Kenya and Tanzania are set to conduct a joint cross-border count of rhinoceros and other large mammals in the shared Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.
The census is one of the resolutions reached by a joint meeting dubbed ‘the Greater Serengeti Society Platform’
Chaired by chairperson of Tourism and Natural Resources Management Committee of the Council of Governors Samuel Tunai, it had in attendance key tourism industry players from the two countries.
The forum also deliberated on successes in conservation of the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem, as well as challenges and the interventions needed.
Attendees at the workshop facilitated by the European union included senior managers and directors from Kenya Wildlife Services, Tanzania National Parks, and Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority.
Others are Narok County, Maasai Mara game reserve warden, Frankfurt Zoological Society, Tanzania Association of Tour Operators, Grumeti & Friedkin and the Maasai Mara Wildlife Associations.
The meeting saw to the constitution of the committee tasked with the cross-border census. It involved Kenya Wildlife Service, Narok county government rangers, Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Wildlife Division of Tanzania and Tanzania National Parks and Environmental activists.
The aerial census seeks to establish the wildlife population, trends and distribution as well as foster cross-border collaboration on wildlife monitoring and management between the two East African countries.
Tunai said data from the census will be used for planning and preparing the management for possible wildlife security and human-wildlife conflict eventualities in the ecosystem.
Researcher Grant Hopcraft said the Tanzanian government has moved about 8,000 persons out of the Speke Game Controlled Area in a bid to conserve Serengeti’s ecosystem as it faces shortfalls in rainfall.