The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has released the results of their census to determine the number of elephants, buffaloes and giraffes in the Tsavo-Mkomanzi and Maasai Mara ecosystems.

The aerial census is carried out every three years. Nine light aircraft were used in each ecosystem. The data was captured by observers in the aircraft using GPS and digital voice recorders.

During the census, a total of 12,866 elephants were counted; 12,843 in Tsavo Ecosystem and 23 in Mkomazi National Park. Overall, the elephant population in Tsavo-Mkomazi Ecosystem increased by14.7% over the last three years, that is, 2014-2017. This represents an annual increase of 4.9% over the period. In Masai Mara, a total of 2,493 elephants were counted compared to 1,448 elephants counted 1n 2014. This represents an increase of 72.2%.

At Masai Mara, the population of buffaloes and giraffes increased by 26% (growing from 7,542 to 9,466) and 61% (growing from 1,619 to 2,607) respectively. The numbers at Tsavo-Mkomanzi were also positive with an increase of 46% (growing to 8,623 from 5,912) and 49.5% (growing to 4,323 from 2,891) of buffaloes and giraffes respectively.

The results of the census are for the population of wildlife between 2014-2017.