Kenya’s Nairobi National Park size has increased to 78,000 acres from the previous 29,000 acres, a government official said on Friday.
Najib Balala, cabinet secretary of Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, said that the expansion comes after the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Swara Plains Conservancy declared 32,000 and 15,000 acres of land respectively for wildlife conservation while the government added another 2,000 acres of land.
“I wish to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the two conservancies on behalf of the government and the people of Kenya for this wonderful gift that will ensure our unique biodiversity thrives for posterity. This will be an essential wildlife corridor, for the animal population in Nairobi National Park,” Balala said in a statement.
According to the ministry of tourism, about eight percent of the east African nation’s landmass is protected for wildlife conservation consisting of 23 national parks, 28 national reserves, four marine parks and six marine reserves.
Balala added that the Nairobi National Park is not big enough to meet the ecological requirements of its wildlife populations throughout the year.
“On the northern side, we are looking into acquiring 1,500 acres of land to extend the Nairobi National Park to Ngong Forest. We hope that all this will enable Nairobi National Park to be listed and declared a world heritage site,” he noted.
The government official also inaugurated the task force on wildlife corridor connectivity between Nairobi National Park and the Athi-Kapiti Plains.
“Their work is crucial and I expect that this task force will in the next three months clearly indicate where we will create a corridor to enable wildlife to migrate freely from Nairobi National Park to Swara-Kapiti plains,” he added.