Date Published: 06 Feb, 2015

Land use pressure, habitat loss, human elephant conflict (HEC), and illegal killing for both meat and ivory continue to pose threats to the long-term survival of elephant populations across Africa. Recent research also points to climate change and the increasing frequency of droughts as a major threat to elephant populations.

Although knowledge on the status of African Elephant across their range has been progressively improving since the mid-1990’s when considerable resources began to be channeled into compiling and producing regular updates of the continental status of elephants with a standardized measure of certainty, large gaps still remain.

In Kenya, enormous efforts have been applied in elephant conservation. The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and other conservation partners have been implementing initiatives geared towards protection, population expansion, mitigation of HEC and research and monitoring for management, as is outlined in the Conservation and Management Strategy for the Elephant in Kenya 2012-2021.

These initiatives have mostly been implemented independently by each party, with little efforts for synergy, hence reducing the overall positive impact to elephant conservation that could be accrued from a similar magnitude of efforts.

It is with this background that KWS will host a national elephant conference at its headquarters in Nairobi, along Langata Road on the 18th and 19th of February, 2015 that will bring together elephant conservation partners from across the country to discus contemporary elephant conservation needs, challenges and future outlook, and whose main objectives will be to monitor and evaluate progress in implementation of the national conservation and management strategy for elephant in Kenya and explicate synergy in information sharing among the relevant stakeholders.

The conference will run for two days and will be structured in such a way that presentations by various speakers will be grouped into related topics namely: elephant ecology, habitat utilization, HEC, genetics, illegal off take and trade.

The expected achievements from the conference include; new knowledge on elephant conservation and management dynamics, Synergy among elephant conservation partners, a roadmap to the implementation of the national elephant strategy and identification of gaps in knowledge on elephant conservation and management.