Environmental Management

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 46–59 | Cite as

Expanding Staff Voice in Protected Area Management Effectiveness Assessments within Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve

  • Lawrence AllenEmail author
  • Katie Krafte Holland
  • Hunter Holland
  • Salaton Tome’
  • Moriaso Nabaala
  • Simon Seno
  • James Nampushi


The concept of protected areas (PA) is one of the most widely used policy tools for biodiversity conservation including habitat and wildlife protection. Despite the importance and emphasis placed on protected area management, biodiversity is still in decline and more species are in danger of extinction. Some analyses have indicated that more than 40% of protected areas are poorly managed. To improve management effectiveness, the inclusion of diverse stakeholder information in articulating management strategies has been strongly encouraged; however, stakeholder involvement is often poorly integrated, and an opportunity granted only to select stakeholder groups, with PA staff, especially at lower organizational levels, minimally involved. Further, protected area management effectiveness (PAME) assessments are most frequently used as an aggregated outcome measure of effectiveness but these data should also inform management practice. Thus, for PA managers to obtain a greater understanding of issues impacting their effectiveness, they would benefit from including the voices of staff at all working levels. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to survey 135 wardens and rangers at all organizational levels from the two administrative sectors of Maasai Mara National Reserve to determine their perceptions of management effectiveness and to determine if significant differences existed across staff levels and administrative sectors. Significant differences were found to exist across staff levels and administrative authorities supporting the need for expanded staff voice in establishing effective PA management plans.


Protected area management effectiveness Stakeholder participation RAPPAM Maasai Mara National Reserve Adaptive management 



We would like to thank the Narok County Government, Kenya for its financial support and technical assistance in making this project possible. We also want to thank Clemson University Institute for Parks for its financial support and the International Conservation Caucus Foundation for its assistance in organizing this project. Further, we want to thank the Chief Warden, Narok sector of the Maasai Mara National Reserve and the Chief Executive for the Mara Conservancy, for their support in conducting the surveys of the rangers and officers in their respective sectors of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Finally, we also want to acknowledge that a Kenyan Government research permit was obtained from the National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation (NACOSTI). We thank NACOSTI for its assistance and support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clemson University Institute for ParksClemsonUSA
  2. 2.University of North Carolina-WilmingtonWilmingtonUSA
  3. 3.Maasai Mara UniversityNarokKenya

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