Threatened mammals in Kenya

Hello good people…
Today’s post is all about five threatened mammal species in Kenya. I should mention that there are many more threatened species, but the five that I will blog about are critical and currently receiving a lot of public awareness and conservation efforts.

1. African Elephant

I did a post on the African Elephant a while back. As I had earlier mentioned in the previous post, my friend Justus Jim Nyamu is almost done with his walk aimed at raising awareness and educating Kenyans on the need to conserve our Elephants. ” IVORY BELONGS TO ELEPHANTS” is the message Jim is trying hard to pass to the whole world.
2. Black Rhinoceros

The rhino is listed as Critically endangered
on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, it is poached for its horn. The horn is believed to have medicinal value that cures fevers. It is also said to improve male fertility and sexual stamina, but its all said to be rumors with no scientific proof.
The tale of the Black rhino is similar to that of the African Elephant, it is an illegal business that has survived due to powerful and well organized criminal syndicates.

 In Kenya, there are few individuals remaining and to protect them, they are de-horned and put under 24 – hour armed guards.

3. Hirola

An antelope species found in arid grasslands. It is only found in Kenya and Somalia.

Hirola distribution range, Source: Wikipedia

It is also listed as Critically Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species due to competition with livestock especially cattle and prolonged drought. There are close to 500-1200 individuals in the wild today with none in captivity.  

There is a lot of community conservation work going on to try and save this species. Abdullahi Hussein Ali, an EDGE fellow is working tirelessly to conserve this rare species.

4. Grévy’s zebra

For those who don’t know, there are three species of zebras found in Africa.
The Grévy’s zebra is the largest of the three and is found in Northern arid areas of Kenya and in Ethiopia. 

Grévy’s zebra distribution range, Source: Wikipedia

It is listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species due to habitat loss and competition with livestock. 
There are several community based conservation initiatives in Kenya that are protecting the species and its habitat.

5. The Lion

  The King of the Jungle!!

 It is sad to mention that there are close to 2,000 lions in Kenya today compared to 15,000 individuals 20 years ago. 

 Listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species this species is threatened due to habitat loss caused by human encroachment leading to a rapid decline in its population levels. 

The encroachment has brought humans close to the Lions hence Human Lion Conflict (HLC), where the lions attack and kill livestock and humans. In their defense, humans retaliate by killing lions either by setting snares, poisoning or spearing them.

Several community based conservation programs are ongoing. These programs are in most if not all Human Lion Conflict prone regions. The programs involve training the local people living close to Lions on how they can living harmoniously with lions by helping them construct lion proof sheds for their livestock and involving them in lion related conservation projects as hired assistants who earn an income hence promoting interest in conservation.

This courageous Kenyan teen invented a lighting system that scares away lions close to homesteads hence saving them.

“If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.”
Steve Irwin

Without habitat, there is no wildlife. It is that simple.

  ― Wildlife Habitat Canada

Please note: I don’t own any of the pictures unless stated otherwise. If you see a picture here and you want credit, email me
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