3 December 2012

Kenya: KWS Raises Red Flag On Jumbo Numbers

The Kenya Wildlife Services has raised alarm over fall in the number of Elephants and grevy Zebra in the larger Laikipia, Samburu, Isiolo and Marsabit complex in the last three years.

KWS director William Kipkoech Kiprono said the number of elephants had reduced from 7,415 in 2008 census to 6,361 in the 2012 census while that of Grevy's zebra had gone down from 2,400 in 2008 to 1,870 in 2012 aerial count.

He was announcing the results of the recent aerial census at Sarova Shaba Lodge in Isiolo. Kiprono attributed the drop in the elephant population to increased poaching because of the increased demand for ivory.

He said drought, climate change and lack of pumps and signs on the Isiolo-Moyale highway were to blame for the deaths of zebras.

The director said illegal poaching has been on increase because of the availability of sophisticated guns especially in parts of Kwale where a number of elephants have been killed in the last few years.

Kiprono said KWS is working on a strategic plan on the setting up of an advanced radio network and structures in collaboration with the local communities in the war against poaching and other wildlife issues.

"I will not accept to supervise as director where animals were killed in masses. I would rather resign and watch from outside," said Kiprono.

He said the protection of wildlife should not be left to KWS alone, but other security agents, community and partners needs to be involved.

The census was done by KWS in collaboration Marwell Wildlife, African Wildlife Foundation, Save the elephant, Northern Range Land Trust, Department of Resource Survey and Remote sensing, African Elephants specialists group, Borana Ranches and Space for Giants.

Copyright © 2012 The Star. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.