Landscape Dynamics (landDX) an open-access spatial-temporal database for the Kenya-Tanzania borderlands.
Tyrrell P., Amoke I., Betjes K., Broekhuis F., Buitenwerf R., Carroll S., Hahn N., Haywood D., Klaassen B., Løvschal M., Macdonald D., Maiyo K., Mbithi H., Mwangi N., Ochola C., Odire E., Ondrusek V., Ratemo J., Pope F., Russell S., Sairowua W., Sigilai K., Stabach JA., Svenning J-C., Stone E., du Toit JT., Western G., Wittemyer G., Wall J.
The savannas of the Kenya-Tanzania borderland cover >100,000 km2 and is one of the most important regions globally for biodiversity conservation, particularly large mammals. The region also supports >1 million pastoralists and their livestock. In these systems, resources for both large mammals and pastoralists are highly variable in space and time and thus require connected landscapes. However, ongoing fragmentation of (semi-)natural vegetation by smallholder fencing and expansion of agriculture threatens this social-ecological system. Spatial data on fences and agricultural expansion are localized and dispersed among data owners and databases. Here, we synthesized data from several research groups and conservation NGOs and present the first release of the Landscape Dynamics (landDX) spatial-temporal database, covering ~30,000 km2 of southern Kenya. The data includes 31,000 livestock enclosures, nearly 40,000 kilometres of fencing, and 1,500 km2 of agricultural land. We provide caveats and interpretation of the different methodologies used. These data are useful to answer fundamental ecological questions, to quantify the rate of change of ecosystem function and wildlife populations, for conservation and livestock management, and for local and governmental spatial planning.