Kenya will take advantage of modern technology to boost wildlife conservation amid threats such as illegal trafficking, habitat loss, disease and climate stresses, officials said.
Najib Balala, cabinet secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, said greater use of technology would strengthen surveillance and response to threats to iconic species.
“We need to be more sophisticated in monitoring wildlife and managing national parks through the use of technology. The use of drones has boosted our anti-poaching efforts, ”Balala said on Friday during the launch of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Strategic Plan 2019-2024 in coastal Kilifi County.
He said enhanced collaboration with the private sector and donors will be a key component of wildlife conservation in the country in the near future to help close funding gaps related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Balala, the government will leverage industry capital to acquire cutting-edge technology like drones and boost protection for iconic species, including giant land mammals, carnivores, birds and reptiles.
He said increased surveillance of wildlife sanctuaries using drones has led to a significant reduction in poaching, adding that mobile apps have also been effective in minimizing human-wildlife conflict.
Fred Segor, principal secretary of the State Department of Wildlife, said that key features of a five-year strategy for the conservation of iconic species include maximizing the use of technology, community engagement and financial sustainability.
Segor said the endangered species collar has proven effective in protecting them from poachers, adding that equipping rangers with goggles and motorcycles has also improved the response to illegal trafficking in wildlife products.
John Waweru, Managing Director of KWS, said harnessing technology and innovations is essential to strengthen action against emerging threats facing iconic species, including the spread of pathogens and attacks from reprisals by nomads and human encroachment. Final element