Like every other African country, Kenya's wildlife areas, forests and special habitats are continuously being threatened, mostly by an expanding population's need for more land, by increasing urbanization and industrial expansion and, of course, poaching (particularly if the worldwide ban on the sale of ivory is lifted).
But there have been signs of hope. Since Dr. Richard Leakey and the Kenya Wildlife Service took over the running of the national parks, there has been a dramatic drop in poaching; rhino have not been poached for over seven years. Entry fees for the national parks have been raised substantially and a proportion of this now goes directly to the people living adjacent to these wildlife reserves. The money is used to help the local people build health clinics, schools and improve the roads. There are plans to fence the parks. This has proved to be very popular with the local people as the fencing stops the wildlife from raiding their shambas (small farms).
The East African Wildlife Society raises large sums of money to fund various wildlife research programs. Also strongly active, and perhaps most important of all, the organization Wildlife Clubs of Kenya teaches the citizens of tomorrow the importance of conservation. Many national parks now have educational facilities, exhibits and interpretation centers. The Nairobi National Park has a very active education center where groups of schoolchildren can experience wildlife conservation lectures and film shows.