Original Articles

KLEE: A long‐term multi‐species herbivore exclusion experiment in Laikipia, Kenya

Published in: African Journal of Range & Forage Science
Volume 14, issue 3, 1997 , pages: 94–102
DOI: 10.1080/10220119.1997.9647929
Author(s): T.P. YoungDepartment of Environmental Horticulture, United States of America, B.D. Okello, Kenya, D. Kinyua, Kenya, T.M. Palmer, Kenya

Abstract

Livestock and wildlife share much of their respective ranges throughout the semi‐arid ecosystems of the world. As the profitability of livestock production becomes more marginal and wildlife values increase, there is a need to understand the interactions between livestock and wild large mammalian herbivores (and other indigenous biodiversity). To address this, we have established a long‐term multi‐species herbivore exclusion experiment in the Laikipia ecosystem in Kenya. Using a series of semi‐permeable barriers, we are differentially excluding various combinations of cattle, large wild mammalian herbivores, and mega‐herbivores (giraffes and elephants) from a series of replicated four‐hectare plots. We are monitoring soil, plant, and animal responses to these treatment characteristics. This multi‐disciplinary project is one of the first to include controlled, replicated exclusion of combinations of multiple guilds of rangeland herbivores in the same place at the same time. We report here (1) the first quantitative vegetation analysis of this important grazing ecosystem; (2) details of the experimental design; (3) evidence of the effectiveness of the herbivore exclosures; and (4) a summary of some preliminary results.

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