NAIROBI, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — A Kenyan conservationist on Saturday urged African nations to boost resources for wildlife conservation.
Jim Nyamu, executive director of Elephant Neighbor Center, told journalists in Nairobi that most wildlife agencies in the continent are underfunded due to the lack of prioritization of wildlife conservation.
“Africa has to take up the responsibility to conserve their wildlife heritage including key cornerstone species such as elephant and rhinos,” Nyamu said after completing a tour in five African countries.
In July, Nyamu led a team of Kenyan environmentalists on a 3,900-km walk through Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Botswana in a bid to raise awareness of the plight of the African elephant.
The executive director said that his walk managed to bring all the eastern and southern African elephant rangelands states together to discuss the welfare of the elephant.
“During my walk I held talks with policymakers and lawmakers in Africa on the need to upscale efforts to save the African elephant from extinction,” he added.
Nyamu said that the population of the African elephants has declined from 3.5 million in the 1970s to approximately 415,000 currently.
He observed that 37 African states used to host elephants but a number of them have completely lost their elephant population.
Human wildlife conflict caused by expanding human population is another emerging threat to the conservation efforts, he said.
“Increasingly, we are witnessing communities surrounding wildlife areas killing animals because they don’t see any benefits of the wildlife,” he added.
Nyamu noted that climate change is also a threat to wildlife population because it reduces the amount of food available for animals.