Wildlife in Amboseli, Samburu and Tsavo most affected by drought – report
According to a report released by Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Peninah Malonza, wildlife in Amboseli, Laikipia-Samburu, and Tsavo ecosystems are the most adversely affected as a result of the ongoing drought in the country.
The data collated from the months of February through to October 2022 indicates that, the Southern Conservation Area particular Amboseli ecosystem is the most affected followed by the Laikipia-Samburu landscape.
“The drought has negatively impacted on the herbivore populations and particularly wildebeest and zebra,” the report says.
Various wildlife species have been impacted by the drought, according to Malonza, with a total of 14 different species being impacted between February and October 2022.
“Due to drought, we have lost 512 Wildebeests, 381 Common Zebras, 205 elephants, 49 Grevy Zebras, 51 Buffaloes, and 12 Giraffes (8 Reticulated, and 4 Maasai species),” she added.
Malonza provided several recommendations, among them the need for urgent and immediate water provision as well as salt licks in the most affected ecosystems.
She also recommended expanding over the next two months the area covered by the hay distribution to Grevy’s zebra in northern Kenya.
Malonza claimed that in order to better understand the effects of the drought and suggest future and timely appropriate management action, Wildlife Research & Training Institute (WRTI) needs to be given financial support to carry out well-structured monitoring of wildlife mortality in all protected areas and key ecosystems.
In order to assess the effects of the current drought on wildlife, the CS further stated that an urgent total aerial census of wildlife in the Amboseli ecosystem was required before the upcoming rainy season. She requested that the National Treasury set aside funds to support the 2024 National Wildlife Census.