Study Site #3 – Mara/Loita, Kenya



The Purko and Loita Maasai occupy regions of Narok District to the south and east of the Masai Mara National Reserve, a famous protected area that is managed by the Narok County administration on behalf of the Maasai community. This region pioneered the creation of various community-based wildlife trusts and conservancies according to diverse models; originally involving either individualized or contiguous Group Ranch lands, today most Mara conservancies are formed by the amalgamation of individually-titled land holdings following Group Ranch sub-division under the management of outside investors in the tourism industry. This project will examine the effects of organizational diversity on community participation and livelihoods in the Mara conservancies.


I-CAN activities

In 2012, Stanley Kimaren Riamit, completed his Masters dissertation (also supervised by J. Galaty) on the politics of Group Ranch subdivision in Maji Moto Group Ranch. Kimaren is an I-CAN collaborator and the executive director of the Indigenous Livelihoods Enhancement Partners (ILEPA). Currently I-CAN doctoral student Kariuki Kirigia is carrying out his field research in Maji Moto, studying the impacts and outcomes of the second land-subdivision process in this group ranch.


In 2013, Dr. Philip Osano, co-supervised by J. Galaty, completed his PhD dissertation on the livelihood effects of payments for ecosystems service programs in the Mara region. ILEPA hosted I-CAN interns in 2016 and 2017. In July 2016, interns Henry McKenzie and Meghan van Aardt worked with Dr. Jacques Pollini to carry out an exploratory study in Maji Moto Group Ranch. In summer 2017, Aidan McLaughlin and Laurence Dagenais-Poulin worked on ILEPA program activities.
In December 2016, Dr. Jacques Pollini and Samson ole Silantoi from SORALO carried out an exploratory study in Naroosura Group Ranch aimed at helping the community develop a land use plan.