RESOURCE LIBRARY


African Conservation Centre Publications


Journal of Applied Ecology

Fencing solves human-wildlife conflict locally but shifts problems elsewhere: A case study using functional connectivity modelling of the African elephant

Liudmila Osipova | Moses M. Okello | Steven J. Njumbi | Shadrack Ngene | David Western | Matt W. Hayward | Niko Balkenhol

ABSTRACT

1. Fencing is one of the most common methods of mitigating human-wildlife conflicts. At the same time, fencing is considered one of the most pressing threats emerging in conservation globally. Although fences act as barriers and can cause population isolation and fragmentation over time, it is difficult to quantitatively predict the consequences fences have for wildlife.

2. Here, we model how fencing designed to mitigate human-elephant conflict (HEC) on the Borderlands between Kenya and Tanzania will affect functional connectivity and movement corridors for African elephants. Specifically, we (a) model functional landscape connectivity integrating natural and anthropogenic factors; (b) predict seasonal movement corridors used by elephants in non-protected areas; and (c) evaluate whether fencing in one area can potentially intensify human-wildlife conflicts elsewhere.

3. We used GPS movement and remote sensing data to develop monthly step-selection functions to model functional connectivity. For future scenarios, we used an ongoing fencing project designed for HEC mitigation within the study area. We modelled movement corridors using least-cost path and circuit theory methods, evaluated their predictive power and quantified connectivity changes resulting from the planned fencing.

4. Our results suggest that fencing will not cause landscape fragmentation and will not change functional landscape connectivity dramatically. However, fencing will lead to a loss of connectivity locally and will increase the potential for HEC in new areas. We estimate that wetlands, important for movement corridors, will be more intensively used by the elephants, which may also cause problems of overgrazing. Seasonal analysis highlights an increasing usage of non-protected lands in the dry season and equal importance of the pinch point wetlands for preserving overall function connectivity

5. Synthesis and applications. Fencing is a solution to small-scale human-elephant conflict problems but will not solve the issue at a broader scale. Moreover, our results highlight that it may intensify the conflicts and overuse of habitat patches in other areas, thereby negating conservation benefits. If fencing is employed on a broader scale, then it is imperative that corridors are integrated within protected area networks to ensure local connectivity of affected species.

DOWNLOAD REPORT

Animal Conservation Journal — Using step-selection functions to model landscape connectivity for African elephants: accounting for variability across individuals and seasons

Animal Conservation Journal

Using step-selection functions to model landscape connectivity for African elephants: accounting for variability across individuals and seasons

L. Osipova | M. M. Okello | S. J. Njumbi | S. Ngene | D. Western | M. W. Hayward | N. Balkenhol

ABSTRACT

Landscape connectivity is an important component of systematic conservation planning. Step-selection functions (SSFs) is a highly promising method for connectivity modeling. However, differences in movement behavior across individuals and seasons are usually not considered in current SSF-based analyses, potentially leading to imprecise connectivity models. Here, our objective was to use SSFs to build functional connectivity models for African elephants Loxodonta africana in a seasonal environment to illustrate the temporal variability of functional landscape connectivity.

We provide a methodological framework for integrating detected interindividual variability into resistance surface modeling, for assessing how landscape connectivity changes across seasons, and for evaluating how seasonal connectivity differences affect predictions of movement corridors. Using radio-tracking data from elephants in the Borderland area between Kenya and Tanzania, we applied SSFs to create seasonal landscape resistance surfaces. Based on seasonal models, we predicted movement corridors connecting major protected areas (PAs) using circuit theory and least-cost path analysis. Our findings demonstrate that individual variability and seasonality lead to substantial changes in landscape connectivity and predicted movement corridors. Specifically, we show that the models disregarding seasonal resource fluctuations underestimate connectivity for the wet and transitional seasons, and overestimate connectivity for the dry season. Based on our seasonal models, we predicted a connectivity network between large PAs and highlight seasonal and consistent patterns that are most important for effective management planning. Our findings reveal that elephant movements in the borderland between Kenya and Tanzania are essential for maintaining connectivity in the dry season, and that existing corridors do not protect these movements in full extent.

DOWNLOAD REPORT

Kenya’s Natural Capital — Business & Biodiversity

Natural Capital Underpins Business Growth

Kenya is endowed with rich natural capital and biodiversity. Its diverse landscapes range from the Chalbi Desert in the north to the snow-clad peaks of Mt. Kenya, from the white beaches of the Indian Ocean to the shores of Lake Victoria, and from the rolling plains of Maasai Mara to the floor of the Great Rift Valley. The interactions between topography, soils, hydrology, plants, animals and peoples within each eco-climatic zone create locally distinctive ecosystems, including different types of forests, woodlands, shrublands, grass-lands, deserts, wetlands, lakes and rivers, mon-tane, afro-alpine and marine ecosystems. Kenya, ranks among the world’s richest biodiversity nations and hosts over 35,000 species, including more than 7000 plant species and many endemic, rare, endangered and threatened species.

