Why African Fish Eagle is under threat of extinction

By Rupi Mangat

Published: East African Nation 11 July 2011

Above: Shiv Kapila releasing African Fish Eagle. Copyright Shiv Kapila

The African fish eagle is one of Africa’s most charismatic raptors. Donned in a copper-coloured mantle with a clear white collar, its very presence commends respect. Its loud and distinctive call is unmistakable – once heard, always remembered – the call of Africa. Its hunting prowess is legendary – it can spot a fish from the highest tree and swoop with talons outstretched to scoop it out of the water. Many a wildlife film has been shot on this powerful hunt.

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Nestled in Naivasha

Published: Saturday magazine, Nation newspaper 24 March 2018

Above: Hippos ashore. Copyright Rupi Mangat

It’s late returning to Nairobi from upcountry. We find a campsite to spend the night on the fringes of the freshwater Lake Naivasha, the highest of the Great Rift Valley lakes in Kenya. There’s just enough daylight for a walk around the papyrus-lined shore with the hippos honking, preparing to come ashore to dine for the night.

The papyrus ruffles in the evening breeze. It is an amazing plant. Ancient Egyptians used it to make their scrolls that today show their ancient past. In terms of eco-services, the papyrus is home to wildlife like fish, birds and hippos. The green plant also stabilizes water levels and moderates temperatures around lakes and rivers. Yet today there’s less than 10 per cent around Lake Naivasha.

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