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Kenyan Masai David Noosaron gave Human Security guest lecture

Masai David Noosaron introduced students at the Tropical Ecosystems course to the daily life and challenges in the great Maasai-Mara national wildlife reserve. David was invited by Professor Henrik Balslev, Department of Bioscience, who is doing ethno-botanic research in the reserve – as part of the interdisciplinary Maasai-Mara Science and Development Initiative, directed by Aarhus University.

18.12.2015 | Martin Damgaard Larsen

David Noosaron is a landowner from the Mararianda community in Mara North, Kenya. Besides lifelong experience and knowledge of nature and animals in the Masaai-Mara, David has studied wildlife protection in South Africa and he is now part of the board in the Masaai-Mara Science and Development initiative.

David’s presentation was received with full attention and keen interest from the latest cohort of Human Security students who have been working with Maasai-Mara as a joint theme (i.e. term paper) during their course on Tropical Ecosystems, headed by Professor Henrik Balslev.

Through text, photos and videos David touched upon the daily, pastoral life of Masai communities and the challenges of wildlife protection in the reserve, with herds of animals passing through rivers, grasslands and national borderlands (migrating back and forth the Serengeti national park in Tanzania).

Poaching and environmental changes severe threats  

One of the huge problems is poaching, which not only results in endangered species like rhinos and elephants, but also threatens the livelihoods of the Masai people who are dependent on a sustainable wildlife and ecosystem; Both in regards to herding cattle and the income from thousands of tourists visiting the Kenyan reserve every year.

David showed examples of how work is being done to enhance the protection of one of ‘the big five’, namely the Elephant where a lot is being done in terms of marking tusks so they are traceable. 

Finally, David reminded of the continuous environmental changes and challenges with deforestation that now influences negatively on water supplies, e.g. with unusually low water levels in the life giving rivers of Maasai-Mara.


Text & photos by Martin Damgaard Larsen.

Photos from Kenya by David Noosaron.