Laikipia-based researchers, Tom Butynski and Yvonne de Jong, have again confirmed the presence of Desert Warthogs in Laikipia. And it looks like they’re here to stay. (See article here).
We reported earlier sightings of the Desert Warthog on Suiyan Conservancy by Anne Powys and Archie Voorspuy in the March Edition 2020. Regular sightings of these poorly studied large mammals are occurring in the greater Laikipia landscape particularly in the areas north of the Ewaso Narok River.
Why is this important? And why are they here? Have these always been here and we haven’t noticed or are they a recent occurrence?
Knowing the presence and absence of species should inform our decisions for land use and conservation management. While the Desert Warthog was only recently recorded in Laikipia, its presence could perhaps be telling us of changes in climate, food and behavior of warthogs, and even other species.
In the 1970s and 1980s, elephants in the Laikipia landscape outside of the Samburu/Buffalo Springs area were uncommon. Now, this landscape hosts the second largest population of elephants in Kenya!! Why this dramatic change? And what does this tell about our present land use, and what we want in the future?
Laikipia County is in the midst of its first Spatial Planning effort. Spatial plans dictate the County’s intent to zone and develop areas according to priority land use objectives. Where do elephants, desert warthogs, and conservation fit into the spatial plan for Laikipia.
See more about our spatial plan here