The influence of emerging land use patterns on wildlife conservation in Kenya; a case of migratory corridor in Kajiado county

The purpose of the study was to establish the influence of emerging land use patterns on wildlife conservation in Kajiado County in Kitengela sub-County. To achieve this the study focused on the following objectives; to identify the influence of human settlement activities on the wildlife conservation, to establish the influence of agricultural activities on the conservation of wildlife, to determine the influence of industrial activities on the conservation of wildlife and To establish influence of the recreational activities on the conservation of wildlife. The study adopted descriptive survey design; the target population of this study was the house hold community living along the Kitengela migratory Corridor, within Kajiado County and other stakeholders who include NGO, a civil society, KWS and Private rancher. The study used a sample size of 99 respondents where random sampling and purposive sampling techniques were used to come up with the sample size. The research administered questionnaires to the household heads and face to face interview to the selected stakeholders. The data collected was sorted to remove the incompletely filled questionnaires; the sorted data was analysed statistically using SPPS version 20 for the determination of the influence of emerging land use patterns on wildlife conservation in Kajiado County, The summary of the findings reveals that the wildlife population in Kajiado declined due to poaching and that the frequency, variety and severity of human-elephant conflicts have increased in space and time, moreover the study revealed that ecological nature of parks and the mobility of wildlife ensure damages and are not likely to decline but intensify as human population expand in savannah areas and that the concern is whether cultural carrying capacity has been attained, as this is the maximum number of animals that can coexist compatibly with the local human population. The study further revealed that human populations increase soil erosion, reduce plant bio-diversity and lead to environmental pollution interfering with the wildlife, further the study revealed that the migration of people from agrarian societies to the corridor area has contributed to the growth of agricultural activities which influence negatively on wildlife conservation. The study therefore concludes that wildlife population in Kenya declined due to poaching and that the frequency, variety and severity of human-elephant conflicts have increased in space and time. The study also concludes that ecological nature of parks and the mobility of wildlife ensure damages and are not likely to decline but intensify as human population expand in savannah areas. The study also concludes that some lands are overstocked with more than fifty percent beyond the recommended densities; the persistence of constant reduction in the wildlife populations has been interpreted in terms of the exploitation of environmental heterogeneity at different spatial scales which has greatly influenced the conservation of wildlife. The study recommends that, the government through the key stakeholders should take measures to spearhead evacuation of human settlements within or adjacent to the wildlife habitats, that the rare and most vulnerable species of the wildlife should be protected from becoming extinct; this will be achieved through intensive preservation of the wildlife habitation, that the KWS officers should take immediate measures to reduce the poaching of wildlife; this can be achieved through sensitising the wardens on effective measures of conservation of wildlife, that appropriate measures should be taken to control the release of industrial wastes into wildlife habitations since this would lead to diverse damage on the vegetation and the release of toxic substance which are dangerous to the wildlife. The study suggests that a similar study be conducted on the critical variables on human activities and wildlife conservation conflict. The socio- economic factors that influence wildlife habitat conservation in Kenya and the role of KWS in the wildlife conservation and habitat.