Anthropogenic influences on the ecological integrity of the wildlife habitat along Kiserian-Kitengela-Isinya wildlife migratory corridor in Kajiado County, Kenya
Gichuru, Jerusha Njeri
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Human encroachment into protected areas normally has negative impacts to the natural resources and also the wildlife habitats in the area. The Kiserian-Kitengela-Isinya wildlife corridor was formed to allow for free movement of wildlife from the Nairobi National Park (NNP) to the Athi-Kapiti plains and the areas around Kitengela and north of Kajiado County. The corridor was once able to sustain and ensure unhindered movement of the animals while providing cover. Currently human encroachment and activities have affected the ecological integrity of this corridor and in turn the welfare of the wildlife, this study therefore aimed at quantifying the anthropogenic activities and their impact on the ecological integrity of the wildlife habitat. The objectives of this research were to; (i) assess the ecological integrity of the wildlife habitat, (ii) quantify ecological integrity of the wildlife habitat using ecological techniques, (iii) determine the extent of the anthropogenic influences within the wildlife corridor, and (iv) determine the influence of the anthropogenic activities on the ecological integrity of the wildlife corridor. A mixed method research design involving socio-ecological and ecological techniques was used. A stratified random sample of 381 household heads was selected proportionally from the three strata (Kiserian, Kitengela and Isinya). A structured questionnaire, Focus Group Discussion guide were used to collect socio ecological data from the participants. Ecological data protocols were used to collect data on the ecological attributes. The household survey data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics in SPSS version 26 software at 95 % level of significance. Ground cover, Shannon and Wiener diversity index and plant attributes were used to analyse ecological data. The level of ecological integrity of the wildlife habitat was found to be low (M=3.0, SD=.45) on a scale of 0 to 10. The impact of anthropogenic activities was found to be high (M=7.74, SD=.65) and statistically significantly influenced (β=-.263, t=-5.30, p<.001) the ecological integrity of the wildlife habitat negatively. The findings imply that the corridor as a wildlife habitat is not useful and cannot be used for the purpose of wildlife management.
Africa Nazarene University