KWS undertaking 10-day big four wildlife Census

The Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary (CS), Prof. Judi Wakhungu on Monday launched an aerial survey for big four wildlife census in five counties.

Prof. Wakhungu said the census will include elephants, buffaloes, giraffes and grevy zebras in Marsabit, Isiolo, Meru, Laikipia and Samburu Counties.

She said the census will quantify impacts of livestock incursion in Laikipia-Samburu ecosystem by armed herdsmen and the destruction of property before erecting electric fences along wildlife protection areas.

Prof. Wakhungu revealed that the census would also ascertain human-wildlife conflicts, drought effects on wild species, elephant poaching levels and their population.

The CS said cases of poaching in the country went down by 80 per cent since the enactment of Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 201 3 which has stringent penalties in the world.

She said that 75 per cent of tourism depended on wildlife hence the beneficiaries are the communities.

The CS added that the exercise will allow establishment of wildlife corridors, map human settlements, offer effective management and detail changes in these mammals population size.

She urged county governments to allocate resources for the management of the county reserves as well as activities like aerial surveys.

Prof. Wakhungu called on the devolved units to incorporate the information generated from the survey to formulate county spatial plans.

This year’s census covers an area of about 60,000 square kilometers and will bring together more than 20 conservation organizations across the country.

Source: Kenya News Agency