DOWNLOAD REPORT

Kenya’s Natural Capital — Tertiary Institutions

Natural Capital Underpins Kenya’s Prosperity

Kenya is endowed with rich natural capital and biodiversity. Its diverse landscapes range from the Chalbi Desert in the north to the snow-clad peaks of Mt. Kenya, from the white beaches of the Indian Ocean to the shores of Lake Victoria, and from the rolling plains of Maasai Mara to the floor of the Great Rift Valley. The interactions between topography, soils, hydrology, plants, animals and peoples within each eco-climatic zone create locally distinctive ecosystems, including different types of forests, woodlands, shrublands, grass-lands, deserts, wetlands, lakes and rivers, mon-tane, afro-alpine and marine ecosystems. Kenya, ranks among the world’s richest biodiversity nations and hosts over 35,000 species, including more than 7000 plant species and many endemic, rare, endangered and threatened species.

DOWNLOAD REPORT

Kenya’s Natural Capital — County Decision Makers

Natural Capital Underpins Urban & Rural Livelihoods

Kenya is endowed with rich natural capital and biodiversity. Its diverse landscapes range from the Chalbi Desert in the north to the snow-clad peaks of Mt. Kenya, from the white beaches of the Indian Ocean to the shores of Lake Victoria, and from the rolling plains of Maasai Mara to the floor of the Great Rift Valley. The interactions between topography, soils, hydrology, plants, animals and peoples within each eco-climatic zone create locally distinctive ecosystems, including different types of forests, woodlands, shrublands, grass-lands, deserts, wetlands, lakes and rivers, mon-tane, afro-alpine and marine ecosystems. Kenya, ranks among the world’s richest biodiversity nations and hosts over 35,000 species, including more than 7000 plant species and many endemic, rare, endangered and threatened species.

DOWNLOAD REPORT

Kenya’s Natural Capital — National Policy Makers

Natural Capital Underpins Kenya’s Prosperity

Kenya is endowed with rich natural capital and biodiversity. Its diverse landscapes range from the Chalbi Desert in the north to the snow-clad peaks of Mt. Kenya, from the white beaches of the Indian Ocean to the shores of Lake Victoria, and from the rolling plains of Maasai Mara to the floor of the Great Rift Valley. The interactions between topography, soils, hydrology, plants, animals and peoples within each eco-climatic zone create locally distinctive ecosystems, including different types of forests, woodlands, shrublands, grass-lands, deserts, wetlands, lakes and rivers, mon-tane, afro-alpine and marine ecosystems. Kenya, ranks among the world’s richest biodiversity nations and hosts over 35,000 species, including more than 7000 plant species and many endemic, rare, endangered and threatened species.

