High Jumbo population poses threat in Tsavo
The rising elephants population in Tsavo national parks is partly to blame for the the escalating human-elephant conflict in the area. Few or lack of watering points in the park has been cited as the main cause of extreme environmental degradation within and outside the protected area that has resulted to perennial human wildlife conflict in the areas adjacent the park. According to the Kenya Wildlife Service in charge of Tsavo conservation area Wilson Korir, a larger part of Tsavo conservation area is on the verge of turning into a desert following the destruction of vegetation by the large herds of elephants that crowd at the few greener area where there is water and pasture.
The KWS authorities and wildlife stakeholders have termed the trend as a big threat to conservation efforts. Korir blamed the situation on poor water distribution in the parks and surrounding areas, adding that this has resulted in large herds of jumbos and other big five to concentrate in a particular area of the park scrambling for water. "This has been a big problem for us and we are looking for a long term solution.The huge herds of elephants crowd in one place and as they converge in one watering point, they destroy trees and other vegetation in surrounding areas," said Korir. He gave an example of the southern sector of the Tsavo West national park where the destruction is more intense towards the Taita Hills Sanctuary because elephants are attracted to the watering points around the Sarova Salt lick and Taita Hills Game Lodges. "As a result, nearly all the vegetation in that area has been cleared by the elephants,"said Korir.