Kenya is in the process of conducting an elephant census in the country.
Officials from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) alongside other partners expect the exercise to run for two weeks at a cost of about $190,000.
The exercise which is conducted every two years, kicked off on Thursday, at the Tsavo-Mkomazi conservation area, in the country’s coastal region.
“In 2014 we counted a total of 11, 217 elephants. That number can further be interrogated because overall from previous counts in 2011 we had a decline of about 10% of the elephants, that was purposely due to the poaching that was then. And again that figure we saw that 85% of the 11, 217 were elephants within the protected areas and that means that the elephants within the park had increased by 10%,” said Dr. Erastus Kanga, a senior Kenya Wildlife Service official.
The Tsavo-Mkomanzi census will cover Tsavo West, Tsavo East, Chyullu Hills, Mkomanzi in Tanzania, Kitui and Taita-Taveta ranches.
The census is part of efforts by KWS and other stakeholders to establish informed security and conservation oriented strategies, to enhance species protection, scale-up on anti- poaching efforts and develop ways to reduce human-wildlife conflict.