By Judith Akolo
Environment Cabinet Secretary Professor Judi Wakhungu has raised the red flag over the continued occupation of wildlife range lands for settlement.
Conservationists are at the same time warning that the increase in game meat trade threatens to destabilize the ecosystem balance in the national parks and reserves as poachers target scavenger animals including hyenas.
The Environment Cabinet secretary who spoke at a consultative meeting bringing together non-governmental organizations involved in conservation, also warned that encroachment on to wildlife habitat is complicating matters even as the sustained war on poaching is realizing fruits.
The Cabinet Secretary warned that the survival of wildlife is now faced with a multiplication of challenges including climate change making the sector the most vulnerable.
Professor Wakhungu called on researchers to conduct a census of the various animals in the Game Reserves and national parks, so as to draw up a clear strategy on how to protect those that are endangered.
She at the same time called on players in the NGO sector to give their views on the various Bills affecting the sector instead of casting aspersions on the contents of the Bills.
The Kenya Wildlife Service Director William Kiprono warned that the greatest threat to wildlife is the booming trade in game meat that has now included hunting of hyenas which are essential in cleaning up the habitats of carcasses.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Wildlife Service has trans located 17 impalas from Francisco Natta Marura Farm in Naivasha to Shimba Hills National Reserve in Kwale County in a bid to boost their dwindling population in the reserve.
The Kwale KWS Senior Warden Mohammed Kheri said the reserve had only 13 female impalas from 49 received seven years ago from Aljogi ranch in Laikipia.
The latest herd includes 10 females and seven males, which are expected to improve breeding and shore up the population of the impalas in the reserve, according to Kheri. More....