16 February 2018

Kenya: 20 Elephants in Tsavo Get Tracking Collars for Protection

Twenty elephants in the Tsavo ecosystem have been fitted with advanced satellite radio tracking collars to track their movements.

The four-day exercise was conducted by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) with support from Save the Elephants (STE) and the Tsavo Trust (TT).


KWS Head Species Conservation and Management Dr Shadrack Ngene said 10 bulls and 10 females were fitted with advanced Savannah Tracking satellite radio tracking collars.

"The operation covered over 1,290 kilometres and involved technical personnel from KWS, STE and TT on ground and on air," Dr Ngene said.

The exercise helps gather valuable insights on elephant ranging patterns, habitat connectivity and how they adapt to infrastructure development thus enhance their conservation and management of elephants within the landscape.

The Tsavo ecosystem is home to over 12,000 elephants, which is the largest elephant population in Kenya.

"One of the collared elephants crossed the SGR twice two days after he was collared thus confirming the collared elephants will provide valuable data to inform land use planning and infrastructural development," the official said.


According to STE, putting tracking collars on elephants is a complex, risky and expensive operation but the data obtained is incredibly invaluable, providing an important and useful monitoring tool.

"This data will help us, Kenya Wildlife Service and Tsavo Trust to identify important elephant habitats and sites of increasing human-elephant conflict, which can lead us to develop new tools to help protect both elephants and farmers," the organisation said.

The collaring also helps in taming poaching in the country's parks which peaked between 2009 and 2013, as demand and prices for ivory shot up. In the four- year period, over 100,000 elephants were killed.

As part of conservation efforts, elephants are now fitted with GPS and satellite collars. One collar can help track about 30 elephants in a herd.

The mammals are mostly poached for their tusks.

In 1989, former President Daniel Moi set ablaze 12 tonnes of elephant tusks, the first statement in the country in the fight against illegal ivory trade.

In March 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta burnt 15 tonnes of tusks estimated to be worth Sh3 billion ($30 million).


President Kenyatta Concludes Historic Cuba Visit High On Health

President Uhuru Kenyatta today concluded his historic State visit to the Caribbean nation of Cuba that was sharply… Read more »

Copyright © 2018 The Nation. 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 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 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.