My Experience in Mara - Dr. Caroline Ng'weno
It’s been three months since I joined KWT and the Mara Predator Conservation Programme, and in that time I have had the opportunity to explore and discover the Greater Mara Ecosystem. I am more than convinced that predator-prey ecology and conservation is where I will be happiest for the next phase of my research life. I am both excited and eager to delve into this new and I’m sure I have made the right move!
I joined KWT at a critical time as the organization merged the flagship Mara Lion & Mara Cheetah Projects into one robust and consolidated Mara Predator Conservation Programme. Having steered this transition, I have come to understand and appreciate the dynamics of conservation in this complex, important ecosystem.
What I bring to KWT beyond academic credentials is a set of wide ranging interests, having been exposed to quite a lot of field research in different areas and sites in East Africa and USA, under the mentorship of my Advisers Dr. Shem Mwasi and Dr. Jacob Goheen.
This opportunity therefore presents a chance to hone and complement my existing research skills and field experience. My life-long dream has always been to work on a larger savanna ecosystem and contribute to conservation work that relies on evidence-based research. And there is no better place to realize this dream than with the Mara Predator Conservation Programme!
I believe that the key to modern conservation is keeping tourism, the community and conservation in a constructive and positively enhancing balance. My time as Programme Director will focus on leading our applied research, in collaboration with other carnivore ecologists, for the conservation of predators within Geater Mara Ecosystem. I will also work closely with the local community and other stakeholders across the Mara, in an effort to foster harmonious coexistence between people and wildlife, through raising awareness and finding sustainable solutions to reducing conflict.
I’m delighted to have joined an excellent staff team, made up largely of people from the Mara region. My approach as we move forward will be to complement the existing efforts of our team with new developments and enhancements, in order to realize our goals. I look forward to cultivating strong relationships with new and existing partners, donors and community leaders, to address the immense challenges and opportunities in the Greater Mara Ecosystem.