It was established under an Act of Parliament (The Wildlife Conservation and Management Act) Cap 376. Under the act its mandate is to conserve and manage the wildlife as well as enforce any laws and regulations related to the Republic’s flora and fauna.
The KWS is in charge of managing most of Kenya’s National Parks and Game Reserves apart from a few like the Maasai Mara (which is managed by the local authorities).
The KWS collects entrance fees at the parks and the revenue is used in managing the biodiversity of the country as well as conservation of the plants and animals within the park. The KWS soldiers are distributed across the 39 game parks and game reserves in the country.
The KWS conduct conservation programs to assist Kenyan animal species and habitats that are at major risk. They monitor species like the Rhino and Elephant through project as they protect them from poachers as well as help the recovery from poaching.
The KWS has several services within that are tasked with different roles;
- Community Wildlife Service– this service is posted outside the national parks but areas that the animal interact with humans like corridors and teach and encourage the communities conservation of their resources
- Security Services– this service is tasked with the very challenging duty of curbing poaching and stopping illegal trade of wildlife’s body parts like the elephant’s tusks.
- Veterinary Services– tasked with making sure the wildlife is healthy and the breeding population is maintained, they also take care of ailing and very old wildlife.
The Kenya Wildlife Services conducts their training at their training centre in Naivasha from where the staffs are taught about ecology and tourism. KWS also has a Law Enforcement Academy in Mayani that caters for all paramilitary training.
The KWS has public outreach programmes that are education centres and are based in the National Parks and train the public and especially school groups on environmental care. The KWS run education centers include; Nairobi Safari Walk, Nairobi Education Centre, Lake Nakuru Education Centre, Tsavo East and Tsavo West Education Centres