Skip to main content
Dryad

Bridging the conservation and development trade-off?: A working landscape critique of a conservancy in the Maasai Mara

Cite this dataset

Tyrrell, Peter et al. (2024). Bridging the conservation and development trade-off?: A working landscape critique of a conservancy in the Maasai Mara [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.547d7wmh6

Abstract

The recent call to halt biodiversity loss by protecting half the planet has been hotly contested because of the extent to which people might be excluded from these landscapes. It is clear that incorporating landscapes that implicitly work for indigenous people is vital to achieving any sustainable targets.We examine an attempt to balance the trade-offs between conservation and development in Enonkishu Conservancy in the Maasai Mara, using a working landscape approach. Mobile livestock production strategies are theoretically consistent with wildlife-based activities and can present a win-win solution for both conservation and development. We explore the success and failings of Enonkishu’s evolving attempts to achieve this: addressing the criticism of the conservation sector that it fails to learn from its mistakes. We found that Enonkishu has had considerable positive conservation outcomes, preventing the continued encroachment of farmland, maintaining and improving rangeland health relative to the surrounding area, while maintaining diverse and large populations of wildlife and livestock. The learning from certain ventures, that failed, particularly on livestock, has created institutions and governance that, while still evolving, are more robust and relevant for conservancy members, by being fluid and inclusive. Diverse revenue streams (beyond tourism, including a residential estate, livestock venture and philanthropy) enabled Enonkishu to withstand the pressures of Covid-19. Livestock is crucial for defining the vision of the conservancy, and the institutions and governance that underpin it.

README: Bridging the conservation and development trade-off? A working landscape critique of a conservancy in the Maasai Mara

https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.547d7wmh6

Description of the data and file structure

We have submitted the following raw data:

  1. Enonkishu Wildlife Transect Data (xlsx)
  2. Naretoi Wildlife Transect Data (xlsx)
  3. Household Survey Results (xlsx)
  4. Enonkishu Biomonitoring (xlsx)
  5. Enonkishu Agriculture Shapefiles (1984 - 2020) (geojson)

Enonkishu Wildlife Transect Data (xlsx)

  • Wildlife Monitoring (Enonkishu and Naretoi): Data to estimate numbers of large mammals in Enonkishu conservancy were collected twice per month since June 2016 via two 2km strip transects. All mammals located within 100m (as verified by rangefinder) from the transect are recorded. Population estimates are then calculated for the conservancy using Jolly II methodologies (Jolly, 1969). In Naretoi wildlife data was collected twice per month since 2019. The small size of Naretoi and the constant communication between the teams counting ensures that these counts are precise.
Variable Description
Location Name of the location of the transect (name/noun)
Transect Name of the transect, there are 6 possible options (name/noun)
Day Day of the month the count took place (date)
Month Month of the year the count took place (name/noun)
Year Year the count took place (year)
Bimonth Counts are twice a month so 1 indicates the first count of the month and 2 indicates the second count of the month (numeric, either 1 or 2)
Total species Total number of different species counted (count)
Total animals  Total animals on that transect (count)
Species Common name of the animals/species counted (name/noun)
Count Count of the species in the column I (Species) on that transect (count)
Comment Any other notable observation made (sentence)
Notes
Length of the transect 2 (kilometers)
Strip width 100 (meters)
no data means there is no record for that data point on that day/time

Naretoi Wildlife Transect Data (xlsx) 

Variable Description
Location Name of the location of the transect (name/noun)
Day Day of the month the count took place (date)
Month Month of the year the count took place (name/noun)
Year Year the count took place (year)
Bimonth Counts are twice a month so 1 indicates the first count of the month and 2 indicates the second count of the month (numeric, either 1 or 2)
Total species Total number of different species counted (count)
Total animals  Total animals on that transect (count)
Columns H-AD Count of the species indicated in the column name (count)
Notes
Length of the transect 2 (kilometers)
Strip width 100 (meters)
no data means there is no record for that data point on that day/time

Household Survey Results (xlsx)

