Provisional results for the just-ended Kenya-Tanzania census for elephants and other large mammals in Amboseli ecosystem shows recovery from deaths occasioned by drought between 2008 and 2010.
A total of 1193 elephants were counted compared to a similar dry season in October 2010 count of 1065, a 12 per cent increase.
In April, the wet season count showed 1,930 elephants compared to 1,420 in April 2010, a 35 per cent increase.
Final results of the one-week census, which ended at the weekend, will be released in three months.
This dry season count marked the fourth joint such exercise between Kenyan and Tanzanian wildlife authorities since 2010 when the collaboration started.
Both dry and wet season counts have shown that the ecosystem’s elephant population is stable and growing.
KWS Director Mr William Kiprono, who presided over the census closing ceremony, said: “Amboseli is one of our success stories and we owe it to the local community, whichhas warded off possible poachers.”
The Sh12 million-census was collaboration between the two countries and their agencies; the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Wildlife Division of Tanzania (WD) Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA).
The bulk of the funding for the census was provided by the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), which also facilitated the cross-border work.
The exercise was also supported by other conservation non-governmental organizations (NGOs) notably Amboseli Trust for Elephants, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Marwell Wildlife, Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, private sponsors and members of the local community.
The aerial census sought to establish the landscape’s wildlife population abundance, trends and distribution. The results are expected to enhance knowledge on the relation between wildlife, habitat and human impacts while at the same fostering cross-border collaboration on wildlife monitoring and management between the two East African countries.