Impacts of urbanization on the sustainable conservation of Nairobi national park
Nairobi National Park established in 1946 with an area of 117km2 to protect wildlife from human activities and threats has grown to be a tourist destination earning an average of Kshs.45 million per year for the country. It also plays other roles such as educational, scientific research, posterity and employment to many people. Sustainability of the park is however threatened by the rapid urbanization, increasing peri-urban land use changes and population growth. These threats are more pronounced within the wildlife migratory corridor. Despite the prevailing realization of land use changes, urban population increase together with associated activities and human – wildlife conflicts within the corridor, no empirical examination has been carried out to determine the extent and trends of these challenges. Similarly, there has been no documented attempt to study any relationships between these challenges and the population dynamics of the park’s migratory wildlife. This study was carried out to: identify land use changes and their spatial trends within the wildlife corridor; investigate the current human – wildlife interactions; and examine the correlation between human population in Isinya and the population of migratory wildlife in the national park. Temporally varied Landsat TM images of 1995 and 2002 were processed and analyzed using ERDAS Imagine 9.3 to map spatial trends of land use changes within Isinya division, Kajiado which constitutes a part of the wildlife migratory corridor. Pearson’s product- moment correlation was used to correlate human population in Isinya and the population of wildebeests and zebras in the national park. A household and institutional survey was also carried out to examine the current human - wildlife interactions in the area.