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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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
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.