First Results From Kenya Are Encouraging

The first area surveyed for the census was in Kenya -- Tsavo National Park -- thanks to the support of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). 

The KWS considers the Tsavo ecosystem Kenya's most important elephant population and they were pleased to see the results supporting their own research from 2012. The KWS said the results show region is not in crisis, but is nonetheless afflicted by the continental African elephant poaching problem.

Based on our "sample count" technique, Tsavo has a most probable population of 14,000 elephants, with a small probability that the number could be as low as 11,000 or as high as 17,000.

The count indicates that the Tsavo elephant population in the 41,660 square kilometer (16,085 square mile) ecosystem has declined slightly probably due to the poaching threat. KWS is aware of this threat and is working to contain the poaching. The sample count confirmed that poaching was highest at the private ranches around the parks.

The Tsavo ecosystem comprises of Tsavo West, Tsavo East, Chyulu Hills National Parks, South Kitui National Reserve, as well as the adjacent areas of Taita ranches and Mackinnon area in Kwale. 

KWS Acting Director General Mr. William Kiprono welcomed the findings and said that science like this will guide Kenya's conservation agenda going forward.