Population trends of large non-migratory herbivores and livestock in the Masai Mara ecosystem, Kenya, between 1977 and 1997

W.K. Ottichilo, J. de Leeuw, A.K. Skidmore, H.H.T. Prins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The total of all non-migratory wildlife species in the Masai Mara ecosystem has declined by 58% in the last 20 years. This decline ranges from 49% in small brown antelopes to 72% in medium brown antelopes. In individual wildlife species, the decline ranges from 52% in Grant's gazelle to 88% in the warthog. Declines of over 70% have been recorded in buffalo, giraffe, eland and waterbuck. Only elephant, impala and ostrich have not shown any significant decline or increase. Overall, there has not been any significant difference in decline of all wildlife population sizes inside and outside the reserve, except for Thomson's gazelle and warthog. Livestock have not significantly declined over the entire analysis period. However, livestock and cattle populations significantly declined during the 198388 period. Donkey declined by 67%, while shoats (goats and sheep) remained stable. In the case of wildlife, land use and vegetation changes, drought effects and poaching are considered to be among the potential factors that may have been responsible for the decline; the decline in livestock during the 198384 period was probably due to drought effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-216
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Keywords

  • serengeti
  • elephants

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