No rhinos were lost to poaching in Kenya in 2020. There was also an 11% increase in rhino numbers from 1,441 in 2019 to 1,605 in 2020.
The pandemic elicited fears of an increase in wildlife poaching as tourist revenues used to pay wildlife rangers reduced drastically. However, measures put in place by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and partners like the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) ensured the safety of these prehistoric animals, which are highly sought after for their horns.
In 2015, Kenya Wildlife Service put in place a forensic laboratory with a genetic database of rhino and elephant DNA, as well as a monitoring system. The laboratory helps obtain critical data, which enables scientists to track endangered species and, if needed, link them to suspected poachers.