Date of Graduation


Document Type



East Africa's wildlife is justly famous. This study examines the difficulty of preserving large numbers of wild animals in societies committed to widespread and rapid economic development. In Kenya the colonial administration had to devise a policy that would enable a rapidly expanding European settler community to live side by side with hundreds of thousands of potentially destructive wild animals. As far as Uganda was concerned, the authorities had to prevent the country's elephant herds from destroying agricultural crops without destroying them. Tanganyika's situation was even more complex. A large number of European and African farmers believed that the only way to stop the spread of sleeping sickness and nagana was to eradicate totally the country's fauna. It fell to Charles Swynnerton to disprove this theory. By 1945 it had become clear to conservationists throughout East Africa that if the region's wildlife was to survive the twentieth century a comprehensive national park system would have to be established in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika. Within fifteen years, however, it was evident that even national parks were unable to stop the relentless slaughter of the area's fauna. Indeed, after reviewing all pertinent published and unpublished materials it could only be concluded that man and animal could not live side by side in peace and harmony. The only realistic wildlife preservation policy was therefore one that would delay rather than prevent the destruction of East Africa's fauna.