Kenya-Tanzania Borderland Conservation Initiative

Collaborating on the Conservation of Elephants & Lions

The Kenya-Tanzania borderlands region supports some of the richest wildlife populations on earth through a network of national parks and reserves, as well as the pastoral lands that connect them. The Kenya-Tanzania Borderlands Conservation Initiative (BCI) aims to conserve large, free-ranging elephant and lion populations along the Kenya-Tanzania borderland through coordination of conservation efforts and cooperation between key interest groups.

Despite their importance to conservation, most national parks are too small and scattered to sustain large, wide-ranging herbivores and carnivores. Conservation of the borderlands region is critical to the long-term viability of both elephant and lion metapopulations. Over the last 30 years, Kenya’s parks and reserves have lost half of their wildlife populations, about the same as countrywide losses. The same trend is also seen in parks across eastern and southern Africa.


Keystone Species

Elephants (Loxodonta africana) and lions (Panthera leo) are the largest herbivore and carnivore in Africa, are highly threatened and share a flagship role in conservation. Both species play key roles in the ecosystem, are major tourist attractions, and are most often in conflict with farmers and herders. Conserving elephants and lions combats poaching, bolsters tourism, generates income for local communities, and maintains the diversity and integrity of ecosystems.


Pastoralists, eager to secure formal titles to ward off land grabbers, are carving up the areas around and between parks. This wave of subdivision is hastening the loss of wildlife and the isolation of parks. Additionally, the illegal slaughter of wildlife has recently escalated in northern Tanzania and Kenya. Although wildlife protection agencies in both countries have reacted to this threat in protected areas, most of the community lands in this region have little or no protection. BCI changes that by working with communities to strengthen their conservation capacity and by generating jobs and income.

Program Progress

Cross-Border Collaboration

Borderland Conservation Initiative - Arusha Meeting

In March 2014, ACC and Wildlife Conservation Society brought together 60 plus representatives of Kenyan and Tanzanian governments, communities, and conservation organizations to plan the way forward for cross-border collaboration.

Game Scouts Catch Poachers

Borderland Conservation Initiative - Game Scouts Trained, Catching Poachers

BCI has hired and trained 30 new Game Scouts to fill gaps in coverage. The Scouts have arrested more than 42 poachers in the last 12 months.

Lions Reappear


Lions have reappeared in areas where they have not been seen in 10 years.

Elephant Poaching Reduced


Elephant poaching cases have dropped from 75 to 32 over the last year thanks to efforts by communities and our partners.

New Scout Bases Established


Four new scout bases have been built to protect elephants and other wildlife on Kenyan community land.

Borderlands Assessed

Borderland Conservation Initiative - Borderlands Assessments

BCI is supporting critical borderlands assessments across the Kenya-Tanzania borderland area for wide-ranging elephant and lion meta-populations.

To view our Program Partners, and to learn more about the Kenya-Tanzania Borderland Conservation Initiative, please visit BCI's website.