NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Stringent laws and international cooperation to contain threats
to Kenya’s elephants including poaching and natural calamities have boosted
their population in five key ecosystems, a senior official said on Friday.
Judy Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Natural
Resources, told a media briefing in Nairobi that the total elephant population
in the Laikipia-Samburu-Meru-Marsabit, Mwea, Aberdare, Mau Forest Complex and
the Mount Kenya ecosystem has increased from 13,990 in 2012 to 14,642 as of
November this year.
"Recently enacted stricter wildlife laws coupled with international
cooperation to combat trafficking of ivory has resulted in an increase in the
number of elephants," said Wakhungu during the release of the census of
elephants, Buffalo, Giraffe and Grevy’s Zebra carried out recently in northern
Kenya wildlife Service(KWS) and partners conducted an aerial survey in the
savannah ecosystem of Laikipia-Samburu-Meru-Marsabit, Meru Conservation Area and
Mwea national Reserve, whereas ground surveys using the dung count have been
carried out in the forested ecosystems of the Aberdare Forest, May Forest
Complex and the Mount Kenya Forest.
These surveys are undertaken after every 3-5 years to help obtain accurate
statistics on giant land mammals and challenges facing their habitat.
Wakhungu said the country’s stringent wildlife laws that root for a minimum
of 20 years imprisonment for ivory trafficking has discouraged poaching of
elephants and rhinos.
She revealed that between 2012 and 2017 elephant poaching in Kenya declined
by 80 percent.
The cabinet secretary noted that robust cooperation among government bodies
such as border and tax agencies had led to a drastic slump in the slaughter of
At the same time, Wakhungu hailed concerted efforts at the global level to
contain the poaching menace that has threatened the survival of Kenya’s wildlife