The authorities in NNP are having to struggle with a mass invasion of livestock:sheep & goats as well as cattle have invaded the park from the north (where the electric fence is not live & livestock, woodcutters & even hunters break through at will) & the south, which is unfenced…..
Photo: Courtesy Gareth Jones
A cattle ‘highway’ fanning out into the park.There are plenty of these along the southern boundary, mostly used by thousands of cattle at night.
What your average 40$ an entry visitor gets to see in NNP today.
Competition with grazing livestock is causing mortality amongst vulnerable sp. such as this kongoni, in decline throughout it’s range because of…………competition from cattle.
One of the park’s estimated 35(?) black rhino making it’s way through a herd of cattle. The NNP used to be a vital breeding sanctuary for this sp. of which not much more than 500 occur globally. To breed, rhinos need minimum disturbance….
Nature works in mysterious ways however & it ain’t all bad.
As every available blade of grass has been scoffed by the grazers in the park (both wild & domestic) the Thompson’s gazelles are back with a vengeance……they like short grass plain!
And this Crocuta crocuta loves carcasses-mostly dead cattle, which litter the park……
There are park rules in ‘force’ & customers are harassed if they are seen ‘out of their cars’, but what about this guy??
And these, with their hundreds of cattle?
Tourism is one of the major employers in Kenya & visitors come to see sites such as this. KWS is playing with fire by allowing pastoralists (with whom we all sympathise in this horrible drought) to graze in the park. The only consequence of overgrazing in the park will be the destruction of livestock & wildlife as well…….
And then what hope for this young male lion, worth, some say, a million dollars to the country’s economy?
NNP remains a very beautiful sanctuary with rules that prohibit human activities…….Carissa edulis in flower..
With space for this coalition of young male lions to compete with the dominant male Ujonjo…..
Nearly half way through the Short Rains, dams are still empty & rivers have not run. This is scarey: could the drought continue? And how will NNP fare with no grazing reserve & with it’s entire biomass in the park during the dry season?
Below: a rare aardwolf (a termite eating hyena) photographed in the early morning…….