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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: Han Q.
  General Description   Amboseli Biosphere Reserve is located in the south of Kenya at the border to Tanzania. The Amboseli ecosystem consists of basement plains, saline plains with fresh water swamps and the volcanic slopes of the Kilimanjaro. The vegetation reflects the mainly semi-arid environment.
Presently, considerable income for local people comes from wildlife tourism. Groups of ranchers are generating revenue through leasing of campsites, sanctuary entry fees, cultural centers and leasing land for the construction of tented camps and tourist lodges. Community conservation areas such as the Selengei Conservation Area have created jobs for members of the local community, e.g. as game scouts, sanctuary managers or tourist guides.
Livestock raising and crop production (maize and beans) are the two main agricultural activities carried out in Amboseli. However, also horticulture of onions and tomatoes is common. Pastoralism is the basis of the Maasai pastoralist community who keeps livestock such as the indigenous Zebu, cattle, sheep and goats and more recently donkeys and camels. Major constraints for livestock production are drought, low forage availability, overstocking, lack of water, predation, transmission of diseases from wildlife to livestock and thick borne diseases. The local community has been sensitized on the importance of adhering to sound habitat and animal management in order to prevent ecological degradation.
The biosphere reserve was part of the UNESCO-MAB project ‘Biosphere Reserves for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in Anglophone Africa (BRAAF)’ which had the objective to ensure the long-term conservation of biodiversity in including local population in its sustainable use.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical grasslands and savanna
  Major habitats & land cover types   Commiphora/Acacia bushland; saline/alkaline plains with Suaeda monoica and Salvadora persica; Acacia woodland with yellow-barked acacia (Acacia xanthophloea and A. tortilis); swampland supporting sedges (Cyperus spp.) including Cyperus papyrus; agroecosystems with tomatoes, onions, maize, bananas etc.
  Location   02°33' to 02°45'S; 37°06' to 37°24'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   483,206
  Core area(s)   39,206
  Buffer zone(s)   244,000
  Transition area(s) when given   200,000
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   1,000 to +1,300
  Year designated   1980
  Administrative authorities   Amboseli National Park Kenya Wildlife Service
  Brief description   Ecology of the Amboseli Basin
Long term baboon, vervet and elephant studies
Tourism impacts assessment
Ecosystem restoration
Buffer zone development analysis
Studies on change of swamps
Setting up of game ranches
GIS applications for reserve management
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   n.a.
  Biodiversity   Ecology, freshwater/inland water, mammals, methodologies, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment.
  Socio-economic   Hunting, tourism.
  Integrated monitoring   Geographic Information System/GIS, impact and risk studies/environmental impact, management issues, planning and zoning measures/zonation.
  Contact address    
Amboseli National Park
P.O. Box 18
  Telephone   (254.302) 22250
  Fax   (254.302) 22250
  Web site

Last updated: 11/05/2000

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