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First-ever large carnivore census in Amboseli
Date Published: 14 Feb, 2012
Kenya Wildlife Service in partnership with Tanzania Wildlife Division and the African Wildlife Fund (AWF) will from Tuesday, February 14, 2012 begin a joint first-ever large carnivore census in the Amboseli-West Kilimanjaro cross-border ecosystem. The 10-day census programme which has been funded jointly by KWS and AWF to a tune of KSh1.2 million is set to determine the abundance and spatial distribution of large carnivores across the cross-border ecosystem. The programme has also been supported by Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) and group ranches within the Amboseli and West Kilimanjaro ecosystem. The group ranches include; Olgulului Ololorashi, Eselengei, Mbirikani, Kimana, Mailua, Olgulului Trust and Enduimet Wildlife Management areas in West Kilimanjaro. The targeted large carnivore species for this survey include the lion, hyena, cheetah, leopard, jackal and wild dog. The census is aimed to provide baseline information to set up a long-term monitoring programme for large carnivore populations in the Amboseli-West Kilimanjaro cross-border ecosystem. Predation is a major issue to the communities living adjacent to both Amboseli National Park and West Kilimanjaro area. Therefore, this exercise will be a key factor in validating community’s complaints, especially on the size of the hyena population and the livestock losses caused by large carnivores. It will also to determine the abundance and spatial distribution of the large carnivores. Conflict caused by large carnivores has raised perception of large numbers of large carnivores in the ecosystem. In addition, human-carnivore conflict mitigation initiatives are not uniform across the two countries. Therefore, the census will provide information that can be a basis for these measures.
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