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Conservation Research

Research Priorities and Programs

Current research priorities

Kenya is very diverse in wildlife. The country also has several endemic species. Kenya’s richness in wildlife can be attributed to a number of factors including diverse habitat types and ecosystems. A significant percentage of these sites are covered under the protected areas network (Parks, Reserves & Sanctuaries) under jurisdiction of Kenya Wildlife Service. For sites outside the protected areas networks, targeted wildlife research and monitoring focus on priority for conservation actions, and documentation of the information already available for conservation planning. As a wildlife management authority, Kenya Wildlife Service recognizes and appreciates the facts that Kenya’s wildlife especially fauna are without borders.

Concerted efforts among stakeholders and interest groups cannot be over-emphasized in this regard. In addition, Kenya Wildlife Service recognizes the role played by other institutions (government and non-governmental), individuals and conservation groups in enabling Kenya conserve her natural heritage. To facilitate endevour for wildlife research, Kenya Wildlife Service through biodiversity Research & Monitoring Division reviews priority research activities and programmes regularly focusing on sites, habitats and species. These priorities represent a ‘menu’ of important work from which selection can be made.

In addition, Kenya Wildlife Service strives to encourage and maintain a portfolio of wildlife research across all the major habitat types including forests, wetlands, grasslands, bushlands and their chief sub-divisions e.g. coastal, highland and Guineo-Congolan forests in Kenya in collaboration with stakeholders.

The current research priorities focus on broad areas including:

  1. Establishment of the ecological processes important in maintaining a healthy wildlife and diversity.
  2. The value of value of wildlife in particular habitats as ecological service providers, and as tourist attractions for avitourism developments;
  3. Effects of habitat fragmentation and degradation on wildlife including the relationship between the intensity of anthropogenic activities on healthy and viable wildlife populations;
  4. Higher-level ecological processes such alien species research, and how these alter habitats for wildlife;
  5. Identification and monitoring of indicator species or guilds that can be used to assess habitat condition or biodiversity value;
  6. Impacts of recreational disturbance on ecology of wildlife in key sites;
  7. Identification of problem animals especially to aviation and agriculture including identification of hotspots for problem wildlife;
  8. Potential impacts of climate change on ecology of wildlife;
  9. Population viability analyses, ecological predictive modeling of wildlife populations in a changing landscape;
  10. Disturbance ecology
  11. Community wildlife conservation including research targeted towards wildlife corridors, ecological economics, transfrontier conservation areas and payment for ecosystem services;
  12. Biodiversity inventories including indicators for conservation;
  13. Stable isotope analyses and wildlife diseases;
  14. Migratory patterns of wildlife in changing landscapes including satellite tracking studies.
  15. Studies geared towards implementation of biodiversity-related multilateral environmental agreements to which Kenya is a signatory.

Current research programmes



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