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Hirola Conservation

Hirola is one of the world's most rare and critically endangered antelope. If the hirola becomes extinct, we not only loose a species but an entire genus for all time. Since the 1960's the hirola has occupied a restricted range along the border of Kenya and Somalia, although in 1997 it was considered possibly to have become extinct in Somalia. Its numbers increased from about 1000 in the early 1960's to 14,000 in the early 1970's. It then underwent two drastic declines, from 14,000 down to about 2000 from 1976 - 1978 and from 2000 to 300 in 1995. Currently it is confined to a small area of south-eastern Kenya (Ijara district), while its status in Somalia is unknown.

Kenya Wildlife Service together with other donors have been working to save this precious species from extinction. In 1963, a founding population of 10-20 hirola was released into Tsavo East National Park. This population grew to 79 individuals by 1996. In 1995 Hirola Management Committee (HMC), which is currently housed at KWS, was formed with the mandate of conserving this species. In 1996, with assistance from donors, another 29 hirola were translocated into the Tsavo East population. There are now an estimated 100 hirola in Tsavo East National Park.

Conservation of these animals in their natural range is still of the major objectives of KWS. And, huge amounts of resources are required to accomplish this.

For more information Contact:

Hirola Conservation
Tel: +254-20-600800
E-mail :

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