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Biodiversity

Although the required biodiversity surveys have yet to be undertaken for Lolldaiga Hills Ranch and the rest of the Lolldaiga Hills Conservation Landscape (LHCL), there can be no doubt that it supports well over half of the species of plants and animals present in Laikipia County. The LHCL is particularly remarkable for its diversity of larger indigenous mammals (body weight >3 kg), with 57 species recorded to date, including no fewer than 21 species of carnivore and 26 species of ungulate (see Species Lists). There may not be another site of this size (550 km²) in the world that supports as great a diversity of larger mammals. In addition, the abundance of many of these species in this landscape is relatively high (e.g., savanna elephant, common zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, Bright’s gazelle, impala, eland, leopard, lion, cheetah, wild dog, spotted hyena, olive baboon). The white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is a species introduced to this landscape.

The diversity of species within the LHCL for other taxonomic groups is expected to mirror that of the larger mammals. For example, we estimate that the number of bird species is >400 and that the number of plant species is >500.

The poorly-known Elmenteita rock agama (Agama caudospina), endemic to south-western Kenya, is common in the LHCL.

The poorly-known Elmenteita rock agama (Agama caudospina), endemic to south-western Kenya, is common in the Lolldaiga Hills Conservation Landscape.