14,000 hectares of communal land owned by Pokots and Njemps from
Rugus and Komolion locations respectively.
With an estimated size of 4200 people including children.
Conservancy formed in 2008.
Ruko community conservancy was formed in 2008 it is owned by both Njemps and pokot communities living alongside one another adjacent to the shores of Lake Baringo. The vision of the Conservancy is 'conservation for peace' and mission to achieve resilient livelihoods, sustainable use of the land, and development for local communities.
The area is located in the heart of the Rift Valley on the eastern shores of Lake Baringo, it was once a rich wildlife landscape, with diverse and abundant wildlife, however poaching and illegal hunting wiped out many of these species. Currently the conservancy has several antelope species including Impala, waterbucks, lesser and greater Kudus and a rich diversity of bird species. The Rotschild’s giraffe were formerly known as ‘Baringo’ giraffe and are an endangered sub-species of giraffe that today only survives in Uganda and Kenya, with an estimated global population of less than 700 individuals.
Ruko conservancy has targeted the protection and long-term conservation of Rothschild giraffe as its flagship species through the reintroduction of this species to its former range. Habitat fragmentation, loss through expansion of agriculture & illegal hunting has confined these giraffes in Kenya to fenced areas in private and government protected areas which have almost reached optimal carrying capacity.
Rothschild giraffe Ruko’s flagship species that was re-introduced in 2011, other species that were re-introduced were a group of 33 impalas. The 8 giraffes were translocated from Soysambu following an approval from kenya wildlife service, at the time they were 2 males and 6 females placed on a fenced re-introductory site of 188acres of land. During this time the giraffe were monitored on daily basis a group of 4 dedicated rangers carried these duties, several challenges were faced, lack of enough forage during the dry season, 2 deaths as a result of natural causes, however the positive side is that this year 1 baby was borne and expecting 3 more before the close of the year.
The translocation of eight Rothschild giraffe brought from Soysambu conservancy near lake Nakuru provided relief to the population, more space for the giraffe was created. Baringo, the other name for the Rothschild's giraffe is the Baringo giraffe. This is their home – and they have been wiped out. In 2011, re-introduced giraffe – specifically, to provide for their safety – and they remain the only population of Rothschild's giraffe in its native range in Kenya.
The project will contribute to providing data and information needed in developing future Rothschild giraffe conservation strategies, through this initiative it has created the much-needed awareness to enhance its protection.
The community hasdeveloped its 1st management plan this year 2019-2024 with the help of NRT, secondly the area previously had been zoned out for diverse usage but there is need revisit the subject with a fresh consultation from the community, to factor in new developments in the area.
Rothschild Giraffe Sanctuary plan
Ruko plans to establish a bigger giraffe sanctuary on the mainland in Rugus, the ecological survey has been conducted, this year more advanced planning for the project will be done including community awareness meetings , budget planning and fundraising.
Baringo County Conservancies Association (BCCA) was registered in 2017 as a landscape level membership organization for community conservancies in Baringo County.