THE ATHI KAPITI ECOSYSTEM BIG CAT INITIATIVE by Michael Mbithi



 Goal: Support retention of big cats in the ecosystem by building capacity in the local communities to manage predators, support innovation, share knowledge, transfer ideas and create opportunities for sustainability through nature based enterprises.

 These are National Geographic Big Cat conservation projects run by Wildlife Direct and FoNNaP; monitoring and addressing cheetah and lion trends and conservation needs in the Athi Kapiti (Nairobi National Park, Kitengela, Isinya, Kipeto and Athi plains) Ecosystem.

The projects aim to establish the numbers and distribution of cheetah in the area, and past occurrences of lions, probable places that they may move to come the rains and suitable areas that can be used to extend the Amboseli, Shompole and Nairobi park lion population ranges. Both lions and cheetah are critically endangered species in Kenya and they are also flagship species for tourism in the country.

These projects aim to find solutions for the management and conservation of these two big cats particularly in relation to human wildlife conflict.

The Athi-Kapiti Plains is part of the greater Kaputei ecosystem which extends over a vast area of southern Kenya. These plains are especially important to cheetah, lion and other wildlife because they are the greater part of the ecosystem encompassing Nairobi National park and Amboseli National Park in the south. These two parks’ major role is as dry season havens for some of the wildlife.

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Read more here, ATHI KAPITI ECOSYSTEM PROJECT

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3 responses to “THE ATHI KAPITI ECOSYSTEM BIG CAT INITIATIVE by Michael Mbithi

  1. Really interesting project. One thought that could be helpful is that, while the big cats do attack domesticated animals, thus creating conflict with people, they also tend to single out the sick, weak and old in herds, leaving the healthy animals to reproduce. If the predators were eliminated, there would be an ever larger number of unhealthy animals in wildlife herds. That would probably increase the chance of their diseases spreading to domestic animals as well as to the wild ones, and that could make life even more difficult for human beings. It may be wise to maintain a healthy balance of predators in any given area, and accept the cost and inconvenience of the occasional loss of one or two domestic animals. Uncontrolled spread of diseases could wipe out an entire herd of domestic animals, not just a few.

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