Anthropologist Kathleen A. Galvin and Robin Reid, director of the Center for Collaborative Conservation at Colorado State University, recently published a fascinating article in The Huffington Post about the growth of private conservancies in Kenya and the benefits that they’re bringing to wildlife and humans.
Unlike parks and reserves, which are managed by local governments and the Kenya Wildlife Service, conservancies are privately owned land set aside for conservation purposes. The land is usually owned cooperatively by local pastoralists or a nonprofit corporation, and they manage the land so that it can support both wild animals and grazing herds. Conservancies typically receive income for land and wildlife management through visitor fees and rent paid by lodges located on the land.
Conservancies are great conservation model because residents benefit in tangible ways from protecting wildlife. They are less likely to view wildlife as a hassle or as a threat to their livestock and prosperity. Instead of being pushed off of their land to make way for wild animals, they are able to stay in their homes and steward the land.
Interested in visiting or wildlife conservancy? There are over 200 in Kenya alone, and many more in other parts of Africa. The Mara North Conservancy in the Masai Mara region has proven to be a favorite destination among Ujuzi’s travelers to Kenya. Contact me for more information.