Mpala Research Center

Mpala Research Centre

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In 1991, STRI was instrumental in establishing the Mpala Research Centre, a site for multidisciplinary research and training in Africa , in collaboration with Princeton University , the Kenya Wildlife Service, the National Museums of Kenya , and the Mpala Wildlife Foundation. Located on the Laikipia Plateau in north central Kenya , the Centre provides an ideal setting for research in a variety of disciplines, offering 49,107 acres of savannah and dry woodland, an extensive wildlife community typical of East Africa , and ample housing and laboratory space for 35 researchers and students.

The Mpala Research Centre is perfect for studies ranging from ecology and botany to animal behavior and human-wildlife interactions. Research at Mpala can be conducted by any applicant with an explicitly proposed, approved, and funded project.

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Mpala Wildlife Foundation

The Mpala Wildlife Foundation operates and manages a modern biodiversity and conservation research centre, a wildlife conservancy, a working cattle ranch, and a variety of community health and outreach programs in Laikipia, Kenya.  Laikipia is well known for having the most diverse and second largest wildlife assemblage in Kenya.  Mpala covers 48,000 acres of classic African savanna/woodland, accented by spectacular rocky outcroppings and stunning vistas.  The boundaries are unfenced, defined only by the catchments of the Ewaso Ny’iro and Ewaso Narok rivers, allowing unfettered access to wildlife. Mpala has a full complement of large predators, with more endangered mammals than any protected area in Kenya, including African wild dogs, and Grevy’s zebras. Annually, Mpala experiences the protracted migration of over 6,000 elephants.  The bird list currently tops 370 species, and Mpala hosts a diverse assortment of reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.

Because Mpala engages in livestock husbandry and strives for sustainable livestock and wildlife management – the Mpala Research Centre has acquired a reputation for providing unparalleled opportunities for research on the conservation and management of wildlife and natural resources in unprotected landscapes. The centre hosts numerous independent researchers and student groups from more than 11 countries annually who explore topics as diverse as the influence of termites on soil nutrients to the effects of cattle on wildlife and plant populations, the ecological requirements of lions, wild dogs, and zebra, and the thorny issues of human-wildlife conflict.