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Welcome to Kenya Wildlife Service
Ranger-Based Management Information System
Date Published: 20 Jan, 2012
KWS rangers in the field using GPS and MIST data equipment during a security patrol
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) will on Monday, January 23, 2012 launch a ranger-based Management Information System (MIST) programme. The new data collection system will be used by all wildlife patrol teams both within the organisation and other conservation stakeholders.
KWS Board of Trustees Chairman, Hon. David Mwiraria, will preside over the function at the Rhino Base in Tsavo East National Park.
The new procedure will enable standardised routine collection of wildlife conservation status data for the country and will provide key indicators to enhance wildlife conservation through effective decision making process. It will further enhance KWS reporting power and accuracy to the government and other stakeholders.
Training on the use of the programme has already been undertaken within KWS and training among key wildlife conservation stakeholders is already under way.
The Spatial Management Information System (MIST) is the software that captures wildlife monitoring, human wildlife conflict and security issues. MIST is an information system for protected areas and non-protected areas wildlife management based on routine data collection as well as planned patrols.
It involves the use of Global Positioning system (GPS) and standardised field datasheets that rangers take with them during their regular patrols. The rangers then mark positions using GPS and record observations on the data sheet which are later downloaded into the MIST system.
The system is embedded in the Geographical Information System (GIS) software which makes it quick and easy to see the distribution and trends of the issue that are being monitored.
The MIST programme has enhanced the conservation and management of wildlife in Kenya through identifying the hotspots and seasonality of wildlife threats and monitoring the seasonal distribution and movement of wildlife.
The MIST programme aims at implementing a decision support infrastructure based upon a database management system for the short term and long term planning and management of wildlife in Kenya.
The biggest threats to wildlife conservation in Kenya are precipitated by poor and changing land use practices, habitat fragmentation and degradation, high human population growth, poverty, emerging illegal wildlife products markets and lack of awareness.
This in turn has driven individuals to engage in illegal activities that endanger wildlife including poaching and encroachment into wildlife protected areas. KWS has deployed rangers to protect wildlife in different areas of the country.
KWS also works closely with communities, private land owners and conservation NGO’s through a country wide network area of wildlife scout teams that routinely carryout patrol within their areas and come across information that need to be captured effectively.