Kenya to Count Every Single Animal in the Country in the First Wildlife Census
Kenya has initiated its first national wildlife census that targets fuel conservation and identifying threats to its diverse yet threatened wildlife population.
The census will continue till July with researchers and community members counting animals on land and from aircraft. It will focus on counting the endangered or rare species such as pangolin, identified as potential intermediary species for COVID-19.
With the expanding human colonization, the changing climate has made resources scarcer and declined wildlife population as a result of lost habitat. Giraffe populations in Kenya have reduced to 40% in the last three decades.
Researchers know that there are major gaps in population, considering the current statistics. With this counting strategy, researchers will be more aware of what’s happening in Northern Kenya.
The aim is to understand population sizes and distribution, identify relative threats and suggest contributing conservational strategies.
Conservancies around Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve have become the lifeline of almost all the vulnerable wild animals that continue to face a decline in their natural habitat and struggle to survive.
Tourism accounts for 8.2% of Kenya’s GDP in 2019 but has fallen drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Kenya’s wildlife conservancies, nearly 70% of the wildlife is lost in Kenya over the last 30 years.
Communities around the national reserve continue to drive their livestock into the protected areas. This encroachment and a lack of planning from the government have brought wildlife conservation in Kenya to a crossroads.