@Sara Blackburn @JakeGC
Mara conservancies are effectively a buffer zone between the MMNR and agricultural areas to the north, but have proven to be effective conservation areas in their own right and would beneﬁt from extended buffer zones of their own.
Maasai settlements within a lion pride home-range which were not conservancy members had the biggest negative impact on lion numbers whereas conservancy settlements, which beneﬁt ﬁnancially from wildlife through their membership, had no negative impact on lion survival.
These two commentaries really prove the importance of the conservancy model: but one wonders what would have become of these areas had the Mara area been fenced as had previously been proposed I believe. Therefore is fencing, "Fortress conservation", best for conservation or negating the effects of HWC? Or, as the conservancies have proved in your comment, Jake, the way forward? Perhaps one size does not fit all.
When one thinks of how many properties there are within the Masai Mara, this model, in comparision to that of the conservancies, is obviously not working as you state above...
Eventually if lion ranges could be increased, you would need to further buffer the buffers but in reality, how much further can the greater Mara ecosystem extend?
@Calvin Cottar talks a lot about the issue and especially fencing in the 3rd issue of Safaritalk's Magazine...