, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 3 – Kenyan and Tanzanian will jointly conduct a cross-border aerial count of elephants and other large mammals in the shared ecosystem of the Amboseli-West Kilimanjaro and Natron-Magadi landscape.
Kenya Wildlife Service spokesperson Paul Udoto says the initiative is set to start from October 6 to 13, 2013.
The weeklong exercise is a collaboration between the two countries and their wildlife agencies; the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Wildlife Division of Tanzania and Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) together with affiliated Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) like the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE), private sponsors and members of the local community.
The aerial census seeks to establish the landscape’s wildlife population abundance, trends and distribution.
It will also enhance knowledge on the relationship between wildlife, habitat and human impacts while at the same fostering cross-border collaboration on wildlife monitoring and management between the two East African countries.
The exercise seeks to safeguard the vast ecosystem that is threatened by human influence that includes pastoral activities, crop farming and proliferation of charcoal burning.
“This in a huge way affects wildlife dispersal and a huge concern to the future of the area for wildlife conservation.”
The information gathered from the census will be also used for planning and preparing park managements for possible wildlife security and human-wildlife conflict eventualities in any ecosystem.
The exercise will be funded by the two governments and various NGOs to the tune of Sh12 million.