A to Z of Destinations
Australia, NZ and South Pacific
A to Z of Experiences
Walking and trekking
Diving and snorkelling
Wildlife and safaris
Meet the locals
Frontier and expedition
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Visiting the Poles
Career breaks and BIG trips
Body and soul
Volunteer and conservation
Australia, East Coast
Everest Base Camp
Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian railway
Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights
Cruising the Nile, Egypt
Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
1st June 2011
The Masai Mara reserve in Kenya has seen the wildlife population decline dramatically by 70% over the past three decades, according to a new report
Published in the Journal of Zoology, the research was compiled using data gathered since 1977 when aerial monitoring of Kenya's wildlife first began.
By tracking trends in wildlife numbers over the past three decades, the team found that numbers of impala, warthog, giraffe, topi and Coke's hartebeest had dropped by 70%.
However, the Masai Mara has seen a shocking 1,100% increase in the amount of cattle grazing in the reserve, although it is illegal for them to do so. The scientists who conducted the report believe this surge in domestic livestock has been held largely accountable for the drop in wildlife population.
The research was led by Dr Joseph Ogutu, a senior statistician in the bioinformatics unit of the University of Hohenheim, Germany. He worked alongside a team both in Germany and at the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya.
Dr Ogutu told the BBC that the team were surprised by the findings, as they expected wildlife numbers to have grown since 2000-2001.
"The Mara has lost more than two thirds of its wildlife," Dr Ogutu said. "But, to our great surprise, the extreme wildlife declines have continued unabated in the Mara."
The great wildebeest migration, which sees mammals travel over 1,800 miles from the Serengeti through the Mara region, has also suffered greatly in recent years. According to the team, the total number of migrating animals is now 64% less than it was in the early 1980s.
Three main causes have been attributed to the drop in wildlife numbers: illegal poaching, larger numbers and ranges of domestic livestock, and changing land use patterns on the ranches.
In order to tackle the problem and avoid a continuing trend in decreasing wildlife numbers, the team behind the research say that poaching levels need to be reduced, as well as regulating the expansion of settlements, fences and livestock numbers.
For more stories visit our news pages
Get ready to snap animals with Steve Davey's top tips for photographing wildlife
Rhino poaching in South Africa at all-time high | News... More
Kenya travel guide | Destinations... More
Wildlife adventure a natural high | Blogs... More
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login or get more from Wanderlust - register today!
I'm not sure if it's as bad as the BBC report claims. I wouldn't want to be complacent about falling numbers, but the research data doesn't seem to bear out the dramatic "crash'" story, but shows more of a slow decline. Numbers appear to be stable or rising in the many community and private conservancies that have emerged in the surrounding districts and I think the infrequency of surveys in recent years isn't giving us a very clear picture. I've blogged about the report at my Rough Guide to Kenya blog. Comments from visitors and wildlife people would be very welcome. We need to keep an eagle-eye on the Mara, not abandon it. Richard TrilloAuthor: The Rough Guide to Kenya
Kenya travel guide, including map of Kenya, top Kenya travel experiences, tips for travel in Kenya, plus where to see wildlife in Kenya
Volunteer and conservation travel guide, including info on voluntourism, how to give back on your travels, how to get started with travel volunteering and more
There are around 150 million tribal people living across the globe – but for how long? We look at the indigenous groups that are on the verge of extinction
The Masai Mara offers some of the world’s best wildlife experiences – but for how long? Will human over-population destroy Kenya’s flagship reserve? Graham Boynton investigates
The African safari is one of travel’s greatest experiences, but what’s the best way for you to do it? By foot? By boat? By hoof? Do you want to get closer? Or higher? Read on for our guide to the different ways to tour the wild...
These impressive organisations are leading the way in Thailand's sustainable tourism industry
The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre opened to the public in January 2014 and has since been visited by Sir David Attenborough
Thousands of migrating wildebeest have returned to Kenya, from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, months earlier than expected
Simply select the destination you’re interested in or the activities you’re looking
for and we’ll send your request to a select panel of tour operators.
Each operator will respond to your request individually. Your details remain private
and are not disclosed to any partners unless you decide to proceed with a booking.
SAVE 10% online with Rohan
Save £800 pp on a 4 night stay at the Explora en Patagonia, Chile
10% OFF at Powertraveller
Wanderlust sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web
exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!
I have read and agree to the Terms &
Where in the world are you? Add
#wanderlustmag to your tweets and share your latest travel adventures with
fellow Wanderlusters on wanderlust.co.uk
Get to know Wanderlust on facebook and bring all your travel-minded friends, too