NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is developing a new
strategic framework to revitalize conservation of rhinos whose
survival is at stake due to human and climatic threats, officials
said on Tuesday evening.
KWS Director General Kitili Mbathi
said that new rhino conservation measures hinge on technology
adoption and robust community involvement.
"We are working on a raft of strategies that will be unveiled
soon to strengthen conservation of rhinos in their habitat.
"The iconic mammals are still facing the threat of poaching due
to their horn," Mbathi said during an event to green iconic statues
of Black rhinos inside Nairobi National Park.
The Embassy of Ireland sponsored the greening of statues of two
iconic rhinos, Kyela and Lankeu as part of global events to
celebrate St Patricks Day.
Mbathi said the Kenyan wildlife agency has reached out to
bilateral partners and private sector to raise awareness on the
plight of rhinos whose numbers has shrunk due to poaching and
illegal occupation of their habitat.
"As a country, we are lobbying the international community to
oppose proposals in some quarters to legalize markets for rhino
horns," said Mbathi, adding that massive public awareness in the
source and destination markets for rhino horn is key to end their
The population of rhinos in Kenya stood at 1,149 in 2016, down
from 20,000 when the country attained independence from Britain in
According to the Deputy Director in Charge of Species at KWS,
Patrick Omondi, Kenya has the third largest population of rhinos in
the world after Namibia and South Africa.
Omondi noted that Kenya has managed to reverse loss of rhinos in
the last two decades thanks to innovative conservation measures
rolled out by the state and its bilateral partners.
"Plans are at an advanced stage to roll out the 2017-2020
recovery plan to increase the population of rhinos from the current
figure of 1,149 to 2,000 in the next three years," said Omondi.