Melako Community Conservancy Management

To sustainably manage a community conservancy in Kenya


The people of northern Kenya are traditionally nomadic pastoralists, relying heavily on their livestock for food and general livelihoods. The remoteness of this area, combined with three decades of insecurity, lack of government services and drought, has resulted in declining wildlife populations and impoverished human communities.


The programme's goal is to establish a successful community conservancy to conserve and increase wildlife populations and to enhance the capacity of Rendille communities to benefit from the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.


The programme's achievements so far include:


  • Increase in the area covered by the Melako Community Conservancy to 80 000 ha (previously 45 000 ha).
  • Decrease in wildlife poaching – no elephants killed in the Melako Community Conservancy in 2009 (prior to the conservancy being established, an average of six elephants were killed in the area each year).
  • Establishment of a 500 ha conservation zone.
  • Increased community understanding of the importance of not felling trees, and acceptance of locally developed rules for addressing habitat encroachment.
  • Reestablishment of community grazing committees to manage grazing of pasture by livestock on a landscape scale rather than at a village level – this will improve access to pasture by livestock and wildlife.


WAZA Conservation Project 10019 is implemented by the Northern Rangelands Trust, with support previously provided by Zoos Victoria. Other stakeholders involved in the project include the Grevy's Zebra Trust and the Kenya Wildlife Service.




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  • Melako Conservation

    Melako Conservation

    (1) © Juliet King, (2) © Juliet King, (3) © Northern Rangelands Trust, (4) © Brooke Squires