KENYA AND TANZANIA CONDUCTING JOINT TRANSBOUNDARY GAME COUNT
A regular conservation source from Arusha has sent details about a planned joint transboundary game count, going underway shortly to cover areas along the common border, like Amboseli / Kilimanjaro national parks and further into the Rift Valley along the Lake Magadi / Lake Natron areas.
The census was agreed upon in the face of alarming poaching numbers becoming available of elephant and other game, prompting the African Wildlife Foundation, in short known as AWF, to help finance the 80 million Kenya Shillings cost.
One of the added components will be a detailed assessment of the greater Amboseli area vis a vis sharply grown human populations, expanding ever further into marginal land areas previously left for the wildlife to roam and migrate, as agricultural production was thought to be impossible on a sustained basis.
Major wildlife corridors in Kenya, extending from Amboseli, and in fact from across the border in Tanzania even, to as far as the Nairobi National Park or the Chyulu Hills, are now increasingly diverted to other uses, prompting NEMA in Nairobi recently to put a moratorium of at least one year on all developments in this area. This time out period is hopefully providing some useful data on migration patterns and routes of game, then allowing for transit areas to be gazette and making human settlements illegal.
The last census was done in 2010, according to the source, during which zebras, elephant, wildebeest, giraffes and gazelles were counted, among other species, as well as bird counts undertaken.
The count will be conducted from the air to cover the entire area more effectively and use established methods to calculate the game roaming the surveyed parts. Results, as and when available, will be published here.