The Great Northern Kenya Wildlife Count 2017

Kenya will get another boost in its efforts to conserve wildlife when KWS leads a total count of elephants, buffaloes, Grevy’s Zebras and Reticulated Giraffe in the greater northern landscape of Kenya. This year’s count will focus on these four charismatic and endangered species in an effort to establish their total numbers.

From November 19th to 30th, approximately 15 aircraft, with pilots and observers will systematically survey Laikipia, Samburu, Isiolo, Marsabit and Meru counties from the air. The collated information will then be compared to past aerial survey counts of wildlife. Comparing the information helps us to evaluate the success of our landscape and species conservation efforts and will provide us with information on where we might concentrate future conservation resources. Trends in land use, livestock, and human settlements are also noted.

This year’s total count is supported broadly by various conservation organisations of this great landscape. They will be presenting to the public and members of the press in an opening ceremony at Sarova Shaba Game Lodge on November 20, 2017. They will be joined by international, national, and County representatives to learn more about the aerial survey, issues and trends in conservation in northern Kenya.

The Great Northern Kenya Wildlife Count includes an area of more than 65,516.96 sq. kilometres and will take 7 full days (at a minimum) to cover by aircraft.

This area is singularly one of Kenya’s great wildlife conservation areas. Wildlife survives here because of the goodwill of its residents, including land use that supports or tolerates wildlife.

USAID is providing funding support through a grant to KWS, and many organisations, companies and individuals are volunteering their time and expertise to make this year’s count a success.

For more information, please contact John Gitonga at or Dr. Shadrack Ngene at

This initiative is proudly supported by:
Mpala Research Centre, LWF, Space for Giants, KWS, USAID, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, NRT, Ewaso Lions, Marwell Trust, Lion Landscapes, San Diego Zoo, Grevy Zebra Trust, Action for Cheetahs in Kenya (ACK), Save the Elephants, Samburu Trust.

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