Endangered and little known: Roan antelope

By RUPI MANGAT

Above: The gate at Ruma National Park of the roan antelope. Copyright Rupi Mangat

Published: The East African Nation 14 April 2008

Only 40 surviving today – 2020.

If you think that only the African Rhino and elephant are endangered or a target of poachers, you are wrong. There are many other animals threatened with extinction who, unfortunately, are little known and rarely heard of.

Kenya’s roan antelope falls in this category. Today, this subspecies of the roan, Hippotragus equines langheldi, is only found in one tiny area in the world — Ruma National Park in western Kenya. At one time its territory stretched all the way from the Mara grasslands to Ruma. It was also found in other areas such as the Ithanga hills in Thika.

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The Giraffe …Going, going… Can we save the Maasai giraffes of Maanzoni from ‘Gone’

By Rupi Mangat

Published: Daily Nation Kenya 27 January 2019

Above: Maasai giraffe browsing in Maanzoni

In Ancient Egypt’s royal tomb of the famous  pharaoh, Tutankhamun are images of giraffes  nibbling leaves while he sits in state some 3000 years ago.  Giraffes and elephants including the rare okapi lived in the midst of the Egyptians until the forests were plundered to build boats and pyramids for the pharaohs, which heralded in the Saharan Sands.

Giraffes have globe trotted the earth since the Miocene era 23 million years ago when their range included Europe and Asia.

Engraving of giraffe in Afgaba gorge northern Kenya made around a thousand years ago by hunter gatherers who might have been Batwa.. Copyright David Coulson of Trust for African Rock Art TARA (800x527)
Engraving of giraffe in Afgaba gorge northern Kenya made around a thousand years ago by hunter gatherers who might have been Batwa.. Copyright David Coulson of Trust for African Rock Art TARA

“Giraffes appear more frequently than most other animals on rock art,” states David Coulson of the Trust for Africa Rock Art (TARA) that is a digital repository of Africa’s most important prehistoric rock art. “It is the earliest  artistic expressions of humankind, a window on how our ancestors related and interacted with nature and the natural world,” continues Coulson.

A Tuareg man by a 6,000 year life size engraving of giraffes in Niger. Copyright David Coulson of Trust for African Rock Art TARA (538x800)
A Tuareg man by a 6,000 year life size engraving of giraffes in Niger. Copyright David Coulson of Trust for African Rock Art TARA

Continue reading “The Giraffe …Going, going… Can we save the Maasai giraffes of Maanzoni from ‘Gone’”

Carnivore Conservation in Changing Landscapes: A two-day conference in Nairobi highlights new findings and more

Above: Lion defending his prey from Silver-backed jackals and Ruppell’s vultures listed Critically endangered on IUCN Red List in Soysambu Conservancy. By Rupi Mangat.

Published: The East African (Nation media) 30 November 2019

In the complex world of carnivore conservation in today’s rapidly changing landscapes, an annual two-day carnivore conference held at the Kenya Wildlife Service in Nairobi at the end of October brought together carnivore scientists and researchers from east and southern Africa including India.

The aim of the conference was to share the latest information and knowledge on carnivore conservation and management in range states like Kenya.

Jun 2019 Mandevu exploring in Maasai Mara. Copyright Rupi Mangat (800x600)
Mandevu exploring in Maasai Mara. Copyright Rupi Mangat

Continue reading “Carnivore Conservation in Changing Landscapes: A two-day conference in Nairobi highlights new findings and more”

The Illegal Trade in African Grey Parrots

It’s a cruel online trade, global and killing the lovable talking parrot

Above: African Grey Parrot. Courtesy World Animal Protection

Published: The East African 16 February – 22 February 2019

When a flock of African Grey Parrots flew overhead in Kakamega Rainforest on a recent trip to western Kenya, we were elated. In their natural forested home, the birds vanished into the canopy. It was split-second but fascinating.

To then see the African grey parrot caged like a prisoner – or any other wild creature – is sickening to the core. I have never understood people who keep exotic pets in cages instead of leaving them in their natural homes. I would love to cage these people and feed them with treats. Maybe then they would value freedom.

African Grey Parrot -Psittacus erithacus timneh-, adult on tree, native to Central Africa and West Africa, captive
African Grey Parrot -Psittacus erithacus timneh-, adult on tree, native to Central Africa and West Africa. Copyright: World Animal Protection

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Soysambu’s Cats, Colobus, Raptors and All

Published 29 September 2018

Above: Seen on Sept 13 2018 at Soysambu. The male in the photo is SM2 (collared) who is Flir’s son and the female is SF3, Valentine’s daughter. We think Flir and Valentine are sisters so they would be cousins. Unknown father’s  but  they are one or two of the males in Nakuru National Park. Copyright: Kat Combes

IMG_9563 (800x800)
Soysambu Conservancy with Flamingos on Lake Elmenteita and Delamere’s Nose. Copyright Rupi Mangat

There’s so much happening at Soysambu, the wildlife conservancy straddling the soda-fringed Lake Elmenteita in the Great Rift Valley. It draws one like magnet to keep up with its intrigues. For starters the wildlife haven is set picturesquely between the fresh water Lake Naivasha and the alkaline Lake Nakuru and being part of the volcanic upheavals from the last 20 million years or so, it’s a tapestry of little mountains with craters, volcanic rubble and an inch-thick layer of soil good only for hardy grass and trees.

Continue reading “Soysambu’s Cats, Colobus, Raptors and All”