Saturday, 6 April 2013

Lion, Cheetah, Grevy’s Zebra and Hyenas all killed on new road in Northern Kenya

Newly tarred road proving a danger to wildlife - Courtesy of Ewaso Lions
April 2013. Local conservation group, Ewaso Lions met with other conservation stakeholders from Samburu and Isiolo districts to discuss the heavy loss of wildlife killed by speeding cars on the newly tarmacked A-2 highway.

Last year a lion cub was killed by a car as it crossed the road with its mother and brother, and in September 2012 a cheetah was killed in the same spot. More recently into two endangered Grevy's zebras, a mother and her foal, were hit be a vehicle. With less than 2,000 lions remaining in all of Kenya, and only about 2,500 Grevy's zebras left on the planet, we cannot afford to lose any more as a result of speeding drivers.

Other casualties
In the past year we have witnessed a worrying amount of other dead animals along the road, including striped and spotted hyenas, many small carnivores - and even an elephant was hit. In response, Ewaso Lions and several others called for a meeting to bring all conservation stakeholders together to discuss the issue and determine a course of action that might stave off this unnecessary loss of biodiversity.

Human loss
Human loss is also a major concern as many people have been killed or injured along the road.

The A-2 Highway runs north from Isiolo town, cutting between Buffalo Springs National Reserve and Shaba National Reserve, and borders Kalama Conservancy and Samburu National Reserve. It was recently tarmacked, which has enabled motorists to drive at much higher speeds than previously. The road bisects several wildlife corridors, so wildlife passing through risks being hit by cars, especially at night, as they cross the road mainly to access water sources.

Road kill data
The group is compiling road kill data to identify key areas along the roads where speed bumps and signage might help slow down motorists and make them aware of crossing wildlife. Ewaso Lions will then campaign in close partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service to encourage the National Highways Authority to implement measures to prevent further road kill.

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