Over 1,000 acres of fenced land in Narok County will be opened up to wildlife thanks to the hard work of the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA). MMWCA reports that 15 landowners residing near Pardamat Conservancy entered into an agreement with MMWCA to take down their fences and allow the 15 parcels of land to be opened to wildlife. This agreement between landowners and MMWCA to open up this area to wildlife will hopefully set an example for others to do the same.
Members of the community gathered their fence posts and brought them to the ceremony to show their commitment to the cause.
The amount of fenced in land in the Mara is on the rise with Maasai communities seeing the benefit for keeping livestock and crops safe from wildlife. Unfortunately, the fences not only harm smaller animals like zebra or wildebeest, but also cut off key corridors for elephants. They also are not very effective at keeping large animals like elephants out.
The ceremony that took place on August 30.
On August 30, a ceremony took place to celebrate the first 500 acres that were de-fenced. In attendance were landowners, MMWCA staff and myself, not only representing Mara Elephant Project as the tracking manager, but also as a landowner in Pardamat.
“From my view as a landowner in Pardamat Conservancy we wanted to have good grass for our animals and that’s why we decided to erect fences, but it’s turning different because these animals are still breaking fences and getting in and many animals are dying in the process. This is worse than poaching because we are blocking animal corridors and we are losing wildebeest and giraffes everyday killed by electric fences. We needed a better solution and today we’re celebrating that.” Wilson Sairowua
Here I am helping to collect wire and posts from deconstructed fences.
This is a wonderful first example of how the community can get involved in the protection of wildlife.