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Wild Travel Magazine

3000 animals distributed to new parks after Kenya land sale.

25/11/2008 12:03:55
safaris/kongoni_move_kws

Kongoni capture and relocation. Credit KWS.

November 2008. The Kenya Wildlife Service has moved about 3,000 wild animals from Solio Ranch in Kenya to various national parks and privately-owned ranches across the country. The operation took two weeks, allowing time for capturing and relocating the wildlife.

This follows the sale of about 15,000 of the Solio Ranch to the Government who need the land to settle a large number of squatters.

During the first day of the exercise, a joint team of the Kenya Wildlife Service, Lewa Conservancy and Ol Pejeta conservancies captured 82 kongonis (Lelwel Hartebeests) and transported them to Ol Pejeta Ranch.

The land that has been sold was home to seven important species of wildlife, including the nationally endangered Lelwel Hartebeest. The ranch has been Kenya's major stronghold for the Lelwel hartebeest. The animals are to be moved to Ol Pejeta Ranch, Mugie Ranch and Lewa Conservancy, all in Laikipia District as well as to Aberdare National Park, Ruma National Park and Mwea National Reserve.

The translocation will not only save the animals but will also help in restocking other wildlife areas.

The numbers of the animals moved is as follows.

 - Common zebra 805
 - Lelwel Hartebeest 250
 - Impala 210
 - Thomson's gazelle 1,615
 - Oryx 36
 - Eland 41

The animals being moved include Lelwel hartebeest (a unique and rare species), plains zebra, impala, Thomson gazelle, and oryx. To ensure the survival of the animals in their new environments, a rapid assessment of potential recipient sites was undertaken by a Kenya Wildlife Service team with support from the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Some of the factors the team considered included whether the site was part of the historic range of the species, availability of land, water and food as well as security, trends of predators and the status of other grazing competitors. Other factors included commitment to conservation by the respective management and community relations.

Proven mass capture techniques using a helicopter and curtained traps that lead to loading lamps were used.

They were distributed as follows

Area/Species

Hartebeest

Common Zebra

Impalas

Thomson's gazelle

Oryx

Eland

Aberdare NP

 

200

 

 

 

 

Mwea NR

 

105

100

815

 

20

Ruma NP

40

 

 

 

 

 

Lewa Conservancy

80

200

 

 

 

 

Ol Pejeta Ranch

65

200

110

800

36

21

Mugie Ranch

65

100

 

 

 

 

Total

250

805

210

1,615

36

41

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