Learn more about the partners leading the rally:
The Grevy’s Zebra Trust (GZT) works exclusively with local communities to conserve the endangered Grevy’s zebra and its fragile habitat. Grevy’s zebra conservation efforts in northern Kenya have been extremely successful over the last seven years through the engagement of local communities in protecting and monitoring the species at several levels. The Grevy’s Zebra Ambassadors, Scouts and Warriors are trained community-based field teams of over 50 people who monitor Grevy’s zebra in El Barta, Wamba and Laisamis regions respectively. GZT is actively monitoring the status of Grevy’s zebra and using the results of its monitoring to proactively manage resources within communities. The Great Grevy’s Rally will provide vital information on the population’s distribution and numbers which will guide future Grevy’s zebra conservation monitoring activities and management strategies. The GZT management and field teams will be joining in and will provide scientific and logistical support throughout The Great Grevy’s Rally.
IBEIS is an 'Image Based Ecological Information System’ that provides a platform for connecting data on the ‘ who’, ‘ where’ and ‘ when’ derived from GPS and time-stamped photographs of distinctively marked animals—such as zebras and giraffes— with a myriad of environmental measurement to transform the scale in time and space of environmental science and conservation research and practice Scientists from Princeton University, Rensselar Polytechical University, the University of Illinois-Chicago and WildMe.org, by combining the power of big data analytics to assess wildlife health and habitat with the capability for tracking individual animals, IBEIS makes it possible to connect ecological dots in ways never before possible: to understand the dynamics of the big picture in real time.
IBEIS' moto of ‘From Pixels, to Science, to Conservation’ was showcased and tested in March 2015 at the 'Wildlife Festival' in Nairobi National Park (NPP). In conjunction with KWS and Wildlife Direct, IBEIS served as the foundation for the first ever Great Zebra and Giraffe Count that engaged 75 people who took over 10,000 images in a massive citizen science effort that provided researchers and wildlife managers associated with the park with estimates of the size and demographic stability of NPP’s plains zebras and giraffes. The success of this event planted the seed of gathering similar estimates for the entire population of the endangered Grevy’s zebra in Kenya. Hence the birth of the Great Grevy’s Rally!
The Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) mandate is to conserve and manage Kenya’s wildlife, and enforce related laws and regulations. The organisation works with communities and other partners to encourage conservation. Since its inception, KWS has achieved much in curbing poaching, enlisting support in conservation, and establishing infrastructure and human capacity development. The success has been made possible through support from the Government of Kenya, international and local donors, and development partners. The organisation is committed to the preservation of critically endangered, threatened, vulnerable and protected species. KWS chaired the national conservation strategy for the Grevy’s zebra that was formulated to guide efforts to conserve this endangered species. KWS is committed to the realization of this strategy and has sought support from donors, partners, and stakeholders to support its implementation.
Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF) is a non-profit membership organisation with its Headquarters in Nanyuki, Laikipia. Founded in 1992, the organisation has grown in service to a growing membership that now includes 6000 large and small landowners. The organisation is dedicated to the conservation of Laikipia’s wildlife and the integrity of its ecosystem, and to improve the lives of its people. As a result, the citizens of Laikipia have succeeded in developing and maintaining a land use model that supports the largest population of wildlife on private lands in Kenya. It supports the largest abundance of endangered and threatened species, and the second largest concentration of elephants in Kenya.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is an award-winning catalyst and model for community conservation, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of two organisations in Africa to feature on the IUCN Green List of successful protected areas. Lewa is the heart of wildlife conservation, sustainable development and responsible tourism in northern Kenya and its successful working model has provided the framework on which many conservation organisations in the region are based. Lewa is home to 11% of the remaining Grevy's zebra found in the wild, and the Conservancy is a partner in this event that will help shape the future of the species in northern Kenya and beyond.
Marwell Wildlife (UK is a registered charity #275433), is dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity and other natural resources. This is achieved through an international portfolio of conservation programmes seeking to restore species and functioning ecosystems, promote sustainable living and catalyze change through training and education, and by aligning biodiversity conservation with human needs and values. In Kenya, Marwell Wildlife works with communities, state and privately owned protected areas, academic institutions, and NGO partners to study, monitor and manage wildlife. As an active member of the Grevy’s Zebra Technical Committee, Marwell is part of the forum steering conservation and management activities in line with the National Grevy’s zebra Conservation Strategy in Kenya and Ethiopia. Our team in Kenya will participate in the rally by investigating Grevy’s zebra populations in the ‘Northern Management Zone’ at South Horr, and providing aerial cover for spottingthese animals in remote areas. Marwell will engage its networks of partners in the Ndoto Mountain foothills, Chalbi Desert and Sibiloi National Park to extend the reach of the GGR census into these little known but important rangeland areas.
