The Great Grevy’s Rally set to impact conservation in Laikipia

Laikipia, and the greater Ewaso landscape have embarked on a mission to be Kenya’s very own Citizen Science destination. The launch pad for this initiative will be the Great Grevy’s Rally (GGR) scheduled to take place from the 29th to 31st January 2016. Residents of Laikipia and visitors alike have been invited to share in the science of discovery and to engage in asking questions that will focus future efforts, both for scientific investigation and management of these key, unique territories and their resources. The essence of Citizen Science is that volunteers collect and share information that can be analysed by scientists and citizen participants.
This information then becomes rich material for public feedback, wider public information sharing, lobbying, advocacy, funding and the development of new projects. In essence, we’re increasingly talking about the “democratisation” of science, scientific funding, and the use of scientific results.
The GGR is the first important step in making Citizen Science a reality for Laikipia and the greater Ewaso landscape. This scientifically supervised engagement of the public will yield the first attempted complete census of the endangered Grevy’s zebra in Kenya. It will contribute to their conservation and rehabilitation as a keystone Ewaso Landscape animal. It will also bring economic, tourism and PR benefits to the participating counties that can be judged in the millions of shillings. Perhaps the brand – ” Utafiti ya Wanainchi” will brand this landscape well into the future.
The GGR is expected to have great positive impact on conservation and organisers are encouraging all Kenyans, enthusiastic about conservation, to get involved. Registration for the event is through the event’s website – www.greatfrevysrally.com, and participants are all expected to attend the event’s briefing that will take place at Nanyuki Sports Club on 29th January from 8am to 3pm prior to travelling to their designated areas for the Rally.
Members of Kenya’s Grevy’s Zebra Technical Committee along with local partners are leading the charge to organise and implement the GGR. The organising committee includes: Grevy’s Zebra Trust, Kenya Wildlife Services, Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Marwell Wildlife, Northern Rangelands Trust, Samburu Trust, Saint Louis Zoo (USA), and Princeton University (USA). In addition, local partners are joining to support and facilitate the event, including Mpala Research Centre and the county governments of Isiolo, Laikipia, Marsabit and Samburu. Conservation partners are joining together to census this endangered species, and now we invite you to join the rally save the Grevy’s zebra!

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