Ltungai Community Conservation Trust
Ltungai Community Conservation Trust is the newest community conservation initiative in the Samburu-Laikipia ecosystem. Located on the edge of the first escarpment to the Rift Valley, the area is characterised by beautiful broken valleys with dense vegetation. The conservancy was initiated by local communities from two Samburu group ranches: Lolmolog and Longewan.
The conservancy is located in a historically volatile area where poaching and ethnic conflict have plagued local communities and wildlife. Unfortunately, there are still incidences of cattle rustling and ethnic conflict between the Samburu and neighbouring Pokot communities, which has hampered conservancy development and activities. It is hoped that conservancy efforts over the medium to long-term will act as a catalyst for lasting conflict resolution as witnessed in other NRT areas.
Endangered Species Conservation
The conservancy is home to abundant populations of the endangered Grevy’s zebra, which makes security operations critical to conserving healthy populations of the species in the area. Other wildlife species residing in the area include lion, cheetah, leopard, impala, Thompson’s gazelle, ostrich, waterbuck, buffalo and Greater Kudu. Migratory populations of elephant and the endangered wild dog also inhabit the conservancy.
Ethnic conflict within and surrounding the conservancy has resulted in many communities moving further away from the conservancy area. This has inadvertently opened up the area for game meat poaching and made the need for security activities in the area that much more critical. Human-wildlife conflict(especially that of Plain’s zebra that are killed for encroaching people’s lands) is also another area of great concern However, with improved natural resource management on the part of communities and increased security, the area has potential to host significant populations of wildlife.
Insecurity in the region has significantly inhibited business development activities within the conservancy. In the future, tourism should be a viable business development activity within the conservancy. With its incredible scenery, abundant populations of wildlife and traditional lifestyles of local communities, the area could become a prime ecotourism destination in northern Kenya. Tourism opportunities are further strengthened by its location neighbouring the privately owned Mugie Ranch. The ranch hosts important populations of the endangered Black rhino and other wildlife species. It is envisioned that Mugie Ranch and Ltungai will have a mutually beneficial tourism affiliation allowing clients to experience the attractions of the conservancy and Mugie’s professionally managed rhino sanctuary.
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