Five elephants in the Tsavo ecosystem have been observed crossing the
standard gauge railway and the Voi-Taveta road.
They are tracked with advanced satellite radio tracking collars fitted
on them last month. Save the Elephants, a conservation organisation,
yesterday said monitoring animals along the SGR will help
conservationists and engineers to understand how their movements are
influenced by the project.
“It is an excellent precursor for future planning in wildlife-rich
areas, where development is set to take place, such as on the Lamu
Port Southern Sudan Ethiopia Transport corridor project in Northern
Kenya,” it said in a statement.
Save the Elephants in partnership the Kenya Wildlife Service fitted 10
elephants with the tracking collars between March 15 and 17.
The SGR is being elevated and will be fenced off, cutting the home of
the largest single elephant population in Kenya into two. Elephants
cross in corridors beneath the tracks.
Wildlife movements will thus be entirely dependent on the SGR crossing
structures put in place. The lobby said the movement will in the short
term help in the design of the planned fence along the railway,
enhancing elephants’ access to vital resources such as water, food and
“The results from the long-term monitoring will also be used to inform
the Kenya National Highways Authority of appropriate areas to build
overpasses for wildlife on the Nairobi-Mombasa and the Voi-Taveta
highways,” it said. “We will also be able to gauge how effective and
sustainable the crossing structures along the standard gauge railway
are and endeavour to protect them.”
Collaring was conducted mainly through aerial teams, with a KWS
helicopter leading darting operation.