Author Archives: Kipini Conservancy

Kipini Update

Hi guys. Sorry we have been out of touch for a while.

But Kipini is back. Just wanted to touch base and let you all know that we are still hard at work in the fight for the protection of our natural resources.

Will keep you posted on what we have been up to of late.

Progress on the CBD Conference…

There is a universally accepted mentality at the conference that communities and people living around protected areas need to be actively involved in conservation of the PAs and the biodiversity. Do you believe that in this day and age that this is a wise and biologically beneficial step to take?

Feel free to comment…

Kipini Conservancy @ the CBD Conference in Nairobi

From the 10th to the 28th of May 2010, at the United Nations Environment Program Headquarters in Nairobi, there is the ongoing conference on the Convention on Biological Diversity.

the conference has brought together key stakeholders from all corners of the globe.. this is a preamble to the COP10 meeting on CBD to be held in Nagoya Japan.

This is a remarkable occassion.This conference gives the opportunity to highlight the problems and weaknesses in current legislation to deal with the problems of biodiversity not only in Kenya but on a global level. A lot of the workshops are technical and dealing with the rewording and amendment of the current CBD document. But there are also side events that are topic specific dealing with issues such as biofuels, which i had the privledge of attending. There is also the issues of bird life, plants, agriculture in relation to biodiversity and the legal aspects of the CBD.

I will keep you posted on the progress as the conference moves along…

NB: There is also the issue of Invasive species, and i discovered that some of the plants and animals you and I regularly admire may be invasive species and pose a  huge risk to the overall biodiversity.

Again, will keep you posted…

Kipini Lumshi Forest Destruction in Pictures

The pictures you are about to see disturbed me. This is a trend not only in the Kipini Region but all across Kenya. And there seems to be no end in sight to this problem.

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One of Kipini Scouts surveys an area damaged by illegal logging.

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What was once a mighty tree is now rendered useless having loss its footing as it were.

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Again, the damage goes on and on…

_Device Memory_home_user_pictures_IMG00548-20100224-1014A logging site discovered by our scouts and the logs left behind by the loggers.

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Very disturbing images like i mentioned earlier. On the plus side, we are currently in talks with the government mandated forest protection agency in the country to aid us in protection and forest management in the region!

Kipini Lumshi forest Destruction: Part 1

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The blatant and wanton destruction of natural resources continues. Upon a recent visit to Kipini Conservancy, I was shocked as to what i found taking place. The forests are under threat once again. Logging and charcoal production are on the rise once again.

_Device Memory_home_user_pictures_IMG00555-20100224-1035In the above picture, it shows the sacks of charcoal harvested from the forest for commercial and domestic sale. And in the background you can see a cleared section of the forest. The picture below shows a charcoal burning area that was abandoned, we assume, on the culprit having being alerted of our arrival.

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These acts are so malicious that they are been extended to the wildlife in the area. The pictures below are what remain of an African Rock Python that was the victim of what we suspect to be an intentional fire attack.

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Kipini Conservancy Invites YOU!!

Do you long to be one with nature? Or do you just need a well deserved  break? Do you want to help in conservation first hand?

Are you a student on gap year? Do you want a unique yet fun and exciting time to volunteer?

Are you a wildlife researcher? Are you in need of a rare and unique ecosystem in which to do your research?

If the answer to all or any of the questions is yes, then Kipini Conservancy would like to invite you to pay us a visit.

While here you can get the chance to interact with the local communities and see how they live, and if you like, spend a day or two and live as they live… The true local experience….  Just look at the picture. Would you not like to experience a traditional african living experience?

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If you are more inclined towards aquatic lifestyles and activities, you also have the opportunity to interact (swim, see…) dolphins.

dolphin-wallpaper-31Or if you want, you can be part of the turtle and tortoise monitoring and conservation work that takes place in Kipini.. or just come to view the turtle nesting…

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Or if you are feeling adventurous, you can go for dhow rides in the Indian Ocean with the locals.

