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Kenya, Tanzania urged to deploy anti-poaching technologies

23 August 2014, 17:56

Nairobi - A conservationist firm on Friday called on Kenya and Tanzanian governments to enhance their elephant management strategies as well as deploy technology in the fight against poaching.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which decried massive loss of elephants in the Mara Serengeti ecosystem also called for better management of elephants outside protected areas through strengthened community conservancies.

"The two governments are keen to work with conservationists to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing endangered species that include not only the elephant but also the rhino," the organization said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The statement came after an aerial report released on Thursday in Arusha revealed a number of elephant carcasses in the world famous Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.

According to the report, a total of 192 elephant carcasses were counted, of which 117 were in Kenya and 75 in Tanzania.

"More shocking is that of all the carcasses found in Kenya, 84 percent were outside of the Masai Mara National Reserve, and each had its tusks missing," WWF said.

The census was conducted by a scientists' community from Tanzania and Kenya which are sharing the ecosystem covering 32,000 square-kilometers.

The ecosystem covers Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Serengeti National Park, Maswa District, Ikongoro and Grumeti Wildlife Management areas, and Kijereshi Game Reserve on the Tanzanian side as well as Masai Mara National Park and adjacent areas in the Narok County of Kenya.

The aerial survey conducted between May 19 and June 6 shows an increasing trend of elephants and buffaloes in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem where the number of elephants counted show an increasing trend from 2,058 in 1986 to 7,535 individuals in 2014.

There was also an increase in buffalo population in the area, from 54,979 (in 1986) to 61,896 individuals (in 2014).

"This therefore shows that despite the threat of poaching the population of elephants is increasing and this can be attributed to the efforts of wildlife authorities in recent years," WWF said.

WWF said its working with governments to use anti-poaching equipment and technologies in support of criminal justice responses to wildlife crime, strengthening inter-agency collaborations (customs, police, justice, wildlife agencies, defense, and others) to ensure that wildlife crime is treated not just as a serious crime but the networks that promote and sustain the IWT are dismantled.

 - Xinhua

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