NAIROBI, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Tuesday said that poaching of iconic wildlife species like elephants and rhinos has reduced by 90 percent in the last six years thanks to enhanced surveillance, community engagement and stiff penalties for offenders.
John Waweru, director-general of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said that investments in robust anti-poaching efforts have paid dividends as evidenced by a significant decline in the number of giant land mammals killed by criminals for their trophies.
"In appreciation of the critical role the wildlife sector plays in national development and security, the government has enhanced its investments in anti-poaching and law enforcement operations," said Waweru.
As a result, Kenya has been able to reduce the level of poaching of iconic species by over 90 percent in the last six years," he added.
Statistics from KWS indicate that the number of elephants poached reduced from 384 in 2012 to 38 in 2018 while the number of rhinos killed by poachers reduced from 30 in 2012 to 4 in 2018.
"Our law enforcement units have embarked on structured engagement with local communities, private ranches and other conservation stakeholders to counter poaching threats and other wildlife crimes," said Waweru.
Waweru said the government is committed to eradicate poaching and enhance security of wildlife heritage that contributes nearly 14 percent to Kenya's GDP.