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Kenya: Alarm as Kenya Loses 100 Lions Every Year
By Muthoni Waweru
Nairobi — The lion population is on the verge of extinction with about 100 of them dying annually in Kenya.
Currently, the lion population is estimated to be 2,000 in the country, with about 20,000 in Africa.
The survival of carnivore populations in Kenya is severely threatened by habitat loss and anthropogenic activity, reduction in wild prey base, human-carnivore conflicts, disease, ignorance and misconceptions, road accidents and poorly managed tourism.
These species are threatened directly when they are killed due to threats on human beings and livestock.
Indirectly, they are killed when they get into snares set for other species. Poisoning, snaring for ungulates and spearing, all are major threats.
Poisoning is perhaps the single greatest threat to carnivores and scavenging birds.
It is in this regard that the ICEA Lion General Insurance Company has partnered with the Kenya Wildlife Service to carry out a country wide lion population census.
CEO Steven Oluoch says the census will help address the dwindling number of lion population.
"We picked the lion because it's iconic and close to our brand and more so because much of the attention has been to the elephants and rhinos. By looking at the statistics the figures are shocking with the numbers reducing over time because of human wildlife conflict," said Oluoch.
Due to human population growth, people have encroached into wildlife areas thus reducing the area where wild herbivores range.
This coupled with competition for pasture with domestic stock and illegal hunting by the communities has led to reduction in wild prey numbers.
"Also, carnivores are susceptible to retaliatory killing especially when they predate on livestock," noted Oluoch.
Carnivore conflict hotspot areas are mostly in the Maasai Mara, Kajiado, Amboseli, Tsavo, Samburu, Laikipia, Lamu and mountain region areas.
Oluoch also emphasized on the need for other corporates to join in the conservation efforts.
"Kenya is a beautiful country and yet we don't appreciate the wealth that has been bequeathed to us. We want to take it beyond our corporate goals and get involved with organizations or initiatives that play in that creation of wealth," noted the CEO.
"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page."
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It is a bit difficult to sympathize when this amount of Lions sport hunted would provide the necessary funding to save the rest. Where people cannot benefit from legal hunting, there is no incentive to keep any alive in the wild.
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IS, you have no idea what you are talking about. Surely, those well educated wildlife conservationist and tourist agency managers know better.
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silly man. You need to work on reading the entire thread.
They ARE NOT doing this to save them, or any such noble reason. The census is only about counting them. If they had any intent to save the Lion in Kenya, the plan would include a preserve and means to keep cattle and human settlements out. Think Kruger.
The wild animal population in any country on the African continent's continued survival is dependent on designating them as a resource, and managing them as so.
Every living being on this world, excluding Amoebas is born, lives, and then dies.
Mature wild male lions have a value, in USD, of $50,000+ to a sport hunter. That gives an incentive to not slaughter them. Being killed because they pose a threat to someone's cattle does nothing to save the rest of them; and contributes $00,000 to the welfare of the remaining prides.
You contribute zero in terms of a solution to this issue. If Kenya legalizes Lion hunting, and issues twenty permits at $50K each, as I suggest, that would add over one million dollars annually to a program to preserve their numbers.
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