Browsing Journal of Range Management, Volume 25, Number 6 (November 1972) by Authors
Relationships of Wildlife to Livestock on Some Developed Ranches on the Laikipia Plateau, KenyaDenney, R. N. (Society for Range Management, 1972-11-01)The status and relationships of wildlife with domestic livestock on 42 ranches in the relatively developed ranching area of the Laikipia Plateau in Kenya, East Africa, were surveyed during 1967 and 1968. The average ranch was 35,400 acres, with approximately 3,000 cattle. Conservative estimates indicate a wildlife population of at least 100,000 animals of Thomson's gazelle size or larger, with some data being obtained on a total of 64 species. Most of the ranchers were tolerant of wildlife, in reasonable numbers, and except for certain species. The three most important wildlife-related problems were disease transmission, forage competition, and damage. Ranch practices which influenced wildlife were fencing (particularly game-proof fences), bush control, and shooting. The average rancher is interested in the possibility of a biologically sound, controlled game utilization scheme under which game meat could be sold. The potentials of expanded sport hunting and game cropping can make wildlife a profitable asset to the ranchers. Unless some means of assuring the landowner of a substantial return on the wildlife on his ranch is provided, the generally tolerant attitude prevailing now will deteriorate, and with it the status of the wildlife.