Narok County Leads the Way as Teamwork Revolutionizes Rhino Conservation


In the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve lies a treasure: a population of eastern black rhinos, emblematic of Kenya's rich biodiversity. Yet, their existence is on the brink of peril, emphasizing the urgent need for conservation action.

In a landmark initiative, the County Government of Narok embarked on a mission to safeguard these majestic creatures. Partnering with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Wildlife Research and Training Institute (WRTI), Narok County led a meticulous operation to monitor and protect rhinos using technology. This endeavor, stretching over seven days in March 2024, epitomized collaborative conservation efforts at their finest.

Nearly fifty experts, including professionals from Narok County, KWS, WRTI, and partners like The Safari Collection Footprint Trust and 51 Degrees Ltd, joined forces to execute the operation. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology and resources, including helicopters and aircraft, the team successfully affixed GPS trackers to the rhinos' ears, marking a pivotal moment in rhino conservation.

Beyond mere tagging, this operation yielded invaluable biological sample collection, unlocking insights into rhino biology crucial for conservation efforts. This data will not only enrich national databases but also contribute to international initiatives, furthering our understanding of rhino populations and informing conservation strategies on a global scale.


At the heart of this groundbreaking initiative lies EarthRanger, a revolutionary monitoring system which was set up by The Safari Collection Footprint Trust and 51 Degrees Ltd.

Narok County becomes the first governmental body to harness the power of EarthRanger, setting a new standard in conservation technology.

EarthRanger offers real-time data to rangers, empowering them in their management and anti-poaching efforts. This innovative approach, merging cutting-edge technology with conservation practice, heralds a new era in rhino conservation. With EarthRanger, rangers can now track rhino movements with unprecedented accuracy, ensuring their safety and well-being in the face of myriad threats.


There is a delicate balance between conservation and tourism in the Mara, highlighting the importance of technological innovation in addressing conservation challenges.

Real-time tracking, facilitated by GPS tagging, emerges as a pivotal solution to the persistent threats facing rhino populations. There is huge significance of GPS tagging in monitoring rhino movements across borders and into community areas, to help in curbing human-wildlife conflict.

This approach not only safeguards rhinos within the Masai Mara but also sets a precedent for more effective conservation practices nationwide. witnessing rhinos thriving in their natural habitat reaffirms the collective responsibility of all custodians of the wild, to preserve Earth's biodiversity.


Narok County's embrace of EarthRanger marks a significant milestone in rhino conservation, showcasing the power of technology to drive positive change in the natural world. As we forge ahead, Narok County is here to embrace innovation and collaboration to foster a collective quest to protect and preserve our planet's precious wildlife.

                                                                         Article by Marley Sianto, Assistant Director, Tourism and Wildlife Department, Narok County Government


Safari collection has a detailed blog on the ear-notching exercise on the Eastern Black Rhino. You can visit the Maasai Mara and learn about rhino conservation which directly supports these efforts.

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