An elephant population survey is now underway in the transboundary ecosystem of Tsavo West National Park, the Taita Hills Game Reserve and the Mkomanzi National Park across the border in Tanzania. This survey also affirms to ongoing close partnership and cooperation between TANAPA and KWS when it comes to transboundary activities, which after all benefit both organizations and both countries.
The game count commenced yesterday and was officially launched at the Sarova Taita Hills Lodge. The survey is also expected to bring some new insights into the migration patterns of elephant in the area, which in recent years has seen a significant increase of human – wildlife conflict, compelling the Kenya Wildlife Service to fence sections of the Tsavo West National Park to keep the elephant in, though periodic breakouts by large groups of elephant continues to pose a problem when they then raid crops and have to be driven back into the park at considerable cost.
The last census in 2011 revealed some 11.000 elephant in the area, making it a magnet for tourist visitors coming to Kenya and Tanzania on a big game safari and there is some concerns, considering the poaching increase over the past three years, that the numbers may be rather different this time.
Source: Wolfgang H Thome