Nairobi — Wildlife conservancies in the Upper Eastern region have expressed concern over rampant poaching.
The private and community conservancies concentrated in Laikipia, Samburu and Isiolo called for stiffer penalties for those involved in the illegal trade in wildlife trophies if the war against poaching is to be won.
“The rate at which we are losing the elephant and rhino populations means that in the near future we might not have any of them left in Kenya,” said Dr Antony King of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum.
He was addressing representatives of more than 300 conservancies from across the country during a meeting in Nyeri.
The agenda of the forum was to push for the passage of the Wildlife Bill, which they said would boost conservation efforts.
Participants were taken through shocking statistics showing how the country’s elephant and rhino populations had drastically reduced, mostly due to poaching, over a 70-year period.
The workshop heard that the elephant population in the conservancies had decreased from 160,000 to a mere 597 over the past 70 years while the number of the Eastern Black Rhino had plummeted to a paltry 300 from 20,000 over the same period.