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Census reveal endangered wildlife species in Tana river

Kenya’s first national wildlife census which was conducted between April and July has revealed that the highly endangered and endemic Tana River mangabey and red colobus numbers 1,650 and 1,219 respectively in the country.

The Report received on Monday by President Uhuru Kenyatta, will be used as baseline data in the formulation of policy to sustainably conserve and manage Kenya’s wildlife resources for current and future generations.

It will also provide platform to strategize on new innovative ways of countering poaching and preservation of the country’s heritage being spearheaded by the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS).

The lower Tana River is home to various species of primates. Sykes monkey are 2,465, yellow baboon- 1,560 and vervet monkey 241.

Ground census and aerial methods were used by scientists to count the primates in Tana River forests.

Scientific researchers had pointed out in their researches that the two endangered species have lost more than 70 per cent of their primary riverine forest habitat due to human encroachment for agricultural purposes.

Tana River Primate National Reserve was gazetted in 1976. It covers an area of 169km2 . The County is a biodiversity hotspot (biologically rich but seriously threatened) and home to over 57 mammal species.

By Sadik Hassan

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