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The Kenya-Tanzania borderlands region supports some of the richest wildlife populations on earth through a network of national parks and reserves, as well as the pastoral lands that connect them. Conservation of the borderlands region is critical to the long-term viability of both elephant and lion metapopulations.

Despite their importance to conservation, most national parks are too small and scattered to sustain large, wide-ranging herbivores and carnivores. Over the last 30 years, Kenya’s parks and reserves have lost half of their wildlife populations, about the same as countrywide losses. The same trend is also seen in parks across eastern and southern Africa.

Elephants (Loxodonta Africana ) and lions (Panthera leo) are the largest herbivore and carnivore in Africa, are highly threatened and share a flagship role in conservation. Both species play keystone roles in the ecosystem, are major tourist attractions and are species most often in conflict with farmers and herders. Conserving elephants and lions combats poaching, bolsters tourism, generates income for local communities, and maintains the diversity and integrity of ecosystems. However, pastoralists, eager to secure formal titles to ward off land grabbers, are carving up the areas around and between parks. The wave of subdivision is hastening the loss of wildlife and the isolation of parks. Additionally, the illegal slaughter of wildlife has recently escalated in northern Tanzania. Although wildlife protection agencies in Tanzania and Kenya have reacted to this threat in protected areas, most of the community lands in this region have little or no protection. The Borderland Elephant and Lion Conservation Initiative will change that by working with communities to strengthen their conservation capacity and by generating jobs and income


In 2012, African Conservation Centre (ACC) and the South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO), with the support of the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation and other partners, established the Kenya-Tanzania Borderland Elephant and Lion Conservation Initiative (BCI). This initiative aims to conserve large, free-ranging elephant and lion populations along the Kenya-Tanzania borderland through coordination of conservation efforts and cooperation between key interest groups. Collaboration of conservation and research groups within the borderland region is intended to achieve the following:

  • Conserve borderland metapopulations of lions and elephants.
  • Improve conservation effectiveness by protection of the critical areas needed to maintain connectivity through the use of culturally-appropriate mitigation strategies.
  • Promote joint advocacy for elephant and lion conservation by improving continuity in conservation agendas and policymaking across the borderland region.



In February 2012, ACC coordinated a meeting in Arusha, Tanzania that brought together 60 representatives from Tanzania and Kenya including government representatives, community representatives, conservation organizations and researchers to forge a collaborative approach to conserving elephants and lions.


• Combined all partner data by producing a shared database and borderlands base map

• Hired X number of community game scouts to protect elephants and lions in the most vulnerable areas.

• Created a network of X number of scouts, X number of researchers and X number of government rangers that work together to map elephant and lion distributions and movements and to combat poaching and human-wildlife conflict.

• X number of poachers caught and prosecuted.

• Reduced wildlife conflict in community areas by X %


Dr. David Western  ACC Board Chairman

Mrs. Lucy Waruingi  ACC Exec. Director

Mr. John Kamanga  SORALO Director

Mr. Peadar Brehony  BCI Coordinator

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