Along with Mpala Wildlife Foundation, Mpala Research Centre uses the conservancy's land as a 'living laboratory' to conduct experiments and to answer pressing questions on conservation and wildlife. Mpala is strongly committed to using this research to benefit the surrounding communities, the nation of Kenya, and global conservation efforts as a whole. Mpala hosts multiple educational outreach programs in order to tackle issues of human-wildlife conflict and thus ensure that both conservation and human-livelihood goals are met. Furthermore, Mpala hosts hundreds of scientists and students from Kenya and around the world. Mpala is also home to a long-term monitoring study of the Grevy's zebra populations on Mpala and neighboring Ol Jogi; the project is directed by Dr. Daniel Rubenstein of Princeton Univeristy. Mpala and Ol Jogi are strongholds of significant Grevy's zebra populations in Laikipia.
The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) was established in 2004. Its mission is to develop resilient community conservancies which transform people’s lives, secure peace and conserve natural resources. It now supports 33 community conservancies across northern Kenya, home to over 250,000 people. These conservancies are managed by democratically elected boards and staffed by local community members, often mixing ethnic groups that have historically fought with one another. NRT raises funds for the conservancies, provides them with advice on how to manage their affairs and supports a wide range of training and helps broker agreements between conservancies and investors. Although the conservancies are still dependent on donor funds, they raise increasingly large sums from activities related to conservation and tourism. The profits are being channeled into education, health care and development activities. NRT is now widely seen as a model of how to support community conservancies. Its success has helped shape new government regulations on establishing, registering and managing community conservancies in Kenya. Collectively, the conservancies are helping to safeguard the future of a wide range of species. There was a 43% decline in elephant poaching between 2012 and the beginning of 2015, and the rehabilitation and careful management of thousands of hectares of land is helping countless other wildlife species too, including Grevy’s zebra. Many of the Grevy’s zebra home ranges fall within NRT member conservancies, and they work closely with the Grevy’s Zebra Trust to study these populations and implement conservation strategies.
Samburu Trust takes its name from the place and people it helps. Situated in Laikipia, the north eastern province of Kenya, it is set in the heart of Samburuland. It tackles issues of wildlife conservation, drought, medical care and education; working tirelessly to provide solutions to the problems faced by the Samburu tribe's people. Julia Francombe founded the foundation in 2000. It developed initially as the 'Beads for Food Program,' due to a harsh drought in the region that year. 'Beads for Food' provided beads for the Samburu 'mammas' to work together on designs. This helped the foundation fundraise, consequently reducing the pressure of drought on the 'mammas' and their families.
The Samburu have always lived in harmony with wildlife, but in recent years the competition for land, demand for animal products and abject poverty have all led to increasing human-wildlife conflict. The Trust works with Samburu elders, wildlife authorities and many others to try to restore that relationship. The Warrior Scouts patrol Samburuland, keeping an eye on community health and working hard to prevent poaching. The Nomad School, a mobile school that is compatible with the Samburu way of life, educates children on the value of conservation.
The Samburu Trust is assisting in the planning of the Great Grevy's Rally and the Warrior Scouts will be participating on the ground during the rally to photograph Grevy's zebra in their areas.
The Saint Louis Zoo has been involved in saving endangered species and their habitats around the world for many years. The Zoo's Center for Conservation in the Horn of Africa is playing a key role in sustaining critically endangered wild species and habitats found in this unique and delicate arid region. By supporting community-based coalitions and actively establishing a variety of conservation, research and education programs, this Center is striking a lasting balance between the needs of community members and the imperiled existence of several rare species, including the Grevy's zebra.
Toward this end, the Center for Conservation in the Horn of Africa supports the Grevy's Zebra Trust, an independent wildlife conservation organization established to address the urgent need to conserve Grevy's zebra in the community rangelands of Kenya and Ethiopia. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums' 2012 International Conservation Award went to the Zoo and its partners for the "Grevy's Zebra Trust and AZA: Model of Collaborative Endangered Species Conservation Program." This award recognizes exceptional efforts toward habitat preservation, species restoration, and support of biodiversity in the wild. With less than a half percent of the Grevy's zebra range falling within official national parks and protected areas, this species' survival depends on heavily upon the attitudes and engagement of people in community areas.
Princeton University is a vibrant community of scholarship and learning that stands in the nation's service and in the service of all nations. Chartered in 1746, Princeton is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. Princeton is an independent, coeducational, nondenominational institution that provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering.
As a world-renowned research university, Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching. Along with the Kenya Wildlife Service, the National Museums of Kenya and the Smithsonian Institution, Princeton guides the management of the Mpala Research Center. Dr. Daniel Rubenstein, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, serves on the Grevy's Zebra Technical Committee and is directing the methodology of the Great Grevy's Rally.
Tropic Air is a partner in tackling conservation in Northern Kenya, working with the Anti Poaching rapid response team. Using our helicopters (and sometimes the fixed wing aircraft) we help mobilise the ranges to the hot sites, enabling a quick response to any poaching incident. The mobilisation time together with the presence of this very capable and well trained team of ranges, made of up Kenya Police Reservists employed by Ol Pejeta Conservancy and deployed at the request of local authorities with support from ‘Space for Giants’, is a key factor in tackling poaching in northern Kenya.