Kenya Wildlife Service
Board of Trustees Chairman
William Kibet Kiprono
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is a Kenyan state corporation that was established in 1990 to conserve and manage Kenya’s wildlife. It is established under an Act of Parliament Cap 376 (The Wildlife Conservation and Management Act) with the mandate to conserve and manage wildlife in Kenya, and to enforce related laws and regulations. It manages the biodiversity of the country, protecting and conserving the flora and fauna.
KWS manages most of the National Parks and Reserves in Kenya, the most popular exception being the Maasai Mara National Reserve, which is managed by local authorities. The money collected as entrance fees in the parks is used to help the conservation of the plants and animals within the parks.
National parks and reserves
Kenya has over 39 designated national parks and reserves:
- Aberdare National Park
- Amboseli National Park
- Arabuko Sokoke National Reserve
- Arawale National Reserve
- Bisanadi National Reserve
- Boni National Reserve
- Central Island National Park
- Chyulu Hills National Park
- Dodori National Reserve
- Hell's Gate National Park
- Kakamega Forest Reserve
- Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park
- Kisumu Impala Sanctuary
- Kora National Park
- Lake Bogoria National Reserve
- Lake Nakuru National Park
- Losai National Reserve
- Malindi Marine National Park
- Malka Mari National Park
- Marsabit National Reserve
- Meru National Park
- Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve
- Mount Elgon National Park
- Mount Kenya National Park
- Mount Longonot National Park
- Mwea National Reserve
- Nairobi National Park
- Ndere Island National Reserve
- Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
- Ruma National Park
- Saiwa Swamp National Park
- Samburu National Reserve
- Shaba National Reserve
- Shimba Hills National Reserve
- Sibiloi National Park
- Tana River Primate Reserve
- Tsavo East National Park
- Tsavo West National Park
- Watamu Marine National Park
KWS runs specific programmes to assist Kenyan species and habitats that are in particular danger. They have forest and Wetland conservation programmes, as well as specific elephant and rhino projects to help them recover from poaching. The hirola, which is in danger of extinction, is also being monitored.
Within KWS there are several services, each responsible for a different area of work:
Community Wildlife Service
This branch of the KWS works outside the national parks. They work instead in areas such as wildlife corridors, and teach the communities living there to encourage conservation and look after their resources.
The job of this service is to eliminate poaching in the national parks, and stop illegal trade. They have a shoot to kill policy.
This service ensures that healthy breeding populations of species are maintained throughout the country.
KWS has a training institute, also referred to as Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute. The facility located in Naivasha, is a middle level college registered with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology as a TVET institution. It offers specialized certificate and diploma courses in natural resource management, ecology and tourism in an effort to enhance conservation, management and sustainability of wildlife bio-diversity in Kenya and globally.
KWS also has a Law Enforcement Academy is situated in Manyani Area, which caters for all law enforcers' paramilitary training.
KWS run several education centres:
- Nairobi Safari Walk
- Nairobi Education Centre
- Lake Nakuru Education Centre
- Tsavo East Education Centre
- Tsavo West Education Centre
These are located inside National Parks, and run programs to encourage people to care for their environment. It is aimed at local people, particularly school groups, but is open to anyone.
The KWS has been accused of being involved in multiple abductions, shootings, and disappearances of residents living close to parks. The KWS has denied all involvement in such incidents, but witness testimony and other evidence suggest otherwise.
- Julius Kipng'etich, former Director General (departed 2012)
- Ronald kipruto koech
- Michael Kipkeu
- Richard Leakey, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
- Kitili Mbathi, Director General (since 2016)
- Kenya Wildlife Service
- "Kitili Mbathi BA, MBFD: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". bloomberg.com. Retrieved August 3, 2016.