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KWS to translocate 150 jumbos from Narok North district to the Maasai Mara

Date Published: 24 Aug, 2012
KWS to translocate 150 jumbos from Narok North district to the Maasai Mara

Juma Babu, Capture Ranger helps in hoisting an elephant to a KWS truck during the elephant translocation exercise from Narok North to the Masaai Mara in August last year.

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is set to begin a month-long exercise from Tuesday, August 28, 2012 to translocate 150 elephants from Narok North District to the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

The exercise aims to mitigate rising cases of human-elephant conflict in the area.

The translocation is set to greatly minimize the human-elephant conflict particularly regarding to crop raids, property destruction, human injuries and death.

It is also expected to reduce incidences of elephant mortalities and reduce KWS expenditures on Problem Animal Control (PAC).

This is the second phase of the translocation exercise. In the first phase carried out late last year, a total of 62 elephants were successfully moved from Narok North District to the Maasai Mara.

These elephants have since been monitored intensively by GSM/GPS satellite collars, aerial and ground patrols.

A number of the translocated elephants will also be fitted with GSM/GPS collar chips to monitor and track their movements.

Rapid change in lifestyle of local communities from pastoralists to crop farming and other incompatible land-use practices have tremendously led to increased human wildlife conflict in the Narok County.

Such conflict in many areas is mainly attributed to increased human population and loss of elephant habitat due to uncontrolled human activities, especially crop farming, charcoal burning and human settlements.

Narok County is currently designated as one of the human-wildlife conflict (HWC) hotspots in the country with elephants identified as the most problematic wildlife species.

Earlier this year, KWS launched a national elephant conservation and management strategy. The document provides a clear roadmap for conservation and management of elephants in Kenya for the next 10 years.

The elephant strategy seeks to reduce cases of human-elephant conflict and increase the value of elephants to people and habitats. It outlines strategies KWS and other conservation partners will use to protect the species, particularly in key strategic locations, such as dispersal areas, migration corridors and in the human-elephant conflict hotspots such as the Narok ecosystem.

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