Research Opportunities

  • Ol Pejeta Conservancy
  • Ecological Monitoring on Ol Pejeta

There is always a need for third party researchers on Ol Pejeta. The list of research opportunities are listed below.

While these research areas will be reviewed regularly to address any new challenges experienced on the Ol Pejeta Conservancy and as discussed with collaborating institutions, Ol Pejeta's management reserves the right to approve any research on the property. All external researchers are required to send their research proposals to Ol Pejeta’s Ecological Monitoring Department for review before consent is given on commencement of the field work. Once the research is approved and on-going, the researchers would be required to submit electronic and hard copies of progress and final reports.

Below is a current list of research topics needed by the Ol Pejeta Conservancy:

  • Cheetah on Ol Pejeta
  • Ecological Monitoring on Ol Pejeta
  • white rhinos on Ol Pejeta Conservancy
  1. Effects of Ecological Release - Post Expansion of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy:
    • Black Rhinos:
      • Changes in rhino browse availability
      • Development of methods to continuously measure browse pressure and predict future browse availability with particular reference to black rhino
    • Habitats:
      • Status of Acacia xanthophloea, including assessment of damage rates to mature and young trees and rates of recruitment and regeneration
  2. Livestock/Wildlife:
    • Scale of resource competition and interaction between livestock and wild herbivores
    • In comparison with the surrounding range an examination of plant productivity, plant composition, overall biodiversity and intensity of use by wildlife of nutrient rich grazing lawns created by livestock enclosures
    • Seasonal variations of tick/parasite load of various mammal species as an indication of health status and resistance levels
    • Effects of acaricides on bird species, especially oxpeckers
    • Disease transmission from livestock to wildlife and vice versa
    • An economic appraisal of an integrated livestock/wildlife system in comparison to systems where one or the other is largely excluded; this to assess and quantify intangible costs and benefits, for example ecological effects
    • Ecological benefits of holistic habitat management in comparison to traditional methods
  3. Prescribed Burning:
    • Pre - and post burn analysis – ecosystem response to a cool and hot burns to examine post burn vegetation composition, structure, trends, plant response and succession and comparison to un-burnt areas
    • Comparison between use of livestock and fire as tools to clear rank grassland and effects on vegetation composition, structure, trends, and plant response
  4. Patas Monkeys:
    • Assessment and mapping of sleeping sites with particular reference to Acacia drepanolobium
    • Quantification/assessment of the food resource (ant galls, gum, fruits) available to Patas, and suggestion of methods to improve food availability
    • Determine the distribution, abundance, conservation status and threats of primates especially Patas on the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. From the findings of this study recommend appropriate conservation efforts and design a long term primate monitoring program
  5. Burchell’s Zebras:
    • Determine methods to monitor population demographics of plains zebra as a means to estimating overall predation pressure on the Conservancy, including development of appropriate threshold levels
  6. Giraffes:
    • Demographic status and survivorship through individual giraffe identification (e.g. photographic giraffe identification based on neck patch pattern)
  7. General Biodiversity:
    • Species inventories to identify and list key taxa including mammals, birds and plants (woody, herbaceous & grasses). Diversity and abundance estimates. Identification of possible indicator species
    • Exotic plant species: occurrence, prevalence, possible species associations, rate of invasion and impacts on native species
    • Characterization and mapping of habitat types and associated soil types and nutrient levels
    • Collation and compilation of detailed historical baseline information on Ol Pejeta’s natural resources
  8. White Rhinos:
    • Post-release ecological and behavioral aspects
  9. Predators – Prey Dynamics (with reference to key ungulates on the Ol Pejeta Conservancy):
    • Investigation, development, implementation and comparison of various methods to establish and monitor predator numbers
    • Investigation of factors causing poor population performance of Beisa oryx
    • Investigation of ecological factors limiting survivor of ostriches
  10. Review of Research Projects:
    • A critical review and collation of past and current research projects with a summary of findings that may be pertinent to management
    • Production of a Standard Operating Procedures manual that details the ecological monitoring protocols and methods to be used by the Ol Pejeta Conservancy
  11. Monitoring Programmes in Adjacent Community Areas:
    • Scale and impacts of water abstraction and use of farm chemicals on Ol Pejeta’s ecosystem and its natural resources
    • Scale and effects of habitat degradation especially cutting of trees for charcoal burning and cultivation along river banks
    • Scale of overgrazing and resource competition between wildlife and livestock in the surrounding northern pastoral communities
    • Prevalence of disease transmission between livestock and wildlife in the surrounding northern pastoral communities occasioned my livestock movements especially in dry seasons

For more information on all research opportunities on Ol Pejeta, please contact Martin Mulama at martin.mulama@olpejetaconservancy.org.

Ecological Monitoring on Ol Pejeta