Laikipia is at the forefront of rhinoceros conservation in Kenya. About half of Kenya’s black rhinos and 70% of Kenya’s white rhinos are found here. Moreover, Laikipia is seen as a major partner in helping the Kenya Government meet both its biodiversity conservation goals and its commitment to conserve 2000 Eastern Black Rhinos in their natural habitat by 2030.
Key to meeting these goals is the expansion of rhino Eastern Black Rhino habitat in Laikipia. The six rhino conservancies in Laikipia have a critical role to play in any further expansion of rhinos on private or community lands. However, only the Borana/Lewa/Il Ngwesi conservancies offer a contiguous territory for rhino conservation and five conservancies are close to carrying capacity for black rhinos. Three of the six rhino conservancies remain isolated, and without interconnectivity.
If Kenya is to meet its goal of 2000 black rhinos in their natural habitat, then non-state actors have a key role to play in this goal and its success.
This concept paper offers a strategic, sequenced effort to expand black rhino conservation on private and community conservancies in Laikipia. It seeks funding to complete a feasibility study over the next year to:
- Examine the habitat, costs, benefits and drawbacks of black rhino expansion within the context of three of six rhino conservancies on to adjacent lands;
- Examine the potential for creative, sustainable and robust models of expansion of rhino habitat on to community conservancy lands
- Propose a business model(s) for potential expansion of private rhino conservancies In Laikipia
Strengthen the roles, scope and scale of engagement of the Association of Private Land Rhino Sanctuaries (APLRS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and County Government of Laikipia in this effort.