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Cradled between the Aberdare Mountains and Mount Kenya, Laikipia County is a land-use model for arid and semi-arid lands in Kenya. Its unique combination of large-scale ranches and community-owned lands host wildlife populations unrivalled in other parts of Kenya. Laikipia hosts the highest populations of endangered large mammals in Kenya, including half of the country’s rhino population, together with significant populations of elephants, Grévy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe and wild dogs.

More importantly, however, the generally intact nature of this landscape is the key to its success. Generally, residents tolerate and/or encourage the movement of wildlife across property lines. Conservation of wildlife and other natural resources is reflected in a land management ethic that places value on the nation’s wildlife heritage. Landowners work hard to share the benefits accruing from this form of land use. Moreover, environmental services generated by this form of land use make Laikipia a potential economic hub for sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation in the region.

Unfortunately, productive rangelands and livelihoods in Laikipia are threatened by the increasing prevalence of exotic plant species, many of which have already become invasive or have the potential to do so. Invasive alien plants displace native plants, especially valuable pasture species, to the detriment of wild animals and livestock which depend on the native plants

Publication Details

  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: CABI, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • ISBN-13: 978 1 78639 215 2