By Martin Mwita
There are plans to speed up the implementation of the national Sable Antelope Management Conservation Strategy to save the antelopes from extinction.
The Kenya Coastal Development Project has said the new plan will save the rare antelope species, whose population has been threatened. Speaking during the first Kenya science journalists congress at the Kenya Medical Research Institute headquarters in Nairobi on Wednesday, KCDP project co-ordinator Jackline Uku said failure to save the antelopes will be a major loss to the country's tourism industry.
"This is a unique species of antelope that needs protection. I believe if proper measures are put in place, we will save them from extinction," said Uku.
The antelopes, which are only found at the Shimba Hills National Reserve in Kwale county, have reduced due to poaching by communities living around the park.
Loss of habitat and forest cover as a result of deforestation, agricultural development and predators including lions have also endangered the antelopes.
According to a recent census by the Kenya Wildlife Service, the antelopes are reported to have reduced from 265 in the 1960's to 59 this year, an issue that is worrying conservationists.
Uku called on residents living around the park to stop killing the antelopes and instead assist in wildlife conservation. More....