DOWNLOAD REPORT

Amboseli Conservation Programme Publications


  • WESTERN, D. & FINCH, V. A. (1986) Drought, Cattle and Pastoralism: Survival and Production in Arid Lands. Human Ecology, 14, 77-94.
  • WESTERN, D. & PEARL, M. (1989) Conservation for the Twenty-first Century, Oxford University Press, New York.
  • WESTERN, D. & GICHOHI, H. (1993) Segregation Effects and the Impoverishment of Savanna Parks: The Case for an Ecosystem Viability Analysis. African Journal of Ecology, 31, 269-281.
  • WESTERN, D., WRIGHT, M. & STRUM, S. C. (1994) Natural Connections: Perspectives in Community-based Conservation, Island Press, Washington DC.
  • WESTERN, D. (2000) What Can We Do to Ease Life for Pastoral Nomads? Daily Nation Newspaper, 1 July 2000.
  • WESTERN, D. (2003) Conservation Science in Africa and the Role of International Collaboration. Conservation Biology, 17, 1-10.
  • WESTERN, D. (2004a) The Challenge of Integrated Rangeland Monitoring: Synthesis address. African Journal of Range and Forage Science, 21, 61-68.
  • WESTERN, D. (2004b) Managing the Wilds: Should Stewards be Pilots? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment- Forum, 2, 495-496.
  • WESTERN, D. & MAITUMO, D. (2004) Woodland Loss and Restoration in a Savanna Park: A 20-year Experiment. African Journal of Ecology, 42, 111-121.
  • WESTERN, D. & NIGHTINGALE, D. (2004) Environmental Change and the Vulnerability of Pastoralists to Drought: The Maasai in Amboseli, Kenya, Earthprint (on Behalf of) United Nations Environmental Program, London.
  • WESTERN, D. (2005) The Ecology and Changes of the Amboseli Ecosystem – Recommendations for Planning and Conservation, Unpublished Report submitted to the Science and Planning Committee of the Amboseli Task Force.
  • WESTERN, D. (2009)  2009 Drought: Special Insight, Daily Nation Newspaper, Horizon Supplement, 1 October 2009.
  • WESTERN, D. & BEHRENSMEYER, A. K. (2009) Bone Assemblages Track Animal Community Structure over 40 Years in an African Savanna Ecosystem, Science, Vol. 324. no. 5930, pp. 106 – 1064.
  • WESTERN, D, GROOM, R. & WORDEN, J. (2009) The Impact of Sedentarization and Subdivision of Pastoral Lands in an African Savanna Ecosystem, Biological Conservation, 142, 2538-2546.
  • WESTERN, D., RUSSELL, S. & CUTHILL, I. (2009) The Status of Wildlife in Protected Areas Compared to Non-Protected Areas in Kenya, PloS One, 4: e6140. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006140.
  • 2009 Western, D. Rethinking Wildlife: Bridging the Conservation Divide. In Reconceptualizing Wildlife Conservation. Ed. Toshio Meguro. African Centre for Technological Studies. Nairobi.
  • 2009 Western, D. Ecotourism, Conservation and Development in East Africa: How the Philanthropic Traveler can Make a Difference. Proceedings of the Traveler’s Philanthropy Symposium. Arusha, Tanzania.
  • 2009 Western D and Behrensmeyer. K.A. Bone Assemblage Tracks Community Structure over 40-years in an African Savanna Ecosystem. Science. 234: 1061-1064.
  • 2009 Western, D., Russell, S. and Cuthill, I. The Status of Protected Areas Compared to Non-protected Areas of Kenya. PLoS One. 4 (7): 1-6.
  • 2009 Western, D. The Future of Maasailand, its People and Wildlife. In Staying Maasai. Livelihoods, Conservation and Development in East African Rangelands. Editors K. Holmewood, P. Kristjanson and P. Trench. Springer, New York.
  • 2009 Western, D Groom, R and Worden, J. The Impact of Land Subdivision and Sedentarization of Pastoralist on Wildlife in an African Savanna Ecosystem. Biological Conservation 142: 2538-2546.
  • 2010 Western, D. People, Elephants and Habitat in a Amboseli National Park: A Century of Change Detected by Repeat Photography. In Repeat Photography: Methods and Applications in the Geological and Ecological Sciences. Ed. R.H. Webb, Boyer, D.E. and Turner, R.M. Island Press, Washington, D.C.
  • 2010 Western, D. Conservation of Art and Species. In Coping with the Past. Creative Perspectives on Conservation and Restoration. Edited Pasquale Gagliardi, Bruno Latour and Pedro Memelsdorf. Leo Olschki. Furenzi. Italy.
  • 2010 Western, D. Conservation in an Age of Climate Change. Swara: 1. 24-25.
  • 2010 Western, D. The Worst Drought: Tipping Point or Turning Point. Swara: 2.16-20.
  • 2010 Western et al. Towards a National Conservation Framework. Policy Recommendations of the Conference on Biodiversity, Land Use and Climate Change. African Center for Tenchological Studies, Nairobi.
  • 2011 Ahlering, M.A., Millspaugh, J.J., Woods, R.J., Western, D. and Eggert, L.S. 2009. Elevated levels of stress hormones detected in crop-raiding male elephants. Animal Conservation 14 (2) 124-130.
  • 2011 Dunne, T., Western, D. and Dietrich, W. The Effects of Cattle Trampling on Vegetation, Infiltration and Erosion in Rangelands in Southern Kenya. Journal of Arid Environments. 75: 58-69.
  • 2012 Sunstrom, S, Tynon, J. and Western, D. Rangeland Privatization and the Maasai experience: Social Capital and the Implications for Traditional Resource Management in Southern Kenya. Society and Natural Resources. 2(5).
  • 2012 Mose, V.N., Nguyen-HUU, T., Auger, P., Western, D., 2012. Modelling Herbivore Population Dynamics in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Ecological Complexity 10:42-51.
  • 2012 Ahlering, M. A., J. E. Maldonado, R. C. Fleischer, D. Western, and L. S. Eggert. Fine-scale Group Structure and Demography of African Savannah Elephants Recolonizing Lands Outside Protected Areas. Diversity and Distributions 18:1-10.
  • 2012 Ahlering, M.A., Eggert, L.S., Western. D., Estes, A., Munishi. L., Fleischer, R., Roberts, M., and Maldonado, J.E. Identifying Source Populations and Genetic Structure for Savannah Elephants in Human-dominated Landscapes and Protected Areas in the Kenya-Tanzania Borderlands. PLoS ONE 7 (12):1-9).
  • 2013 Mose V. N., Nguyen-Huu, T., Western, D., Auger, P., Nyandwi, C. Modelling the Dynamics of Migrations for Large Herbivore Populations in the Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Ecological Modelling (254) 43-49.

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work! Please upgrade today!