Endangered rare antelope facing extinction due to poaching & bushmeat

In Kenya, as hunger gradually continues to be a problem, locals are turning to any options they have available to feed them and their families. Recently with a prevailing drought which has dried out much of the Yala swamp in Lake Victoria, the semi-aquatic Sitatunga is forced out of its natural habitat. Due to this they have become very vulnerable to poaching and residents are quoted with saying, ‘We can’t die of hunger when we have a lot of food provided by God in this swamp.’ In Kenya, the western region is the eastern most range of the species in Africa. Due to the high anthropogenic pressure on wetlands in the country, the antelope has continuously suffered loss of the habitat and illegal hunting, bringing its population down to the verge of regional extinction, Sitatunga is now restricted to the Wetlands of L. Victoria, Nzoia basin, Nandi wetlands and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy where it was introduced.

The Standard Newspaper reported that locals are now invading the wetland and killing the rare Sitatunga and Waterbuck. The newspaper stated that about 4 of these animals are killed daily and sold as bushmeat in the marketplace. Another report by Saiwa Swamp National Park states that there are only a few hundred Sitatungas remaining in isolated populations, all of which face extinction from local threats.

An antelope being freed from a snare used to catch wild antelope that is set on commonly used “runs,” which are commonly used trails

Decaying, killed antelopes


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