New Market for the African Elephant

Published in The East African Nation media 7-13 October 2017

Laos in Southeast Asia, virtually unheard of in Africa is now the leading retailer in ivory, mostly sourced from recently poached elephants in Africa

Laos is now the hot-spot for rich Chinese tourists to gamble and purchase things they can’t do so easily at home – like jewellery and carvings from elephant ivory, rhino horn and consume wild animal products from endangered species – like tigers and bears.

Much of the ivory smuggled by criminal syndicates from Africa is processed into Buddhist items such as rosaries and figures of Gwan Yin - the Goddess of compassion, for Chinese customers Copyright Lucy Vigne
Much of the ivory smuggled by criminal syndicates from Africa is processed into Buddhist items such as rosaries and figures of Gwan Yin – the Goddess of compassion, for Chinese customers Copyright Lucy Vigne

Continue reading “New Market for the African Elephant”

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United Against Wildlife Poisoning

The dire need for government to recognize the problem of poison

Published in The East African-Nation Media 16-22 September 2017

It was in 2005 while researching for her doctorate on Mackinder’s Eagle Owls around Nyeri in Kenya’s central highlands that Darcy Ogada realized there was a problem at hand – that of poisoning.

“I was watching as owls were being poisoned,” she recalls. Farmers were painting sliced-open tomatoes, with carbofuran to kill mice and mousebirds. But they were also killing the Mackinder’s Eagle Owls because the owls were eating the poisoned mousebirds. Found mostly in the highlands, the owls do not have a wide distribution.

United Against Wildlife Poisoning Campaign

Vultures poisoned near the Masai Mara 7 July 2014. Photo E. Ole Reson
Vultures poisoned near the Masai Mara 7 July 2014. Photo E. Ole Reson

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To Tanganyika

For the chimpanzees (sokwe mtu in Kiswahili)

Published The East African Nation media 16-22 September 2017

Above: Playful young chimpanzee in Gombe National Park on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.  Copyright Rupi Mangat

When l heard Dr Jane Goodall talk in Nairobi about her ground-breaking pioneering chimpanzee research in Gombe it became my mission to get there in search of our closest relative whose DNA is 98 per cent like ours. It was Goodall who first documented chimpanzees using tools for a purpose – inserting sticks in a termite mound to fish out the insects for a snack – that made Louis Leakey the Kenyan paleoanthropologist quote famously, “Now we must redefine tool, redefine Man, or accept chimpanzees as humans” Continue reading “To Tanganyika”

A Run to Conserve

Safaricom Marathoners support Kenya’s rugged northern-scape

Published In The East African,Nation media 20-26 May 2017

The iconic loaf-shaped mountain Ololokwe, and the Warges of the Mathews Range behind - a high peak at 8,000 feet high above the plains. Tthe local Samburu call Mathews Range Ol-doinyo Lenkiyieu It stretches 80 kilometers north copyright Rupi Mangat
The iconic loaf-shaped mountain Ololokwe, and the Warges of the Mathews Range behind – a high peak at 8,000 feet high above the plains. Tthe local Samburu call Mathews Range Ol-doinyo Lenkiyieu It stretches 80 kilometers north copyright Rupi Mangat

From the high glades of Mount Kenya down to the flatlands of Samburu, past the Ewaso Nyiro River that is the life-lung of the arid lands and the iconic loaf-shaped mountain Ololokwe, a high peak pops 8,000 feet high above the plains. It’s the Warges of the Mathews Range that the local Samburu call Ol-doinyo Lenkiyieu stretching 80 kilometers north.

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Winds of Change

Critically Endangered vultures threatened by wind farm

Published The East African, Nation media 22-28 April 2017

Ruppell’s vulture landing – copyright Munir Virani

Since 2015 four of the eight species of vultures in Kenya have been listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This means they are one step short of becoming extinct.

ruppells-vulture-photo-by-s-kapila-633x370
Ruppell’s vulture Copyright Shiv Kapila

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