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CASE STUDY 3 : Grazing management evaluation


Kalama Community Wildlife Conservancy lies in an area of 95,000 hectares of Girgir Group Ranch in the Waso Division of the Samburu tribe. With a population of 2,000, the main livelihood in the area is livestock production. The Community Conservancy was started in 2002 with the aim of developing the conservation area to draw wildlife into the area by providing permanent water and improved security. The mission of Kalama is to diversify the community’s economic base, improve livelihoods through the generation of income based on wildlife and environmental conservation to promote sustainable community development and uphold the Samburu culture.
Source: Northern Rangelands Trust: http://www.nrt-kenya.org/

One of the conservation measures taken in Kalama was the creation of a core conservation zone in which livestock grazing is not allowed and a buffer zone in which livestock grazing is only allowed during certain periods of the year. To investigate the effectiveness of these conservation measures we can compare the evolution in ‘vegetation health and density’ for the different management zones. To be able to perform an objective comparison, we need to compare ‘vegetation health and density’ for the same land cover class as some land cover classes naturally have higher values for the vegetation health & density indicator (NDVI).

In the graphs below, the vegetation health & density for the herbaceous and shrubs land cover class is shown for 2008 and for the average year. Graphs are shown for the part of the Kalama conservancy without grazing restrictions, for the buffer area, and for the core conservation area.

In March, the vegetation health & density reaches a first minimum. It can be observed that at this point, the vegetation health & density in the core area is higher than average while in the other areas it is similar to the average situation. This can indicate that the establishment of the core conservation area has resulted in an increase in vegetation cover in the driest months. In the second minimum (August – September) the NDVI in the core area and buffer area is slightly above average in August and similar than the average in September, while the NDVI in the other areas is lower than average.

In May, the vegetation health & density reaches a maximum.  It can be observed that at this point, the difference the vegetation health & density in 2008 and the average is higher for the core conservation area than for the area with no grazing restrictions. This can indicate that the maximum vegetation health & density has increased in the core conservation area.

To see if these trends are persistent continued monitoring should be performed.


Vegetation health & density for herbaceous with shrubs land cover type in part of Kalama conservancy with no grazing restrictions for 2008 and for average year


Vegetation health & density for herbaceous with shrubs land cover type in Kalama buffer area for 2008 and for average year


Vegetation health & density for herbaceous with shrubs land cover type in Kalama core conservation area for 2008 and for average year
 

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