Kenya Wildlife Trust
HQ: Nairobi, kenya
As Kenya’s principal predator conservation trust, we are focused on creating sustainable predator populations. Through tried and tested methods, we want to ensure that lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and wild dogs not only survive, but thrive. Since 2007, we have been raising money to help protect these iconic species and the landscapes that make Kenya truly unique.
Kenya Wildlife Trust was established in 2007 by leaders in the Kenyan safari industry, with the principle aim of strengthening the connection between conservation and tourism.
Over the past decade, we have developed our way of thinking and working. Today, we work with a portfolio of outstanding conservation initiatives in Kenya’s key wildlife areas. Since 2013, our flagship Mara Predator Conservation Programme has focused on protecting the cheetah and lion populations of Kenya’s iconic Maasai Mara.
As Kenya’s principal predator conservation trust, we understand our country’s most critical conservation needs and we can create tangible, strategic links between wildlife research, monitoring and effective conservation.
Through our grant-making portfolio, we are committed to funding conservation initiatives (and future conservation leaders) from three of Kenya’s most important wildlife areas - the Greater Mara, Laikipia / Samburu and Amboseli / Tsavo.
Right now, Kenya’s predators are in trouble. Our lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and wild dogs are facing more threats than ever before, such as loss of habitat, ecosystems under huge pressure and life-threatening conflict with humans. A growing population, changes in land use and unprecedented levels of sub-division have all led to growing settlements and a significant rise in fences.
In the Maasai Mara, fences are one of the biggest threats facing wildlife, limiting the space and movement that our big cats and other species need to survive and thrive. Work commissioned by our partner the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA) in Pardamat Conservation Area showed that as land sales increased around Pardamat, so did the number of fences, demonstrating a direct relationship between fencing and privatisation of land following subdivision. A comparison of total area under fencing over a period of two years (2014 and 2015) showed the number of fences increased in number from 113 (in 2014) to 628 (in 2015), a 455% increase.
While many problems facing the Mara represent a gradual impact on its biodiversity, tourism and wildlife, fencing as described is seen as an immediate barrier to the movement of people, livestock and wildlife, thereby exacerbating these other problems. Recent reconnaissance surveys in the Mara have shown increased loss of wildlife including wildebeest and giraffe by these fences. A common assertion amongst communities is that the fences act as barriers to exclude wildlife and other people’s livestock from what is now private property. While this is done to protect food crops, pasture and build up grass banks, there is lack of adequate knowledge of the long implications of fencing on their own livelihoods.
▸ MARA PREDATOR CONSERVATION PROGRAMME
Our flagship Mara Predator Conservation Programme is at the forefront of big cat conservation in Kenya’s Maasai Mara, working with communities and schools to support co-existence between wildlife and humans. Focused on research-based conservation of cheetahs and lions, our local team connects scientific findings to practical solutions, all with the goal of stabilizing the Mara’s big cat populations.
▸ NATIONWIDE PREDATOR CONSERVATION
In addition to our flagship Mara Programme, we support a portfolio of outstanding grassroots projects in other key wildlife areas, where the focus is on community-supported predator conservation. By helping our partners to directly involve local community members in big cat conservation, we have a conservation impact around Kenya.
▸ COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
We aim to support community development projects that demonstrate a direct tie to predator conservation. Kenya’s human population is growing at an exponential and alarming rate. This is directly affecting our lions, cheetahs, leopards and other predators by increasing pressure on ecosystems and leading to conflict between humans and wildlife. The issue of land use and fencing has never been more important. We work with partners such as MMWCA to encourage communities to remove fences from their land (specifically in Pardamat Conservation Area), to ensure that wildlife are not cut off from the precious space and corridors they desperately need to survive in the long-term.
▸ our conservation strategies
Partner of choice for the largest number of wildlife conservation initiatives in Kenya (in addition to our Mara Predator Conservation Programme, we have supported the Mara Hyena Project, Ewaso Lions, Lion Guardians and the Kenya Rangelands Cheetah and Wild Dog Project)
Partnering Kenya Wildlife Service to develop new census methodology for counting lions nationwide (based on a model developed by our Mara team).
Key partner in developing a national wildlife poisoning response protocol.
Built and supported one of the best community schools in the Amboseli.
Supported highest number of female students through Koyiaki Guiding School (all Kenyan).
Sponsored highest number of students through Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute in the last five years.
Our most ambitious project to date - working with partners on a programme which aims to replace a high volume/low value subsistence livestock lifestyle in the conservancies around the Maasai Mara, with a low volume/high value livestock industry, run alongside a free-roaming wildlife and upmarket/low volume tourism product. This is one of the more disruptive and innovative commercial conservation ideas to be implemented on community-owned lands, and directly links to our support of de-fencing in the Pardamat Conservation Area.
fundraising goal: $50,000
Success for Kenya Wildlife Trust through this partnership could be defined in three ways. Firstly, we are looking to increase our number of one-time donors (giving unrestricted gifts), whom we can then steward to become recurring donors. Secondly, we are aiming to raise more project-based donations to help increase efforts to remove fences in the Pardamat Conservation Area. Thirdly, we are looking to engage more global supporters by way of social media followers, with a view to ultimately converting them into donors.
Learn more about kenya wildlife trust
The Greater Mara / Amboseli & Tsavo Ecosystem / Laikipia