(Amboseli, Kenya – 14 September, 2023) — Greater protection of rare wildlife species from poaching and human-wildlife conflict has been assured with the opening of a new ranger base in Kenya.
The David Rio Community Ranger Base, named after America’s premier chai drink supplier, was declared open for business today by Azzedine Downes, President of IFAW.
The 28,784-acre Illaingarunyoni Conservancy, northwest of Amboseli National Park, is a critical wildlife dispersal area and habitat for unique species not regularly seen in other parts of Amboseli. These include bat-eared oryx, lesser kudu, the African wild dog, pangolin and aardvark. Previously a dry grazing reserve for the livestock of Maasai herders, it is rich in fodder, which elephants browse before retreating to Amboseli for water.
“IFAW believes in a world where animals and people thrive. This ranger base is an example of how we’re achieving that by protecting families and animals,” said Downes, opening the base on behalf of David Rio, an IFAW wildlife protection partner since 2011.
The newly constructed David Rio Community Ranger Base provides comfortably furnished living quarters for ten rangers, providing the conservancy full-time protection from threats, including mounting pressure from overgrazing and hunting for bushmeat.
The rangers also manage incidents of human-wildlife conflict and monitor both wildlife and habitat.
“At David Rio, we strive to exceed expectations. In addition to offering exceptional taste and the highest quality luxury chai, we are determined to give back on behalf of our customers and our team. We are proud to support IFAW’s Room to Roam initiative and humbled to help create a home for the brave rangers who dedicate their lives to protecting elephants,” Mboone Umbima, David Rio EVP Brand Strategy.
IFAW has secured the Illaingarunyoni Conservancy through a formal agreement with the Olgulului-Ololorashi Group Ranch (OOGR) landowners.
The deal improves landscape connectivity by securing additional wildlife areas and room for elephants to roam. It covers vast areas from the Kilimanjaro ecosystem in Tanzania to Kitenden Conservancy, through Amboseli National Park and further to lush grazing grounds in Moshi and Mount Meru in northern Tanzania through the Kajiado-Magadi-Loita elephant migration corridor.
The new conservancy also provides opportunities for local communities to benefit through wildlife-based economies in line with IFAW’s mission of ‘animals and people thriving together’. Examples include conservation easements, ecotourism and other forms of payment for ecosystem services and essential revenue streams for disadvantaged communities.
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