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Serengeti IIIHuman Impacts on Ecosystem Dynamics$
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A. R. E. Sinclair, Craig Packer, and Simon A. R. Mduma

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226760339

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226760353.001.0001

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Land Use Economics in the Mara Area of the Serengeti Ecosystem

Land Use Economics in the Mara Area of the Serengeti Ecosystem

(p.379) Thirteen Land Use Economics in the Mara Area of the Serengeti Ecosystem
Serengeti III

Mike Norton-Griffiths

Mohammed Y. Said

Suzanne Serneels

Dixon S. Kaelo

Mike Coughenour

Richard H. Lamprey

D. Michael Thompson

Robin S. Reid

University of Chicago Press

The northern part of the Serengeti/Mara ecosystem falls within the two Kenyan districts of Narok and Trans Mara. Within these two districts, major land use changes have been clear for quite some years. Previous work indicates that losing what are called the group ranches that surround the Maasai Mara National Reserve and the Mara Triangle could cause a permanent loss of perhaps 20% of the migratory wildebeest, which in turn could trigger major changes in the Serengeti ecosystem itself. These changes in land use are perplexing in view of the large revenues generated from wildlife tourism which should encourage investment in conservation on the part of landowners rather than land development. This chapter examines the apparent contradiction between the revenues generated by wildlife, on the one hand, and the land use changes initiated by the Maasai on the other. The objective is to describe the economic conditions of the Mara portion of the Serengeti ecosystem within which individual economic agents—Maasai households—are making decisions about land use investment and development.

Keywords:   land use, Maasai households, wildlife tourism, Mara, land development, group ranches

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