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Establishing Hirola International Reserve, Kenya

Updated: Mar 13

The Hirola antelope (beatragus hunteri) is a critically endangered species of antelope that is found only in a small region of eastern Africa, stretching across parts of Kenya and Somalia. Despite being a unique and fascinating species, the Hirola population has been in a state of decline for many years due to habitat loss, poaching, and other factors. In fact, the Hirola is one of the most critically endangered animals in the world, having an estimated total worldwide population of approximately 500, and found only in Kenya and Somalia (Hcp, 2020).

To help address the decline in the Hirola population, we proposed the creation of the Hirola International Reserve, which would encompass the historic range of the Hirola. This range is estimated to be approximately 38,400 square kilometres in total, with about 47% of it (roughly 17,900 square kilometres) located in Kenya and the remaining 53% (around 20,500 square kilometres) situated in Somalia.

The creation of the reserve would provide a protected area for the Hirola to live and breed, without being disturbed by human activities such as poaching, grazing, and habitat destruction. The Hirola's main threat is habitat loss, which has occurred because of deforestation, overgrazing, and the expansion of human settlements. Poaching is also a major threat, as the Hirola's unique and striking appearance makes it a popular target for trophy hunters.

The reserve would not only provide a protected area for the Hirola but also help to protect other wildlife species that inhabit the region. It would also help to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and the need to protect endangered species from extinction.

In addition to protecting the Hirola and its habitat, the creation of the reserve could also bring economic benefits to the region. A well-managed reserve could attract tourists interested in wildlife viewing and provide jobs for local communities in tourism-related activities.

In summary, the creation of the Hirola International Reserve is an important step towards the conservation and protection of the Hirola antelope and the biodiversity of the region. By creating a safe and protected environment for this unique and important species, the reserve could help to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the beauty and wonder of the Hirola in the years to come.


Hcp. (2020, April 29). Hirola conservation in Kenya -. Hirola Conservation Program.

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