Ivory Trade Hitting Tourism in Kenya
An article on mongabay.com shows that this week the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) announced a 14% decline in elephants in the Samburu/Laikipia ecosystem over the last 4 years. The decline has occurred in a population whose natural growth rate was measured at 5.3% between 2002 and 2008 according to the previous survey, suggesting that over 300 elephants are dying annually in the Samburu and Laikipia’s landscape, denting the poster child image of one of Kenya’s most important wildlife landscapes. Poaching and drought are the main causes of mortality in this population.
The article mentions that the impact of poaching on tourism cannot be ignored, heavily armed bandits threaten more than elephants, if we can’t protect elephants how can we protect international tourists?
One of Kenya’s Vision 2030 flagship projects is to develop the tourism potential in the area to elevate tourism income, create jobs, and increase tax revenues. Kenya has remained silent on the seriousness of this, but U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has not.
For the first time in eight years, KWS has admitted that elephant poaching has reached alarming levels and that it threatens Kenya’s elephant populations, tourism and economy.
You can read the full article here.