Consequences of integrating livestock and wildlife in an African savanna

Felicia Keesing, Richard S. Ostfeld, Sharon Okanga, Steven Huckett, Brett R. Bayles, Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer, L. Page Fredericks, Tyler Hedlund, Virginia Kowal, Heather Tallis, Charles M. Warui, Spencer A. Wood, Brian F. Allan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Globally, most wildlife lives outside of protected areas, creating potential conflicts between the needs of wildlife and the needs of humans. East African savannas epitomize this challenge, providing habitat for wildlife such as giraffes and elephants as well as for people and their livestock. Conflicts over land use are common, leading to the assumption of a necessary trade-off between wildlife and livestock management. Here, we show that the integration of livestock and wildlife in a large region of central Kenya can have ecological benefits, reducing the abundance of ticks and improving forage. These ecological benefits can be complemented by economic ones when property owners derive income both from wildlife through tourism and from livestock through meat and dairy production. Our results suggest that under specific ecological, economic and social conditions, integrating livestock with wildlife can provide benefits for the environment and for human well-being in African savannas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-573
Number of pages8
JournalNature Sustainability
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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