  • Socioeconomic household survey: The socioeconomic survey data were from a larger stratified random sample of conservancies in the Northern Mara. The total sample frame of 414 landowners (defined as the head of the household registered as a lease payee) was based on landowners in each conservancy. From this, a random sample of 140 households was chosen, stratified by conservancy. In Enonkishu, 41% (n = 11) of landowners were sampled. Each survey began with an explanation of the purpose of the survey, how data would be used, confidentiality measures, the participant’s rights, and sought their consent before proceeding. The survey was conducted using the ODKcollect application in English, Swahili or Maa (all translated and independently back translated to ensure precision) depending on the preference of the respondent. Responses from surveys were reviewed daily once surveys were uploaded. A random selection of 7% of respondents were called to validate and confirm the data collection process.
1 Questions are on the first row of the columns with the responses from the 140 interviewees below that
2 Most of the questions have options/choices for the respondents to pick from with only a few being open-ended
3 This is a note: This indicates instructions to the interviewer
4 Did not answer: This indicates that the respondent did not give any response
5 not applicable: This indicates that the respondent did not answer because the question did not apply to them. E.g. if they answered "No" to owning livestock then all livestock related questions become not applicable to them
6 Refused to Participate: All the interviews were voluntary and all respondents could decline to participate. If they did then all their responses are marked as "Refused to Participate"

Enonkishu Biomonitoring (xlsx) 

This was used to calculate rangeland health.

  • Fourteen 25 metre transects across Enonkishu were sampled four times per year since 2018 using five equally spaced (5-metre) quadrats. Four transects are within control areas that are not included in Enonkishu’s grazing plan and ten transects are located within areas included in the grazing plan. Eighteen parameters are examined in each quadrat to describe cover, soil surface description (capping), litter (the amount of dead plant debris covering the soil surface), and plant species (grass, tree, shrub, forbs or sedge).
Enonkishu Conservancy Bio-Monitoring Data Guide Sheet 
Order This is the order in which the data was collected. All data collected in the first year is Order 1, second year is Order 2 etc (numeric)
Year This is the year the data was collected (year)
Date This is the date of the month the data was collected (date)
Season The season the data was collected (wet or dry)
Collection Period This indicates the time of the year the data was collected (first quarter, second quarter etc)
Location These are the transects used for data collection
Location Photo # Number of the location photo (numeric)
GP/Control This indicates whether a location is a control or not. Four transects are within control areas that are not included in Enonkishu’s grazing plan and ten transects are located within areas included in the grazing plan.
Photo Quadrat # Number of the quadrat photo (numeric)
Quadrat The locations/transects are split into 5 quadrats each for data collection (numeric, could be any number between 1 and 5)
Parameters are as below (1-19) and are scored as per the scoring guide This is a numeric score (1-5) as per the scoring guide below. The ratings are re-calibrated such that a rating of “5” indicates the best possible score, with “0” indicating the worst possible score.
# PARAMETERS                                                                                 Scoring Guide
5 4 3 2 1 0
1 Plant Density (% of Square) 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
2 Plant Height (% of full height) 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
3 Leaf Area (% of plant broad leaves) 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
4 Growing (% of plant green vs. brown) 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
5 Overgrazing (% of plants) 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
6 Overrested (% of plants) 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
7 Energy Capture (# of months/year plants are green) 10-12 10-8 8-6 6-4 2-4 2-0
8 Litter Existence 1 & 2 (% of square) 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
9 Decomposing Litter (% of square) 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
10 Total Cover Litter + Plant Base vs. Bare Soil (% of square) 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
11 Plant Base Cover vs. Bare Soil (% of square) 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
12 Erosion & Soil Movement (% of square) 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
13 Water Infiltration- Size of circle of water (NA without tool) 0-2 in. 2-4 in. 4-6 in. 6-8 in. 8-10 in. 10-12 in.
14 Soil Capping (% of square) 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
15 Plant Diversity (# of species) 8 spp. 7 spp. 5-6 spp. 4 spp. 2-3 spp. 0-1 sp.
16 Desirable Plants (% of plants) 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
17 Plant Young (% of plants) 40% 50% or 30% 60% or 20% 70% or 10% 80% or 0% 90% or 0%
18 Plant Mature (% of plants) 40% 50% or 30% 60% or 20% 70% or 10% 80% or 0% 90% or 0%
19 Animal Activity (Large animal, Small animal, Birds, Insects, Worms) All 5 Categories 4 categories 3 categories 2 categories 1 category 0 present
Null means that no observation of that parameter/data point was done. There is no data for that data point.

