Survey shows a drastic growth in number of elephants in 2017


Elephants in the Maasai Mara

An aerial survey conducted by the Kenya Wildlife Service in the Maasai Mara ecosystem in May this year reveals an increase in the number of elephants compared to previous years.

The 2017 survey was carried out between May 15 and May 28, 2017 covering an area of 11,681 square kilometres, as part of long-term ecological monitoring aerial censuses.

The aerial census is a regular survey which was previously conducted every year from 1984 to 2007 and after every three years from 2007.

The survey was done within protected areas which include the Masai Mara National Reserve, Mara Triangle, Conservancies and their immediate neighborhoods or dispersal areas in the Mara ecosystem.

“A total of 2,493 elephants were counted as compared to 1,448 elephants in 2014, this represents an increase of 72.2%, which is a good number considering the human-wildlife conflict that has rocked the country in the past year,” said the report.

The exercise was tailored to understand the distribution of the animals in relation to human activities and water resources, to map human activities around the protected areas and to interpret the information obtained to guide the management of wildlife in the Mara ecosystem

The report points out migration from the Serengeti ecosystem as a possible reason behind the increase in the number of elephants this year.

The results of 2017 indicate an increase in human activities around the protected which pose a threat to the existence of wildlife.

The aerial survey was supported by the Kenya Wildlife Service, Narok County Government, World Wildlife Fund – Kenya, Tsavo Trust, and Olaro Conservancy.

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