Group ranches host significant proportions of Kenya’s terrestrial wildlife populations—including elephants that live outside or use lands beyond protected areas—and are predominantly inhabited by pastoralists. Since its implementation in the 1960s, the group ranch model has struggled to meet the demands of rising human and livestock populations and climate change impacts. Constrained by a lack of open space critical to their livelihood and facing dwindling prospects, group ranch pastoralists are increasingly sedentarized and diversifying into cultivation and tourism, often at the expense of wildlife populations and ecological processes.
It is not common for African primatologists and conservationists to mix, much less in a small town in Japan. But earlier this December, 16 African students representing 11 different countries came to Inuyama, Japan, to do just that. The odd group convened under the auspices of the African Primatological Consortium.