The Status of Wildlife in Protected Areas Compared to Non-Protected Areas of Kenya

Author(s)David Western, Samantha Russell, Innes Cuthill
Year Published2009
JournalPLoS ONE
Page Numbers1-14
Size3.68 MB

We compile over 270 wildlife counts of Kenya's wildlife populations conducted over the last 30 years to compare trends in national parks and reserves with adjacent ecosystems and country-wide trends. The study shows the importance of discriminating human-induced changes from natural population oscillations related to rainfall and ecological factors. National park and reserve populations have declines sharply over the last 30 years, at a rate similar to non-protected areas and country-wide trends. The protected area losses reflect in part their poor coverage of seasonal ungulate migrations. The losses vary among parks. The largest parks, tsavo East, Tsavo West and Meru, account for a disproportionate share of the losses due to habitat change and the difficulty of protecting large remote parks. The losses in Kenya's parks add to growing evidence for wildlife declines inside as well as outside African parks. The losses point to the need to quantify the performance of conservation policies and promote integrated landscape practices that combine parks with private and community-based measures.

Key Words: Ecosystem, country-wide trends, wildlife, population declines, community-based measures

Authors: David Western, Samantha Russell, Innes Cuthill

Journal: PLoS ONE 

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