Diagnosis of the Masai Mara savannas
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click on the lion for a map
A project at the heart of a degraded savanna
But where is the MASAI MARA?
To start, the area is referred to indifferently as the Masai Mara or simply as the Mara.
The Mara is a region in southwestern Kenya bordering de Serengeti National Parc in Tanzania (view the map by clicking on the picture on the left). The region is shared by the Masai Mara National Reserve, numerous wildlife conservancies, the Maasai land and livestock owners, and the millions of migratory and sedentary wild animals for which the region is known throughout the world.
Ten of thousands of hectares of degraded savannas
The tenderest grass is the first to be eaten
Herbivores prefer the freshest growth of the plants they eat. Hence, in the presence of animals a grass that has been grazed once will be grazed again and again each time it regrows while another nearby grass that has not been grazed while it was younger will just get older and tougher and might be ignored. Both overgrazing and undergrazing can thus coexist in a given area. Both exhaust the plants. Some may die, leaving the soil bare and unprotected from the sun and the direct impact of the rain.
Over and under grazed grasses & partially bare soil
Bare soil, a consequence of over and under grazing (the mowed down grasses are favored while the longer tufts are not)
Bare soil will degrade
It is no longer protected from the baking rays of the sun and the beating of the rains
Water infiltration and retention are reduced; water runoff, erosion and flooding increase; and water evaporates from the soil no longer protected from the sun. Water is lost to the system, plant cover diminishes even more and the desertification processes are well engaged.
Friendship on the way
Exploring the Masai Mara
Oscar explored the Mara to evaluate the consequences of the various grazing approaches practiced by land managers. Land and savanna degradations were obvious throughout but the good climatic conditions, with temperatures never exceeding 30°C and annual rainfall of up to 1000mm and more insure rapid improvements would be obtained should regenerative grazing practices be adopted. The Mara is indeed an excellent region in which to start this grassroots movement!
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Mara Grassroots Movement
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77760 LARCHANT France
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