In line with her mandate to conserve wildlife in the country, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has since November 19, 2017 been leading a number of other key partners in a total count of elephants, buffaloes, Grevy’s Zebras and Reticulated Giraffe in the greater northern landscape of Kenya.
The count, undertaken between November19 and 30, 2017, used 15 aircraft, with pilots and observers to systematically survey Laikipia, Samburu, Isiolo, Marsabit and Meru counties from the air.
This year’s total count focused on these four charismatic and endangered species in an effort to establish their total numbers. The data collected will then be compared to past aerial survey counts of wildlife.
Comparing the information helps to evaluate the success of the country’s landscape and species conservation efforts and provides information on where to concentrate future conservation resources. Trends in land use, livestock, and human settlements are also noted.
This year’s total count was broadly supported by the conservation organizations of this great landscape.
The Great Northern Kenya Wildlife Count includes an area of more than 65,000 square kilometers and took seven full days.
This area is singularly one of Kenya’s great wildlife conservation areas. Wildlife survives here because of the goodwill of its residents, including land use that supports or tolerates wildlife.
USAID provided funding support through a grant to KWS, and many organizations, companies and individuals volunteered their time and expertise to make this year’s count a success.