The Amboseli-West Kilimanjaro/Magadi – Natron cross- border landscape, as referred to in this report, comprises various ecologically important areas in Kenya and Tanzania. On the Kenyan side it includes Amboseli National Park and the surrounding group ranches, the southern part of Kajiado district from Namanga to Magadi and Nguruman. On the Tanzanian side, the ecosystem covers Natron and West Kilimanjaro areas. Although this broad cross-border landscape is a very significant area for wildlife conservation, it has seldom been considered in its entirety as a conservation unit. Consequently past aerial censuses and other studies have been confined to smaller areas (e.g. Amboseli National Park and West Kilimanjaro), leading to a partial understanding of wildlife interrelations in the area. In addition, there has been no recent census to determine wildlife and domestic animal numbers and their distribution in the whole region. This census report therefore forms an initial attempt of covering the Amboseli- West Kilimanjaro landscape as a unit. Further, this census provides important means to evaluate the impact of the recent 2008/2009 prolonged drought, on both wildlife and livestock in the landscape. The drought led to substantial mortalities among some of the species, particularly the grazers (wildebeest, zebra, buffalo and cattle).
A total aerial count of wildlife species, livestock and human activities in Amboseli-Namanga and Magadi areas in Kenya, and West Kilimanjaro and Natron areas in Tanzania was conducted from 1st to 6th March, 2010. This was a joint cross-border exercise between Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), with additional support from African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE) and other stakeholders. The census covered 24,108 km2 area including 8,797 km2 of the Amboseli ecosystem and 5,513 km2 of the Namanga-Magadi areas in south-western Kenya together with 3,014 km2 of the West Kilimanjaro and 7,047 km2 of the Natron areas in North Tanzania.