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Aerial surveys in northern Kenya have confirmed the existence of a large population of beisa oryx, otherwise known as the East African oryx. The surveys, which took place in 2016 and 2017, covered the south-eastern parts of the area occupied by conservancies within the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) – a community-led NGO whose mission is to develop resilient community conservancies that transform people's lives and conserve natural resources.
The surveys revealed that Nakuprat-Gotu Conservancy, which buffers Shaba National Reserve, hosts the largest known remaining concentration of oryx within the NRT conservancies. The total number of oryx recorded in September 2016 was 618, increasing to an estimated 631 individuals by June 2017. The survey data, especially the consistent numbers recorded in the last two years, is extremely encouraging for beisa oryx conservation when compared to the 180 individuals estimated to be in the area during the surveys led by the Kenya Wildlife Service back in 2012.
Figures - Importance - Sub-population - Beisa - Oryx
The 2016-17 figures highlight the national importance of this sub-population of beisa oryx, which could represent up to 10% of the Kenyan population of this subspecies. Although these antelopes are widespread across northern Kenya, their numbers have been declining due to poaching and habitat loss caused by growing human settlements and overgrazing of livestock. Little is known about the range and movements of this species and, to date, it has...
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