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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

 

elephant roams the South Luangwa National Park | Coastweek

NAIROBI (Kenya Wildlife Services) -- World Elephant Day celebrated on August 12 every year is set aside to bring attention to the plight of the African and Asian elephants, whose very existence teeters on the brink of extinction. A lone elephant [above] roams at the South Luangwa National Park in Mambwe district, Zambia. XINHUA PHOTO - PENG LIJUN
 

 

Conservationist bringing attention to the plight of all elephants

NAIROBI (Kenya Wildlife Services) -- World Elephant Day is celebrated on August 12 every year is set aside to bring attention to the plight of the African and Asian elephants, whose very existence teeters on the brink of extinction.

The largest land mammals on earth are intelligent and family-oriented.

They have eidetic memories and can experience a plethora of emotions.

The most significant risks to the elephant are:

Habitat loss and defragmentation, which deprives elephants of the hundreds of pounds of food they need daily

Increased human pressure and the need for improved infrastructural developments

Poaching and consumer demand for ivory

Human-Wildlife conflict

Circuses and tourism. Training elephants often involves tying and beating them daily, and

Limited financial resources

KWS in conjunction with other relevant agencies, both local and international, has taken the following measures to protect and conserve the elephant:

Enhanced inter departmental collaboration in intelligence information gathering and sharing among key government departments and the inclusion of elephant poaching and illegal ivory trade into the agenda of the Nation Security Council

Cross-border collaborations in information sharing and deployment of wildlife security patrols

Enhanced capacity of law enforcement and wildlife protection agencies

Global public awareness campaigns more especially to the consumer countries, against poaching and illegal trade in ivory

Improved engagement of communities living with elephants as active partners to elephant conservation through supporting community efforts to manage and benefit from wildlife

Establishment of DNA and forensic laboratory that has helped identify the origin of seized ivory and isotopic analysis that provide admissible evidence in courts of law

Improved focus on species specific challenges through development and implementation of species action plans

KWS mounted and continues to support a campaign to create awareness and generating the required resources that will help bring to the fore the plight of African and Asian elephants, hence ensuring their conservation for posterity.

The July 2017 launch of the Wildlife Migratory Corridors and Dispersal Areas report in Nairobi National Park was a milestone whereby KWS, in conjunction with stakeholders, elevated efforts to guarantee that future generations continue to enjoy our elephants and their uniquely fascinating way of life.
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EARLIER REPORT:

Conservationist across the world to come together to celebrate World Lion Day

NAIROBI (Kenya Wildlife Services) -- August 10, 2017 was World Lion Day, for people across the world to come together to celebrate the King of the Jungle, and to help raise the awareness needed for the conservation of the world’s lions.

World Lion Day is based on the disconcerting reality that the lion population trend is decreasing, with numbers having dramatically declined to the point where the species has been listed in the CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) Appendix II.
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Species on this list are grouped in the Appendices according to how threatened they are by illegal trade in wildlife trophies.

The proposal to move the African lion from CITES Appendix II to CITES Appendix I was officially defeated at the 17th CITES Conference.

Africa is home to most of the world’s lion population, with the majority being found in East Africa (KWS, 2010). Lions historically roamed the greater part of the African continent but are now limited to pockets occupying less than 20 per cent of their historic range (IUCN, 2010).

There are myriad threats to the African lion: unsustainable trophy hunting, international trade in lion parts, retaliatory killing and/ or ‘pre-emptive’ killing to protect livestock, loss of prey, habitat loss and fragmentation due to conversion for livestock and/ or crops.

As the human population continues to expand exponentially, the big cats are forced to share living quarters with humans and their livestock.

  Kenyan lionness KWS PHOTO - SUHAIB ALVI | Coastweek

NAIROBI (Kenya Wildlife Services) -- The current estimate of lion population stands at around 2,000 individuals (2007). As a top predator in the food chain as well as being a major contributor to Kenya’s GDP through foreign exchange earnings obtained from the tourism sector, the conservation of Panthera leo holds a special place on the KWS bucket list. KWS PHOTO - SUHAIB ALVI
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The biggest threat to carnivores in Kenya is conflict with humans.

Large carnivores are becoming extremely rare outside protected areas.

Cases such as the 2012 killing of six lions which strayed from Nairobi National Park by disgruntled locals, who speared the cats to death as a result of preying on livestock, are an example of why protecting the lion remains a priority.

The current estimate of lion population stands at around 2,000 individuals (2007).

As a top predator in the food chain as well as being a major contributor to Kenya’s GDP through foreign exchange earnings obtained from the tourism sector, the conservation of Panthera leo holds a special place on the KWS bucket list.

KWS has adopted various strategies to help communities living close to wildlife areas deal with losses brought about by carnivores.

These include:

Helping communities in building predator proof bomas

Collaring of conflict animals using satellite collars to monitor movement

Education and awareness campaigns on good animal husbandry

Use of visual deterrents close to livestock bomas (flash lights, fires, lanterns, scarecrows…)

Use of guard dogs, and

Use of ‘noise makers’ to scare away approaching predators

The Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013 provides for compensation on cases of depredation on livestock.

KWS has adopted various strategies to reverse habitat loss.

The launch of the Wildlife Migratory Corridors and Dispersal Areas report in July 2017 saw conservation stakeholders join hands to preserve corridors used by wildlife.

             

 

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