“Habitat loss is the greatest threat to Kenya’s wildlife”: The Tribune India

Nairobi, October 29th

Habitat loss is the biggest threat to Kenya‘s wildlife, said a conservationist.

Nancy Githaiga, Kenya Country Director, Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told journalists here that the ongoing fragmentation of the land for agriculture and settlements is reducing the space available for iconic species, Xinhua News Agency reports.

“We call on the government to implement strict land zoning guidelines in order to obtain space for use by wild animals,” said Githaiga during the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the AWF.

Githaiga added that Kenya should maintain a balance between development and conservation in order to preserve the country’s rich heritage.

According to the AWF, conservation should be a priority because of its enormous role in tourism and other economic activities.

Githaiga said poaching has historically been the top threat to the wild population, but tightened surveillance and protection measures have drastically reduced illegal killings.

She said the increasing conviction rates of poachers have helped reduce the illegal killing of wildlife in the country.

Najib Balala, cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, said that around 20 percent of the country’s landmass is inhabited by wildlife.

“Our goal is to increase the land mass dedicated to wildlife conservation to 30 percent in order to expand habitats for Kenya’s growing wildlife population,” he added. IANS

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