Amidst the hue and cry from Kenyan citizens, the castigation on social media and the never ending blame game among various organizations, poachers continue to have a field day both inside and outside our protected areas. Despite the terse but hard-hitting warning to poachers from the highest authority in Kenya, the president, our elephants and rhinos are still at a high risk of being butchered even in broad daylight. Trade in ivory and rhino horn has become so lucrative that it is threatening conservation gains made since the establishment of the first national park in Kenya in 1946.
As at the end of 2013 Kenya had an elephant population of at least 30,000 – the fourth largest in the world and a rhino population of 1041 – the third largest in the world. Kenya has the largest population of rhinos in East and Central Africa and therefore remains a main target for poachers.
Latest Elephant and Rhino Poaching Statistics in Kenya
Every year, several consignments of ivory and rhino horns are intercepted globally with reports sometimes linking some of the seizures to have origins in Kenya. The latest poaching statistics indicate a surge in the number of rhinos killed every year for their horns since 2011. In 2013 for instance 59 rhinos were killed as compared to 29 in the previous year and 25 in 2011. The number of elephants and rhinos that have been killed by poachers so far this year stands at 51 and 18 respectively with Lake Nakuru National Park being the hardest hit. This has led to an uproar from citizens and conservation organizations alike with some demanding that poaching be declared a national disaster. The body tasked with wildlife protection and management, Kenya Wildlife Service, was quick to allay fears that it had been overwhelmed in discharging its mandate. Other people have, however, chosen to bury their heads in the sand and find consolation the higher poaching statistics of South Africa.
The following is a tabulation of the latest elephant and rhino poaching statistics as at 25th March 2014
|2014 (As at March 25th )||51||18|
Source Kenya Wildlife Service Status Statement on Status of Wildlife Conservation