Kenya is Launching its First Wildlife Inventory

This headcount is set to help optimize how this African country cares for its precious wild animals.

Jul 10, 2021
Kenya is Launching its First Wildlife Inventory | This headcount is set to help optimize how this African country cares for its precious wild animals.

The East African country of Kenya is famous for its scenic landscapes and wealth of wildlife. Its inland areas in particular are made up of populous highlands famous for their variety of animal species. This impressive roll call includes lions, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, deer, rhinoceroses and hippopotamuses. 

Now the country’s government has commissioned an impressive first; a rigorous nationwide wildlife survey for 2021. The goal is to gather data to spur the introduction of the best conservation measures for these animals and their habitats, and to identify threats to its vast but threatened wildlife populations. 

It is also hoped that the survey results will inform next policy steps to best reduce the challenges to Kenya’s precious animal assets. 

These challenges include climate change, poaching, and the illegal trade in wildlife. But they also take in the fallout from the country’s population and tourism industry growth: the new hotels, the additional road and rail infrastructure, and increased forest destruction. These can, for instance, interfere with wildlife migratory corridors, and so hinder animal movements. 

AS our NTV Kenya video shows, the species this census will record include endangered primates, principal birds such as ostriches, marine mammals, and rare species such as the Sable antelope. “It will be conducted in eight conservation areas including the savanna, semi-arid areas, wetlands and forested ecosystems. These will help establish population sizes for different species, water sources, and also help map out factors that affect the animals,” reveals this TV report.

The nationwide census will use several advanced ground and aerial tech tools to measure local wildlife. These include GPS, helicopter and 4x4 vehicle surveillance, microchips, and camera traps. 

Najib Balala, the country’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, explained the survey’s rationale to  ktn NEWS, “It is important for us to understand, what do we have, what do we possess, what do we own as a nation,” recognizing the very positive local recognition of local fauna as a key national asset. 

Experts are highlighting how this initiative will generate updated strategies for wildlife conservation and management, while monitoring the number and distribution of threatened species such as pangolins.

Winnie Kiiru, Chairperson of the Kenya Wildlife Research and Training Institute (WIRI) explains in the video that  “This has given us the opportunity to give research the role that it deserves in wildlife management

Speaking on behalf of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Brig. Rtd. John Waweru, its Director General, said “We are going to continuously improve our operations, reduce costs, multiskill the teams, and employ new technologies to ensure [our] wildlife population is sustained.”

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Daphne has a background in editing, writing and global trends. She is inspired by trends seeing more people care about sharing and protecting resources, enjoying experiences over products and celebrating their unique selves. Making the world a better place has been a constant motivation in her work.