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KWS to host annual carnivore research and conservation conference
Date Published: 26 Jul, 2012
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) will from July 26-27, 2012 host the Annual Carnivore Research and Conservation Conference at the Nairobi Safari Walk at its headquarters in Nairobi.
The conference will seek to address the diverse range of challenges and concerns currently facing carnivore conservation in the country.
Various research scientists and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) representatives from across Kenya and its neighbouring Eastern African countries will present their research findings and reports aimed at enhancing effective conservation and management of carnivores in the region.
The platform will also provide an opportunity to discuss approaches on mitigating human-wildlife conflict aimed at promoting co-existence between communities and wildlife in Kenya.
In 2010, Kenya launched the National Large Carnivore Conservation and Management strategies. These were Africa’s first ever such strategies aimed at providing a clear roadmap for the conservation of cheetahs, lions, leopards, stripped and spotted hyenas and the African wild dogs.
They prescribe actions that need to be taken by various stakeholders coordinated by KWS to reverse the carnivores’ declining population.
Despite their reduced populations, large carnivores still cause problems for pastoralists and farmers and communities living next to protected areas. Attacks on livestock by large carnivores still remain a serious problem since it has a major impact upon livelihoods of pastoralists and farmers.
This also leads to the killing of large carnivores, many of which are species of local or international conservation concern. Conflict between people and carnivores has been cited as a major cause of the rapid decline in carnivore populations in the country. Other factors include destruction of habitats, loss of food, climate change, and increase on human population.
KWS has established a Species Conservation and Management Department that coordinates all conservation issues related to endangered species. The department has since spearheaded the formulation of national conservation strategies for black rhinos, Hirolas, lions, hyenas, cheetahs, wild dogs and the Grevy’s zebra.