Kenyan Elephants Wear Anti-Poaching Collars

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Eight elephants have been fitted with GPS collars to help the Kenyan Wildlife Service map their traditional migration corridors in the Tsavo East National Park. The monitoring project will also help rangers combat poaching and instances of human-elephant conflict.

Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park is home to more than 12,000 elephants – but they are under threat from habitat loss, drought and poaching.

Park officials are looking to satellite technology for a solution.

They plan to track a selection of animals by GPS to map exactly how they use the huge area.

The Kenyan Wildlife Service has teamed up with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to fit GPS collars on eight male and female animals for a 20 month period, according to Elphus Bitok, a KWS research scientist.

[Elphus Bitok, Researcher Scientist, Kenya Wildlife Service]:
“The collar that we just fitted has a GPS component and a VHF component. The GPS component communicates with the satellite and the satellite will relay back the information via internet where you can be able to assess on real-time basis where the elephant is.”

Knowing exactly where the animals are, say rangers, will help improve security and fight poaching and produce better ways to intervene when there are instances of conflict with humans.

The project has been funded by IFAW, who’s president and CEO, Fred O’Regan, said the cost of losing elephants and other wildlife and their habitats is more costly than securing them.

[Fred O’Regan, President & CEO, Int’l Fund for Animal Welfare]:
“Another thing we are trying to do out here is to identify where the legitimate migratory corridors are so that we can protect to make sure this animal thrives for the future.”

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