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The population of wild animals in the Masai Mara National Reserve has dramatically decreased

2009.07.08 Miracle Lilio

The population of wild animals in the internationally renowned Masai Mara National Reserve located in the Kenyan Safari has decreased dramatically. According to the findings of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), between 1979 and 2002 the population of animals such as giraffe, warthog, impala, and topi fell by 50% or more. Most noticeably, the giraffe population within the reserve has decreased by 95%.

The decline in the wildlife population seems to be mainly attributable to the rapid growth in the number of the Masai settlements near the reserve. In the past, Masai were semi-nomadic and have traditionally lived in harmony with the wildlife. However, droughts, poaching, and the increase in Masai permanent settlements and livestock over the past few decades have greatly narrowed wildlife habitat and drastically depleted the grass they live off of. This has led to the sharp decrease in wildlife population. ILRI researchers are trying to develop and implement a scheme that would provide Masai living near the reserve revenue from renting the lodge within the reserve, so that the Masai would in return allow the wildlife to roam free even within their lands.

Thousands of years of history tell us that we can prevent the decline in East African wildlife population by improving way of Masai life and livestock grazing. So it is important for researchers, politicians, and the local community to come together to seek out a way for us to co-exist with the surrounding wildlife.

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Kenya (Africa

Miracle Lilio

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