Protecting Kenya's Wildlife
The nations of Africa face growing problems in conservation and the protection of the environment, with the particular problem of balancing the desire and need for economic development with the often opposing need for conservation of animal populations and habitats. Competing interests bring into conflict such differing interests as wildlife preservation, agricultural and other land uses, and tourism, the latter a very important element in the economic structure of these nations. Kenya is one case where determined efforts to protect the wildlife and wildlife habitats of the region have encountered difficulties because of other interests which see a need for less conservation and more development of one kind or another.
Kenya has a lengthy history of attempting to protect certain resources. The forest resources of the nation are found principally in the Kenya Highlands, though small forested areas are found in the coastal area and in scattered ares of the country as well. Some 94 percent of these resources were in forest estates and plantations owned by the central government or by local county councils in 1983, though the latter were under the control of the Forest Department. The Forest Department estimated that the total area of these forests stood at 18,600 square kilometers, or 3.2 percent of the total land area of the country, but calculations based on satellite remote-sensing techniques put the figure at about 25 percent less than this, for 13,700 square kilometer
e they often trample crops, eat grass intended for cattle, and kill or maim dozens of villagers each year. The current director of the Kenya Wildlife Service, ecologist David Western, and a number of Kenyans and various international development agencies agree that this situation should be maintained as it is. Many conservationists see this strategy as a way of reducing conflicts between people and wildlife rather than increasing...