Wildlife census begins in Amboseli National Park – Kenya News Agency
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is due to start the national wildlife census in Amboseli National Park in Kajiado County on Friday.
The eight-day exercise at one of Kenya’s largest game reserves will see wildlife enumerators walk through the county’s conservation areas counting wildlife.
KWS, deputy director in charge of the southern conservation area, Lekishon Kenana, said the objective of the exercise was to determine the population and distribution of wildlife in Kenya, to determine the exact locations of wildlife in order to minimize human conflict between wildlife and identify threats to wildlife conservation and management.
“The exercise will strengthen conservation efforts by determining the exact number of wildlife, including endangered species and their exact locations, thus enabling us to appropriately address issues affecting various wildlife species,” added Kenana.
He revealed that the census will follow standard methods to count different species. The aerial survey technique will be used to enumerate large mammals in arid and semi-arid savannas / conservation areas, while camera traps and dung enumeration methods will be used in forest ecosystems.
Kenana, who was speaking in Kajiado, noted that unlike the previous census where they only focused on the “ big five ” (elephants, lions, rhinos, buffalos and leopards), all other animals will be counted in the census. of this year.
“We will start the wildlife census in Amboseli on Friday and it will last eight days. All wildlife will be counted in this year’s census, not just the big five. All wildlife near the enumerators will be counted, ”he said.
The director added that the information generated during the census will support the implementation of Kenya’s conservation and tourism policies and tools to support adaptive management.
The census will also help the service determine the level of poaching of endangered wildlife and make relevant decisions on how to tackle the threat.
“Animal counts will help us understand population sizes and distribution, identify threats wildlife face and suggest conservation strategies,” he said.
Kenana further revealed that every two years the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife is required to provide information as outlined in the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act (WCMA), 2013, as well as the status of the wildlife resources monitoring report respectively.
Reports are supposed to be presented to Parliament by the Cabinet Secretary responsible for wildlife conservation and management, as stipulated in Articles 49 (4) and 64 (3) of the Conservation and Management Act 2013 from wildlife.
On May 7, Kenya launched its first national wildlife census to establish the state of its wildlife resources.
The two-month government-funded exercise at a cost of Sh250 million will be undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Kenya Wildlife Research and Training Institute.
By Rop Janet