Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Kenya's Masai Mara under threat from climate change

Herds of Wildebeest and Zebra arrive at the Sand River, Tanzania before crossing into Kenya's Masai Mara during the start of the annual migration on July 17, 2020   -  
Copyright © africanews
TONY KARUMBA/AFP or licensors


Wildlife in Tanzania and Kenya is under threat due to climate change, according to a local conservationist group that observes the migration of wild animals.

The Mara Predator Conservation Project noticed that just a small fraction of animals came to the Mara, in the south of Kenya.

Because of climate change, rainfalls have been less than usual, causing the ground to be drier and less likely to grow fresh grass.

The water levels of the river are also unusually low, according to researcher Saitoti Silantoi.

The sights of thousands of wildebeests migrating are severely toned down this year.

"It is usually an endless mass of black you know, but over the last few years it has been very irregular," Silantoi said.

And just like a domino effect, it's an entire food chain that is at risk.

"The annual wildebeest migration serves a very vital role in the Masai Mara because, you know, they bring that bulk food that predators need. So if you cut out this main source of food, then basically, the predators would not make it you know especially the lions and the hyenas," Silantoi said.

The urgency is water for all animals.

Villager Jackson Rakwa is worried about his cattle.

"If there's no rain, soon we are going to lose a big, big number of cows, which is a problem to us and there's nothing we can do about it. So we are just praying so hard for the rain to come," Rakwa said.

And because food is lacking and the food chain is destabilized, animals might be more inclined to venture out of their usual areas, potentially creating animal-human interactions and conflicts.

View more