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Kenya, Tanzania To Commence Wildlife Census in Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem

All about the lions of the Serengeti in Tanzania
Written by See Africa Today

Respective tourism authorities in Kenya and Tanzania will undertake a joint wildlife count.

The exercise will be undertaken at the cross borders of Kenya and Tanzania.

The census will focus on the big five – elephants, buffalos, leopards, lions and rhinos. The two countries will also take count of other big mammals crossing the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.

At the iconic Maasai Mara, millions of wild animals among them thousands of wildebeest cross over to Serengeti every year in search of pasture.

A meeting recently by stakeholders from both countries at the Mara Serena Safari Lodge resolved to have the number of all big mammals recorded.

Narok Governor Samule ole Tunai chaired meeting dubbed ‘the Greater Serengeti Society Platform.

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Tunai whose county hosts Maasai Mara doubles up as the chair of Tourism and Natural Resources Management Committee of the Council of Governors Samuel Tunai.

The census is aimed at giving a tangible course way into the conservation of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.

It will resolve the challenges that have dogged the joint ecosystem that threatens the existence of wildlife in the long term.

Facilitated by the European Union (EU) a special task force has been formed to prepare an operational plan on the census.

Kenya Wildlife Service, rangers in the Maasai Mara, officials from Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Wildlife Division of Tanzania and Tanzania National Parks and NGOs will be involved in the census.

Tunai said that an aerial census will kick-off. In the end, they will be able to answer questions on wildlife population, trends and distribution.

It will also inform a model on how to create a cohesive existence between monitoring wildlife and their management between Kenya and Tanzania.

Data collected will narrow down on the number of individual animals. It will then be used to guide policies on the management of human-wildlife conflict on this ecosystem.

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“The information that will be gathered from the census will establish how many Rhinos are there, the data will be used for planning and preparing the management for possible wildlife security and human-wildlife conflict eventualities in the ecosystem,” the Narok Governor stated.

In the recent past, stakeholders have raised alarm over the high death rate of iconic animals on this ecosystem.

A distance of about 1,500 miles, the Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem runs from Loita Hills in Narok and crosses into Ngorongoro Highlands in Tanzania where Serengeti sits.

This ecosystem tops as Africa’s most diverse wildlife conservation area.

In the last 50 years, 40 per cent of the iconic animals have died while the big five – rhinos and elephants – have been under intense threat.

Poaching and climate change have been blamed for the ecosystem’s change.

In the past, various interventions have been undertaken through wildlife research and creating community awareness.

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