In the News

Changing the Course of History for Kenya’s Wildlife

June 19, 2017 | Paula Kahumbu
On May 31st we all cheered at the inauguration of the first phase of the SGR from Mombasa to Nairobi. Now Kenyans can travel between the two largest cities quickly and cheaply. Accelerated movement of cargo and people will mean more trade, more income generation, and therefore, more jobs, and that’s good for our youthful nation. Much less widely reported were results of studies by Dr. Joseph Ogutu and colleagues at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), which reveal that Kenya’s wildlife numbers are plummeting. Some of our most treasured animals, such as hirola, rhinos, cheetah, lions, and giraffe, are being pushed to the brink of extinction. Nearly every region and habitat in the country is in trouble, except Laikipia. But even here, hard-earned conservation gains of past decades are in danger of being wiped out in a single year of drought and conflict. One Laikipia ranch claims to have lost a 70% of its wildlife in a single year.