Emergency support for OPEX in the Masai Mara Community Conservancies

Jillian Knox
Grantee Masai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association
Type Human-wildlife Coexistence
Location Kenya
Grant Amount $100,000
Duration 1 year

The Masai Mara ecosystem in Kenya holds a population of around 470 lions and is a critical stronghold for the species. Conservation efforts in the area have been greatly bolstered in recent years by the formation of community-owned conservancies around the Masai Mara National Reserve. These conservancies effectively double the conservation area and provide critical dispersal areas for migratory wildlife. They also house large numbers of lions. However, the community conservancies are currently facing a crisis as a result of the cessation of tourism caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Masai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA) is driving an emergency response to raise funding to continue lease payments to communities. This will ensure that no drastic decisions are taken regarding changes in land use from wildlife to agriculture and will also cover operational costs. The LRF issued $100,000 in support for the payment of rangers’ salaries in the community conservancies via MMWCA, helping to protect a critical population of lions.