NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s wildlife agency said Friday it has
finalized developing the sixth edition of the five-year Kenya
Black Rhino Action Plan (2017-2021), which is to be launched
later this year.
Service (KWS) Acting Director General, Julius Kimani, said the
vision is to conserve at least 2,000 black rhinos of the Eastern
African subspecies, while the overall goal for the next five
years is to achieve a meta-population of 830 black rhinos by the
end of 2021.
“We ask all Kenyans
to show their support for rhino conservation by working together
on this day and let the world know we care about the plight of
rhinos, debunk myths of their horns’ value and diminish the
demand for rhino horn,” said Kimani in a statement issued to
mark the World Rhino Day.
The development of
the Action Plan follows the worst period in rhino conservation
in recent years, with reported rhino poaching of 5,703 black and
white rhinos in Africa between 2012 and 2016.
According to Kimani,
over the last three years, poaching had dwindled in Kenya
largely due to concerted efforts by the government with local
and international stakeholders.
The world celebrated
all five remaining species of rhinoceros: black, white, greater
one-horned, Sumatran and Javan rhinos. There are only 40 Javan
rhinos left worldwide, KWS said.
KWS exhorted the
world to work together in supporting rhino conservation, and to
debunk existing myths about the rhino horn, which will
extinguish demand for these horns worldwide.
A meeting was held
Friday in northern Kenya to mark the day, bringing together
government agencies, NGO’s, businesses and cause-related
organizations as well as the general public, to celebrate our
heritage and share information on rhino conservation.
World Wide Fund for
Nature (WWF) CEO Mohamed Awer said at the meeting that they
continued to support KWS in Rhino conservation, which had seen
the reduction of poaching incidences and increase in rhino
“We have invested in
use of technology in two rhino conservation areas to boost
security levels as well as established a sanctuary in Tsavo East
that will see increased space for breeding to increase rhino
population,” Awer said.
conservationists, all of the world’s rhino species are under
threat, predominantly for their horn, which is mostly used in
traditional Eastern medicine.
Rhino horn is made
up primarily of keratin, the same type of protein that
constitutes hair and fingernails. It has no medicinal
in the 1970s and 1980s occasioned a substantial deterioration in
the rhino population, from upwards of around 20,000 to
approximately 300 individuals in 1989.
The surviving rhinos
were then corralled into fortified sanctuaries with the aim of
KWS said it has been
working together with county governments, conservation agencies,
private and community sanctuaries to diminish threats posed to
Kenya’s rhino population.
hosts the third-largest population of rhinos tallying at 1,149
as at the end of 2016, after South Africa and Namibia, according