AN aerial count of elephants, grey zebra and other wildlife in Laikipia, Samburu, Isiolo and Marsabit ecosystem intensified yesterday when Kenya Wildlife Services and Conservation NGOs deployed 13 aircraft's to monitor and collect data.
Assistant Director Mountain Conservation Area Aggrey Maumo said the census is meant to identify endangered species following increased poaching, drought, infrastructural development and climate change.
He said the data will enable Kenya Wildlife Services and other organizations dealing in conservation management to tackle emerging challenges and come up with right approach towards addressing issues affecting the sector.
Among the organizations that took part in the wildlife count at Isiolo Sarova Shaba lodge include, African Wildlife Foundation, Save the Elephant, Northern Range Land Trust, Department of Resource Survey and Remote sensing, African Elephants Specialists Group and Space for Giants.
KWS employed the global positioning system technique with ARGIS soft ware used for plotting species distribution maps. The exercise kicks off at 6.30 in the morning and ends late in the evening while the staffs take break during the refueling at strategic point to avoid waste of time and energy.
The survey will also gather information on large mammals such as lion buffalo, giraffe,eland and rhino as well as livestock. Other data to be collected included locations of human activities,logging,farming,settlement and cattle boma, water points and large birds like ostrich.