The Masai Mara National Reserve and the neighbouring private reserves are one of the areas of the African continent that hosts the largest number of researchers who are dedicated to different projects but all with the common goal of conservation.

Mara Hyena Project

The Masai Mara is the main place of research for Spotted Hyenas; two research centres from the University of Michigan currently study the behaviour and psychology of these carnivores.
There is also a team in charge of studying and analysing the River Mara basin; the research area covers not only the stretch of the river that flows across Kenya but also the one flowing in Tanzania; Mara River is of vital importance for the Great Masai Mara and Serengeti Ecosystem and as well for the life of about one million people.
The Mara Predator Project is another research project that takes a census and monitors the population of lions in this area; the research area concentrates on the conservancies North of the Masai Mara National Reserve where wild animals, including lions, live together with local human communities.
The project identifies and studies the population of lions in response to a series of stimuli and external events, such as the change of management of a conservancy, human settlements, the movement of livestock of the Maasai and tourism.
The research is conducted in partnership with the lodges and tented camps in the area interested in the study and the guides are trained to recognize the lions being studied.
Even the guests are encouraged to participate in the project by photographing the lions; an online database for each individual lion is posted and made accessible to everyone.

Mara-Meru Cheetah Project

Another project active in the Masai Mara and the Mara-Meru reserves is the Meru Cheetah Project, monitoring the population of cheetahs, analysing the status and dynamics of cheetah population and examining the impact of other predators and the presence of humans on the behaviour and survival of cheetahs.

Cheetahs are identified by visual recognition, analysing the spots on the front and hind legs, from the legs to the shoulders or hips, since the spot pattern is unique for each specimen as well as the tail spots and rings.

The field data collected are used to monitor their movements, identify and track the parental relationships between specimens, calculate the survival rate of cubs, know the life span of the specimens and keep track of the reproduction history of each animal.

It is a pioneering all-comprehensive study under which monitoring is conducted at regular intervals and field data are compared with previous analyses to verify any change and deviation, with special focus on the status of cheetah population and the effects of human presence on the behaviour and survival of these wonderful animals.

This project is conducted in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Narok County Council, the Transmara County Council and the Masai Mara Cultural Tour Association run by the Maasai. 
The identification work is done in partnership with the Mara Hyena Project, and they both are committed to train the guides of lodges and tented camps, teaching them the specimen identification methods.

Mara Naboisho Lion Project

This project has the ambition of being able to monitor the location of lion prides and predict their movements in order to warn the Maasai sheperds to lead their cattle in areas where there are no big cats.

The goal is to minimize possible accidents due to the coexistence in the same area of cattle and lions, thus minimising the killing of cattle by felines and avoiding any reprisals by the Maasai.

Mara Elephant Project

This project is put in place to monitor and better understand the movements of herds of elephants through the tracking of some specimens wearing a radio collar; it also promotes the formation of local communities in order to raise their awareness regarding the poaching problem.

Elephant Voices

This research is conducted in several private reserves that lie North of the Masai Mara National Reserve and involves multiple players, not only researchers, but also safari guides, lodge and tented camp managers, visitors and local communities.

The goal is to collect information from multiple sources, including social networks, to identify, monitor and protect elephant specimens.