KWS: Kenya’s carnivores endangered
The number of Kenya’s carnivorous wildlife is declining at an alarming rate due to poaching, loss of land and encroachment, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has said.
KWS director general, Brig. (Rtd) John Waweru, said the country has lost two per cent of its cheetah population in the last decade.
It is estimated that there are as few as 1,500 cheetahs in Kenya.
“Cheetah populations have suffered a two per cent decline in the last decade and 90 per cent reduction in lion range across Africa,” he said in Nairobi yesterday while presiding over the opening of the 13th Annual Carnivore Conference.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 463 Kenyan wildlife species as endangered, while the Wildlife Conservation Management Act 2013 lists just over 200.
The National Wildlife Conservation Status Report 2015-2017 noted that a new category – Protected Species - exists in Schedule 6 of the Act, which is not found in the IUCN list. The Act does not, however, define what constitutes Protected Species.
Out of the 36 carnivore species listed found in Kenya, only nine are listed in the WCMA 2013 as endangered or vulnerable.
These are; lion, cheetah, leopard, African golden cat, African wild dog, spotted and striped hyenas, spotted-necked otter and Jackson’s mongoose.
Lion population numbers were listed as 1,970 in the Report. The data was derived from a 2008 National Survey.
The conference aims to share information and knowledge on carnivore conservation and management in Kenya.
“Delegates should recommend ways of tackling challenges facing the meat-eating mammals,” he said.