Maasai Mara – Serengeti Ecosystem

The world-renown Great Migration of wildebeests takes place in the Mara-Serengeti environment, a transboundary habitat that links the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania with the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. However, a crucial large cat population and other animals are under risk due to habitat fragmentation and human-wildlife conflict.

We first put money into this area in 1967, when the Serengeti Wildlife Research Institute was funded to study the ecology by the African Wildlife Leadership Foundation (later abbreviated to “African Wildlife Foundation”). During that time period, we have:

  • Paid for cheetah and lion tracking and preservation efforts.
  • Contributed to the creation of land-use plans that would protect an important wildlife corridor
  • Assisted rangers by providing them with training and equipment to combat poaching and trafficking
  • We are still keeping tabs on lions in the Maasai Mara, and AWF-trained tracker dog units are looking into wildlife crimes and helping to discourage poachers in Serengeti National Park.


From Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Highlands to Kenya’s Loita Hills, the Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem stretches for more than 1,500 kilometers, making it one of the world’s remaining great wildlife refuges. It is the best ecosystem in the world to see big game on safari, and it is also one of the most beautiful and diversified wildlife conservation regions in Africa. But the animal population in Africa has been steadily declining for decades. Tragically, many of the continent’s most recognizable animals are vanishing:

  • All African species have seen a 40% decline in population in the past 40–50 years.
  • An impressive 90–95% for important species, such as lions, elephants, rhinos, and other recognizable predators

Our Approach Has Reversed the Course of Wildlife Decline

One Health: Wildlife, Livestock and Human Health in the Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem

Maintaining the health of the Serengeti-Maasai Mara ecosystem necessitates:

  • Studying and controlling wildlife via education and practical experience.
  • Social and economic benefits of wildlife and natural resources, as well as sustainable management of livestock, should be brought to the attention of the community.

An essential guiding principle for this endeavor is the ecosystem concept outlined by the CBD. The Convention, which 150 world leaders signed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, acknowledges that biodiversity encompasses more than just ecosystems and the living things inside them. The human condition and its requirements for adequate nutrition, medical treatment, clean water and air, a safe place to live, and other necessities are also aspects of biological variety.

A valuable normative framework for bringing together social, economic, cultural, and environmental objectives is the ecosystem approach, as pointed out by the CBD.

Realizing and benefiting from the interplay of economic, ecological, and social systems is the key to implementing ecosystem sustainability.

The key tenet of the approach is ensuring local and indigenous people’s livelihoods in a way that is harmonious with environment. Individuals and institutions work closely together in ecosystem-based projects through open communication and collaboration. Natural resource sustainability and fair distribution of benefits are fostered by this culture of mutual learning and voluntary engagement. Collaborative planning, dispute resolution, stakeholder analysis, incentives for sustainable use and conservation, and fair distribution of socioeconomic advantages from wildlife and other natural resources are all part of this transparent and open ecosystem. In order to establish the appropriate enabling environment, a great deal of personal and institutional capacity building is required.

people involvement is crucial for success because the property is owned by the Maasai people. The Maasai people and the organizations who are trying to help them must work together actively and communicate well if wildlife is to be preserved.

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