Wildlife in Africa is facing enormous threats and challenges - but you can join the community seeking to find solutions.
As well as being a beautiful new home for our animals, the African Savannah precinct has a powerful story to tell about the challenges facing wildlife in Africa, and the community initiatives tackling human-wildlife conflict. Through immersive design and storytelling, the precinct will showcase Taronga’s conservation partnerships in Kenya, connecting visitors to communities in these countries who are working to create hope for African wildlife.
What's the issue?
From the signature savannahs, vast and endless, to the dense, lush and immersive forests, Africa has few peers when it comes to natural beauty. The continent is not only home to many of the world’s most fascinating and iconic wildlife, but also some of the most endangered. This is a place where large predators live alongside huge herds of grazing herbivores.
Sadly, Northern Kenya, like most of the country, has experienced significant declines in wildlife populations of over the last 30 years. This is due to land degradation, habitat loss, competition for key resources, escalated human-wildlife conflict and poaching. The local people are being forced to compete with wildlife for food and resources, and conflict arises due to the shared living space, threatening the diversity of species that call Africa home. The conflict is manifested in different forms, such as crop raiding, livestock predation, the spread of wildlife diseases to livestock and destruction of property. The lack of education and financial independence makes it challenging for women and girls to make choices about their future and break the cycle of poverty.
What's the solution?
The good news is that change is happening now. Communities across Africa are driving solutions to human-wildlife conflict, creating hope and a new future for African wildlife. In 2012, Taronga established a partnership with the Northern Rangelands Trust, and organisation that works for 39 community conservancies across 42,000 square kilometres of northern and coastal Kenya. Its mission is to develop resilient community conservancies that transform lives, secure peace and conserve natural resources.
You can also become part of this community-led approach. The African Savannah will introduce you to three of the many people creating hope for the future of wildlife with the support of community programs, from Nkiliyian, the star beader empowering women to earn an income, to Geoffrey, a ranger protecting wildlife from poachers, and Ntashawua, a schoolgirl who wants to grow up to teach kids about helping wildlife. Taronga has partnered with the Northern Rangelands Trust and its Beads for Wildlife program to sell their beaded products in our shops at Taronga Zoo Sydney, Taronga Western Plains Zoo and online. Beads for Wildlife empowers women and diversifies family income, which transforms lives and reduces reliance on livestock and natural resources.
Through the Beads for Wildlife program, you can directly support powerful conservation work in Northern Kenya. It’s all about providing alternate income streams, and enabling local people to manage their traditional lands and natural resources, so community wildlife conservancies can in turn transform lives, secure peace and protect the environment.