Garissa to establish giraffe recovery plan

The Garissa county government is crafting a strategic action plan to address the declining number of reticulated giraffes.

The county government is crafting a strategic action plan to address the declining number of reticulated giraffes and Hirola (Hunter's antelope).

According to Trade and Tourism Executive Adow Jubat, the plan will also help to tackle poaching and boost community sensitisation in order to improve the population of endangered species.

The Hirola species is only found in the southern part of Garissa while the reticulated giraffe is spread throughout the county.

Speaking after touring the Garissa Giraffe Sanctuary on Saturday, Mr Jubat, who was accompanied by officials from KWS led by Assistant Director in charge of Lower Eastern Michael Wanjau, said the county will do everything possible to protect the endangered species.

“These are animals you will not find anywhere else... Their numbers have been declining significantly and we will now work to ensure they are protected,” he said.

Jubat said the county was also engaging the national government on best way to implement the Lapsset project that cuts through the conservancy to ensure it does not disrupt wildlife habitat.

Mr Wanjau said there was need for all stakeholders to work closely to ensure wildlife was protected.

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In the 1970s, the Hirolas were in their thousands, but currently the number has dropped to about 500. Reticulated giraffes were about 6,000 in the 80s but have gone down to 1,500, according to the latest data.

The assurance by the county government comes just days after a global wildlife summit decided to regulate trade in giraffes and tighten protection for endangered animals, including elephants.

Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meeting in Geneva approved a list of proposals to tighten protection.

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Garissa Giraffe Sanctuary