Government-run parks cover too little of Kenya’s territory to sustain the country’s wide-ranging wildlife populations, nearly two-thirds of which depend on open rangeland that indigenous herders also use.Today, herders and wildlife must navigate pastures that are increasingly crowded, fragmented, and fragile. Livestock numbers have increased dramatically, while wildlife populations have declined precipitously.The South Rift Association of Landowners (SORALO), a collective of Maasai-owned group ranches spanning 10,000 square kilometers (3,800 square miles), formed to protect the free movement of both people and wildlife on its terrain.While SORALO’s monitoring suggests its efforts are yielding results, South Rift communities face an extraordinarily complex future, and the goal of coexistence between herders and wildlife does not come easily. OLKIRIMATIAN, Kenya — As night falls on the Olkirimatian Group Ranch, in south-central Kenya, a cacophony of whistles and cowbells fills the air. Herders are hurrying cattle, sheep and goats home for the evening. By day, Maasai pastoralists and their livestock rule this stretch of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. But each night, people here still beat an age-old retreat, ceding the land to its other, wilder owners. Many international tourists think of Kenya as a country defined by a few famous, people-free protected areas. In reality, Kenya’s government-run parks cover only 8 percent of its territory, an area too small to sustain the country’s wide-ranging wildlife populations. Nearly two-thirds of Kenya’s iconic animals depend on open rangeland areas like Olkirimatian, where mobile wildlife live alongside mobile herders. In recent decades, however, a sweeping set of pressures, including human population growth, the breakdown of traditional pastoral practices, new fences, and development, have begun to transform Kenya’s open range. Herders and wildlife today must navigate pastures that are increasingly crowded, fragmented, and fragile. A 2016 paper found that livestock numbers had increased dramatically in Kenya’s rangelands since 1977, although this was mainly due to herders owning more goats and sheep, and fewer cattle than in the past so livestock biomass actually declined somewhat. Meanwhile, wildlife suffered “relentless, pervasive and catastrophic” losses, with populations of counted species declining by an average of 68 percent over the same period. The Lale’enok Resource Centre, on the Olkirimatian Group Ranch, is headquarters to an organization aiming to halt these trends. The South Rift Association of Landowners (SORALO) is a collective of 16 Maasai-owned group ranches that have come together to protect the free movement of both people and wildlife in southern Kenya. Though some SORALO-owned lands have been fenced, most are a relative holdout against the changes on other Kenyan rangelands. Spanning about 10,000 square kilometers (3,800 square miles) between Kenya’s Amboseli National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve, the SORALO territory is home to a quarter of a million people and some of the planet’s most diverse and abundant populations of large mammals. A map of southeastern Kenya shows the location of South Rift Association of Landowners (SORALO) lands, a collective of 16 Maasai-owned group ranches (click here to enlarge). Image courtesy of SORALO. SORALO’s work faces serious obstacles, but, succeed or fail, its implications extend well beyond Kenya. Pastoralism is humanity’s most extensive form of land use, and pastoralists in many regions share landscapes with migratory or highly mobile wildlife. As conservationists around the world struggle to secure space for wild animals to roam, SORALO is out to prove that one solution may start with people who themselves survive through movement.