Ecological monitoring is the long-term quantitative assessment of the structured dynamics of an ecosystem or some portion of it. Within the Kenyan context, knowledge on the status and trends of ecosystems and the species they contain is fundamental to KWS' ability to manage these resources. In view of this the primary purpose of KWS' ecological monitoring programme is to gather, organize and make available to management data and information on species, ecosystems and their associated processes.
More specifically KWS' Ecological Monitoring Programme looks at the following thematic areas. Large mammals, small mammals, plants, birds, herps, invertebrates, ethno botany, mycology, water quality, hydrology, bio-prospecting, disease and vectors.
With regard to large mammals, KWS in collaboration with its partners and stakeholders conducts aerial censuses regularly in five major ecosystems. These are Tsavo-Mkomazi, Amboseli-Kilimanjaro, Mara, Meru and Laikipia-Samburu. The detailed results from some of these censuses can be seen in the download reports below.
- Amboseli West Kilimanjaro and Magadi - Natron Cross Border Landscape March 2010 Wet Season
- Amboseli West Kilimanjaro Large Carnivore Census Report 2012
- Amboseli West Kilimanjaro and Magadi - Natron Cross Border Landscape April 2013 Wet Season
- Amboseli West Kilimanjaro and Magadi - Natron Cross Border Landscape October 2013 Dry Season
- Laikipia Samburu Aerial Count Final Report August 2013
- Mara Elephant Count Report 2014
- Final Tsavo Count Report 2005
In addition to aerial censuses, KWS has recently started to conduct detailed biodiversity assessments that will in the long run provide invaluable information on ecological monitoring.