Many exotic plant species introduced to Laikipia County, Kenya, have escaped cultivation and threaten biodiversity. Little is currently known however, about the presence of invasive species or their impact. Without this type of information, it is unlikely that various stakeholders will take action to effectively manage this threat. This project aims to fill some gaps and increase knowledge of invasive species in Laikipia for pastoralists and those actively involved in biodiversity conservation.
Pastoralists in northern Kenya are heavily dependent on livestock. Their lives are being devastated by the non-native cactus Opuntia stricta. This weed has invaded the last good grazing land and when livestock and wildlife eat its fruits the spines can cause infection and death. Chemical and mechanical control methods are expensive and impractical, so we are helping to introduce a new sustainable method: a sap-sucking insect that feeds solely on the cactus.