Sera Wildlife Conservancy

Project LocationSamburu, Marsabit and Isiolo Districts, Kenya
Project TypeWildlife and habitat conservation, Community conservation initiatives, Environmental education
Endangered SpeciesElephant, African wild dog, Grevy's zebra
Land Area Protected3332 km2
Benefiting Locally32 directly, 8,000 indirectly
Local People Employed32
Project Websitewww.nrt-kenya.org

Sera Wildlife Conservancy

Set in 300,000 hectares of Trust land owned by the Group Ranches from Samburu, Marsabit and Isiolo, the Sera Wildlife Conservancy has a co-tenure agreement with Samburu County Council and the Kenya Wildlife Service. Perennial natural springs at Kisima Hamsini or ’50 wells’ are a remarkable geographical feature and support both resident and migratory populations of wildlife. Large numbers of elephant pass through the area seasonally.

Traditionally pastoralist people have used the area as a seasonal watering point during drought when there is good grazing and water available. The Samburu communities formed the Sera Wildlife Conservancy in 2001 with the long-term aim of linking three historically rival ethnic groups, the Samburu, Borana and Rendille, with a common objective for conservation, development and sustainable use of natural resources within the Sera area.

The objectives of the Trust are to:

  • Establish increased security for people and wildlife within the conservation area;
  • Develop environmentally sustainable natural resource-based enterprise;
  • Strengthen the capacity of the community to manage the Trust and the conservation area;
  • Establish necessary infrastructure for the development and management of the conservation area.

A potential challenge identified is the possibility that increased security in the Sera area as a result of this conservation initiative may lead to increased residency of pastoralists. This in turn may lead to increased grazing pressure in the buffer zone surrounding the conservation area. Establishment of baseline vegetation transects to monitor grassland condition and monitoring of livestock and boma (or homestead) numbers in the buffer zones surrounding the conservation area will enable Sera to measure this impact. Mitigation measures will be the establishment of a community-led grassland management plan, whereby grazing areas and numbers of livestock allowed into each area are managed and policed collectively by the three local communities. Two inter-tribal meetings have already been held regarding the management of grazing and a third is planned to finalise the agreement.

A joint security programme between the Sera Wildlife Conservancy and the Rendille and Borana communities will also be established which will bring benefits to wildlife, people and their livestock.

The conservation awareness campaign currently being carried out by the Trust management will continue, and grazing by-laws will be developed. Sera hopes to acquire its own radio repeater frequency, strengthen its management capacity, and support the women’s micro-credit scheme. The Trust is also planning to pump water from Kisima Hamsini to the periphery areas within the buffer zone to provide water to livestock ensuring that wildlife has access to the water within the core conservation area.

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