Biodiversity Kenya (KEN)
  FishBase Complete Literature Reference
Species Families Species Families
Marine 749 157 No
Freshwater 347 48 No Daget, J., J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 1984
Total 1073 188 No
Ref.   Daget, J., J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 1984
Conservation The following information is to be sought: - Status of knowledge of the freshwater fauna; - Existence of conservation plans; - Information on major aquatic habitats or sites within the country; - Current major threats to species; - Future potential threats to species; - Contact(s) for further information.
Geography and Climate The surface area of Kenya is 569,250 km2. The western and central parts of Kenya consist of highland plateaus which are divided from north to south by the Great Rift Valley. The plateaus are crowned by mountains, of which Mount Kenya (5,200 m) is the highest. The highlands slope downward to the east. Kenya has a wide range of climates. The north and much of the east of the country are desertic with little rainfall and high temperatures. The highland plateaus have warm temperate climates with two well marked rainy seasons: February-May and October-December. The coast has a monsoon climate with a prolonged wet season peaking in May. The highlands of Kenya are used for agriculture, whereas the lowland areas tend to be occupied by pastoral people. Large areas of the country have been reserved as game parks and much of the north is desertic and supports only very limited population.

Ref.  Vanden Bossche, J.-P. and G.M. Bernacsek, 1990
Hydrography Lakes: the major Kenyan lakes fall into two main groups: (a) Lake Victoria; and (b) the Rift Valley lakes. Kenya possesses 6% of Lake Victoria. A considerable portion of this is located in the shallow and productive Kavirondo Gulf. The larger Rift Valley lakes are Lakes Turkana, Baringo, Bogoria, Nakuru, Elementeita, Naivasha and Magadi. One small lake, Lake Jipe, lies between Kenya and Tanzania (about half in each country). Many other small lakes are dotted around the country, and there are several on the lower floodplains of the Tana and Sabaki Rivers. Rivers, floodplains and swamps: the drainage system of Kenya is largely influenced by the Great Rift Valley and five drainage basins are evident: Lake Victoria: the Lake Basin is a multi-river basin containing eight rivers of significant size. These rivers drain about 47% of the total of Kenya's runoff, carrying it westward into Lake Victoria. Their catchment comprises the whole of the area west of the Rift Valley, delineated by Mount Elgon in the North. Rift Valley: an area with its own internal drainage, discharging northwards into Lake Turkana and southwards into Lake Natron, with several sub-drainage rivers and lakes. Although one of the larger catchments, its mean annual runoff is very low. Athi River: the southern catchment east of the Rift Valley, draining from the central highlands to the Indian Ocean. Tana River: drains eastward from Mount Kenya to the Indian Ocean; one of the largest rivers with the second highest MAR, 7% of rainfall. Ewaso Ngiro: the largest but driest catchment in Kenya, it extends from north of Mount Kenya and the Aberdares to empty into the Iorian swamp. In exceptional floods, flows continue into Somalia. The rivers of Kenya fall into two main groups: (a) coastal rivers - the Sabaki (Athi, Galana) River with a broad floodplain in its lower reaches, and the Tana River; (b) rivers flowing into Lake Victoria - of which the Nzoia, Yala and Sio Rivers are the most important. Several seasonal rivers, such as the Turkwell, drain the western rift wall toward Lake Turkana. FAO/UNDP (1996) (Ref. 12096) estimated a total of about 3,000 km of rivers in the country. The rivers exhibit seasonal flow patterns characteristic of the peak wet seasons, generally flooding from March to May and from October to December.

Ref.  Vanden Bossche, J.-P. and G.M. Bernacsek, 1990
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