NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 6 – The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife on Thursday unveiled a recovery action plan for lions and spotted hyenas in renewed efforts to attain viable populations and a healthy ecosystem.
Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, speaking during the launch at the Maasai Mara National Reserve, noted the recovery plan addresses threats faced by the two carnivores in a holistic and collaborative manner.
“This aims for the long-term vision of sustaining viable populations of lions and spotted hyenas in healthy ecosystems as a world heritage valued by Kenyans,” he said.
A report by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) identifies lions and spotted hyenas Kenya’s most iconic yet threatened predators due to increased human population and encroachment which often results in human-wildlife conflict.
Other reasons include land use changes, climate change, habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
Lions and spotted hyena are top predators who play crucial ecological roles within their ecosystems.
The widespread decline of the spotted hyena which is now listed as ‘vulnerable’ and the lion classified as ‘endangered’ under the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013, spell hurdles to maintaining a balance ecosystem in the future.
Kenya’s lion population is estimated at 2,489.