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Johansson, Erik, 2009. Food preference in African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana) and the impact of Bomas in the vicinity of and in Masai Mara National Reserve. First cycle, G2E. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health



In the Maasai Mara National Reserve the native people, the Maasai, have lived for a long time following their own traditions. Their traditional lifestyle is that of a nomadic people, leading their cattle to the best grazing. Sharing their land with a large variation of different animals, one of them being the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana), the Maasi people have since long adapted to a life side by side with these giants, as well as the fierce predators living in the area.
The aim of this study is to determine whether the Maasai settlement, known as Boma, has any impact on the elephants in the surrounding area. In order to conclude whether the bomas has an impact or not, observations of the wildlife were carried out. Observations were conducted in two different seasons, in December 2003 and May/June in 2004. The observations were made in selected locations at certain distances from the bomas which were set in order to compare the number of elephants close to the bomas, to their number further away i.e. in the Reserve.
Although the Maasai are living a way of life based upon hundreds of years of traditions, in recent years modern ways has caught up with them. They are now turning away from their nomadic lifestyle and the land is becoming privately owned. Instead they choose a more permanent settlement, in many cases turning to agriculture as their main source of income. The Maasais decision of a more permanent settlement is bound to have some sort of an impact on the wildlife. Elephants are large creatures and require vast areas to wander in search for water and food. In many areas of the world the elephant causes big problems for people sharing their land. They raid crops and are known to destroy large areas of vegetation when passing through. Agriculture takes possession of greater land areas than herding, and the area is thereby lost for the elephants to forage. This new development is also brought up and discussed in this report.

Main title:Food preference in African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana) and the impact of Bomas in the vicinity of and in Masai Mara National Reserve
Authors:Johansson, Erik
Supervisor:Yngvesson, Jenny
Examiner:Andersson, Maria
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:254
Year of Publication:2009
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Keywords:Loxodonta africana, Maasai mara, Food preferance, African Elephant, Conflict, Maasai people, Boma
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal feeding
Animal ecology
Development economics and policies
Deposited On:30 Jun 2009 12:51
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:09

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