Enonkishu Agriculture Shapefiles (1984 - 2020) (geojson)

  • Remote sensing of changes of land under cultivation: We downloaded Google earth timelapse (https://earthengine.google.com/timelapse/) imagery for each year from 1984, at a 30m resolution and obtained from the Landsat series of satellites. All cultivation areas were digitised in QGIS. In R (R Core Team, 2022) using sf the total cultivation area and proportion of cultivation area in each conservancy was calculated over time. 
    • .qmd: This contains the layer metadata and is produced due to exporting the layer from QGIS. All the geojsons have a corresponding qmd with the exception of the year 1986. 
    • geojson: This contains the agricultural/geographical data for the area of interest encoded using JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) from the year 1984 to 2020. 

Sharing/Access information

Data was derived from the following sources:

  1. Enonkishu Wildlife Transect Data (xlsx): Wildlife counts using transects within the conservancy 
  2. Naretoi Wildlife Transect Data (xlsx): Wildlife counts using transects within the conservancy 
  3. Household Survey Results (xlsx): Socioeconomic survey of sampled conservancy landowners carried out in 2022
  4. Enonkishu Biomonitoring (xlsx): Vegetation biomonitoring on transects in Enonkishu conservancy and transects outside Enonkishu conservancy (“control”) since 2016.
  5. Enonkishu Agriculture Shapefiles (1984 - 2020) (geojson): Downloaded Google earth timelapse (https://earthengine.google.com/timelapse/) imagery for each year from 1984, at a 30m resolution and obtained from the Landsat series of satellites.

Code/Software

Analysis was done in R and QGIS

Methods

Rangeland health: Fourteen 25 metre transects across Enonkishu were sampled four times per year since 2018 using five equally spaced (5-metre) quadrats. Four transects are within control areas that are not included in Enonkishu’s grazing plan and ten transects are located within areas included in the grazing plan. Eighteen parameters are examined in each quadrat to describe cover, soil surface description (capping), litter (the amount of dead plant debris covering the soil surface), and plant species (grass, tree, shrub, forbs or sedge). The corresponding ratings are re-calibrated such that a rating of “5” indicates the best possible score, with “0” indicating the worst possible score. As an example, the parameter of Plant Density rates 5 if there is 100% plant cover, with a score of 0 indicating no plant cover .

Wildlife Monitoring:  Data to estimate numbers of large mammals in Enonkishu conservancy were collected twice per month since June 2016 via two 2km strip transects. All mammals located within 100m (as verified by rangefinder) from the transect are recorded. Population estimates are then calculated for the conservancy using Jolly II methodologies (Jolly, 1969). In Naretoi wildlife data was collected twice per month since 2019. The small size of Naretoi and the constant communication between the teams counting ensures that these counts are precise.

Livestock: Livestock in the conservancy were recorded at the end of each month and births, deaths, and treatments among the conservancy herd are recorded in real time.  Each quarter, the conservancy herd is valued by those familiar with current market cattle sale prices.

Socio economic survey:  The socio-economic survey data were from a larger stratified random sample of conservancies in the Northern Mara. The total sample frame of 414 landowners (defined as the head of the household registered as a lease payee) was based on landowners in each conservancy. From this, a random sample of 140 households was chosen, stratified by conservancy. In Enonkishu, 41% (n = 11) of landowners were sampled. Each survey began with an explanation of the purpose of the survey, how data would be used, confidentiality measures, the participant’s rights, and sought their consent before proceeding. The survey was conducted using the ODKcollect application in English, Swahili or Maa (all translated and independently back translated to ensure precision) depending on the preference of the respondent. Responses from surveys were reviewed daily once surveys were uploaded. A random selection of 7% of respondents were called to validate and confirm the data collection process.

Remote sensing of changes of land under cultivation: We downloaded Google earth timelapse (https://earthengine.google.com/timelapse/) imagery for each year from 1984, at a 30m resolution and obtained from the Landsat series of satellites. All cultivation areas were digitised in QGIS.  In R using sf the total cultivation area and proportion of cultivation area in each conservancy was calculated over time.

Three irrigation pivots on 1000 acres of Olerai Farm were transformed into a safari property called ‘Naretoi’. 

Funding

Maasai Landscape Conservation Fund