Lake Nakuru National Park is facing several challenges because of its location, size and human impacts. The management of the park has been further complicated by being encircled with a double fence which in effect has isolated the park from its surrounding catchment area. This has accentuated the impact of increasing densities of large-bodied grazers over time that has now been intensified because of the rising levels of Lake Nakuru.
A review of the available literature, and an assessment of the carrying capacity of LNNP shows clearly that LNNP is overstocked, leading to changes in the mammal species composition that is threatening the biodiversity of the park. Indicative stocking rates for the key species are provided, together with the options to reduce the buffalo and zebra populations to within these acceptable levels.
Similarly, Lake Nakuru is internationally known for the large congregations of Lesser flamingos and other water bird species. However, not only has the current flooding of the lake altered the favoured resting areas for the flamingos, it has also had a far-reaching impact on aquatic biodiversity and the physical chemical conditions in this alkaline lake. The altered limnological conditions has resulted in the disappearance of Arthrospira fusiformis, which is the main diet of the flamingos, and enabled the establishment of other algal species such as Microcyctis and Anabeanopsis species. This has caused the lesser flamingos to desert the lake and consequently fewer tourists are visiting the park.
To overcome these challenges, the National Park, Tourism and Wildlife Management component of the Clean Town - Pink Lake Nakuru Town Development and Biodiversity Conservation Project is reviewing the feasibility of:
• Creating Wildlife Dispersal Areas / Wildlife Corridors to mitigate the overpopulation of the park
• Examining options to improve of Environmental Management of Lake Nakuru
• Improve of LNNP Park Management and Park Investment
The creation of dispersal areas/wildlife corridors faces many challenges that potentially negate the feasibility of this option. However, there are opportunities to secure the biodiversity of the Lake Nakuru environment by developing a robust wildlife-based integrated land use plan that incorporates all stakeholders and local communities. Several attempts have been made to achieve this, but all have failed for various socio-political reasons. This Project is recommending that this process is resuscitated through the Nakuru County Wildlife Conservation Committee.
LNNP is a key component in the conservation of biodiversity in the overall catchment area. To this end, there is an urgent need to replace its cardinal management plans, and to replace infrastructure affected by the flooding.