Kenya Launches Mobile App To Enable Citizens Become Wildlife Conservation Actors

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When John Perret takes out his phone, it is not to merely take a picture, as he is actually using the Makenya, Mammal Atlas Kenya app which allows users to record all the details of any mammals they spot.

The National Museums of Kenya has launched an app to enable wildlife authorities of the country track and log rare and common mammals and also record whether the species and their habitat are thriving.

Speaking about the app, John Perret, owner of a camel safari, said: “This app now helps us to really map where these animals are, and if they are in trouble, we can get the authorities to come and help us, and it gives me a great opportunity to show the tourists exactly where they are.”

When Perret, who said “This will be a continuous census and we will know how well our animals are performing”, takes out his phone, it is not to merely take a picture, as he is actually using the Makenya, Mammal Atlas Kenya app which allows users to record all the details of any mammals they spot.

The free app, in addition to being a benefit to tourism and those working for animal welfare, can also be used as a tool to raise awareness and to also collect additional data that will enable the monitoring of the animals’ living conditions.

Urging the general public to seize the opportunity offered by the app to positively impact wildlife conservation, Researcher Simon Musila said: “We want to also encourage the general public to participate in conserving mammals, and one of the basic ways they can actually do that is whenever they see mammals anywhere they submit a record. That way is one of the important ways for them to participate in conserving mammals.”

The Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) disclosed that around 25,000 species of animal and 7000 species of plants have so far been recorded using the app, which was created by the Mammal Committee of Nature Kenya, the National Museums of Kenya, and other collaborators.