Kenya Conducts Wildlife Census, Names Animals at Risk from Growing Human Population

Kenya’s Government has said black rhinos, sable antelopes and three other species are critically endangered, while nine more species, including elephants, lions, and cheetahs, are endangered.

This was revealed in a report on Tuesday by the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife following a three-month survey of its wildlife from May to July, the first time it has conducted such an exercise aimed at informing its conservation policies.

The National Wildlife Census Report was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on August 31, 2021.

According to the government’s report, conservation efforts are under threat from an expanding population, which is encroaching on wildlife areas.

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Farming and the construction of roads and railways have had a negative effect on the distribution of animals in some regions, the government says.

“Livestock incursions, logging, charcoal burning, settlements and fires were observed in conservation areas,” the government said in the report.

Kenya counts some of its most vulnerable animals, such as rhinos and elephants, periodically, but the recent census marked the first time animals were counted systematically across the country.

The country defined critically endangered species as those that could go extinct without immediate action, while endangered species are likely to survive longer without intervention.

The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that tourism accounted for 8.2% of Kenya’s GDP in 2019, with much of it coming from nature parks, although it has declined dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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