livestock-wildlife interface environments. Further, conservancies present an avenue for restoration of degraded grazing lands and improving pastoral livelihoods. This paper reviews the community-based conservation unfolding in northern Kenya using the case of Naibung’a Wildlife Conservancy in Laikipia County. Conservancies through land zoning and range rehabilitation have contributed to improved security of wildlife, people and their livestock. Conservancies’ success depends on continued investment in vegetation recovery, grazing management, livestock marketing and benefit sharing. The perceived threats facing conservancies are pasture scarcity, cattle rustling and human-wildlife conflicts. Conservation objectives and human livelihoods in Africa are closely interlinked and lessons learnt in Naibung’a Wildlife Conservancy could particularly be useful to other similar initiatives in Africa.
Part of the book: Wildlife Management