Author(s): Ottichilo WK, Said MY, Prins HHT, Skidmore AK, de Leeuw J
The total of all non-migratory wildlife species in the Masai Mara ecosystem has declined by 58% in the last 20 years. This decline ranges from 49% in small brown antelopes to 72% in medium brown antelopes. In individual wildlife species, the decline ranges from 52% in Grant's gazelle to 88% in the warthog. Declines of over 70% have been recorded in buffalo, giraffe, eland and waterbuck. Only elephant, impala and ostrich have not shown any significant decline or increase. Overall, there has not been any significant difference in decline of all wildlife population sizes inside and outside the reserve, except for Thomson's gazelle and warthog. Livestock have not significantly declined over the entire analysis period. However, livestock and cattle populations significantly declined during the 1983–88 period. Donkey declined by 67%, while shoats (goats and sheep) remained stable. In the case of wildlife, land use and vegetation changes, drought effects and poaching are considered to be among the potential factors that may have been responsible for the decline; the decline in livestock during the 1983–84 period was probably due to drought effects.