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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

 

Kenya to conduct aerial census on
giant mammals in northern counties

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and key partners are set to conduct an aerial survey on giant mammals including elephants, buffaloes, grevy zebras and giraffes in the expansive northern frontier ecosystem.

The agency said in a statement issued in Nairobi on Saturday that the aerial survey, which begins on Nov. 19-30, aims to assess the population of these large mammals and challenges facing them.

“This year’s aerial survey will focus on these four charismatic and endangered species in an effort to establish their total numbers and distribution,” KWS said.

The data collected will then be compared with that from past aerial surveys to discern the species trends, it added.

Both local and international conservation groups have pledged support for the survey of giant land mammals in counties including Laikipia and Meru that are renowned biodiversity hotspots.

“The exercise specific objectives is to determine the present status of elephant, buffalo, giraffe and grevy zebra population, establish elephant poaching levels through observation of carcasses,” said KWS.

It added that changes to the wildlife habitat in the northern frontier districts linked to climate change and human activities will also be factored in the aerial survey.

Kenya wildlife survey conducted an aerial survey on wildlife species in the northern region in 2012 while the new one will help update data on their status in the light of mounting ecological and human induced threats.

“The survey will primarily gather data on the four giant mammals. However, information on livestock will also be obtained. Other data to be collected will include: location of human activities like logging, farming, settlements and water points,” said KWS.

It disclosed that local and foreign conservation lobby groups will donate aircraft and personnel to support the elaborate census on giant mammals in the northern frontier districts.

             

 

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