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The options and activities are boundless.

If this interests you, feel free to get in touch with us, and share in the beauty and wonder that is Kipini Conservancy!!

Forest Use and Conservation of Biodiversity in Witu Forest, Kenya

This project was conducted by the Danish Zoological Society (DZS). DZS was formed in December 2004 by a group of biologists from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark working on a voluntary basis. The mission of DZS is to support and conduct projects and research that contributes to conserving wild animals and their habitats and increases the knowledge of threatened species ecology, distribution and status. DZS has a strong focus on the Eastern Arc Mountains and costal forests of Tanzania and Kenya.

The project was planned in cooperation with Farouk Sherman, protector and initiator of the Kipini Wildlife and Botanical Conservancy (KWBC). The KWBC is centered on the Kipini ranch which boarders the Witu forest and part of the forest extends into the ranch. The Witu forest proper is considered within the wider zone of the conservancy’s interest by the KWBC trust.

Partnership was also established with Nature Kenya and an affiliation was established with Kenya Wildlife Service.

The project was aiming to deal with these issues:

  • Conduct a survey of mammals in Witu forest which included birds. Reptiles, amphibians and insects.
  • Evaluating the intensity of natural resource extraction (originally focusing on bushmeat hunting and non-timber forest products). During the project it was adjusted to include timber as the intensity of extraction the two original forest products appears to be minimal whereas illegal logging in Witu forest was extensive.
  • Training local people as nature guides which included training local people as nature guides for ecotourism and providing them with animal field guides and binoculars. Due to difficulties in identifying local people possessing both the necessary language skills and knowledge about the forest simultaneously it was decided to focus on educating young people on the global importance of conserving biodiversity Seminars was therefore conducted at two primary schools in communities directly bordering the forest. Animal field guides and binoculars were handed over to the schools.

A seminar were similarly conducted with three local interest groups and a lecture was held by a member of a PFM association from the Arabuko-Sokoke forest. Equipment in terms of a tent, mattresses, mosquito nets, binoculars, GPS etc. were handed over to one conservation oriented NGO upon project completion.

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What were the successes?

Three transects of a total length of 5 km were established within the Witu forest proper. Eight camera traps were placed in the forest at animal holes and on animal trails crossing the transects.

A total of 1224 hours of camera trapping were conducted. Transect surveys were conducted and observations of animals were recorded. Bird censuses were conducted on each transect by identifying species from calls and visual observations and by mist netting. Reptiles, amphibians and insects were recorded through random observations and through bucket pitfall trapping. Ten buckets were used for a total of 445 trap hours.  Threatened species and potential indicator species of disturbance and forest quality are identified.

During  surveys all signs of logging, use of fire, bushmeat hunting and harvesting of other non-timber forest products were recorded along the transects. Based on this an index of human disturbance were established. The effect of the disturbance is evaluated.

The species lists, relative mammal densities and index of human disturbance make baseline for monitoring and evaluating trends in the status of the forest and the impact of conservation initiatives and Kenya’s new forest act.

Results are presented in the report “Conservation and Use of Witu Forest, Kenya”.

Seminars were conducted in two primary schools for respectively 3 and 2 classes with approximately 25-30 students each. The importance of ecosystem services derived from the forest were illustrated and discussed. Animal field guides and binoculars were handed over to the schools for use in lectures and projects.

Equipment in terms of a tent, mattresses, mosquito nets, binoculars and a GPS were provided to the NGO Witu Conservation Group. This contributes to build their capacity to conduct patrolling in Witu forest and monitor the status of natural resources in agreement with their mandate.

The need for Ivory NEEDS to stop

In the Kenyan press recently, there have been several cases of poachers and traders being apprehended by police with ivory and other wildlife products. These are just the cases the media manages to squeeze into their irrelevant political schedules to show us.The frequency of these events only means one thing: our wildlife is in trouble. BIG trouble. Sometime last year, we were the victims of poaching.poached elephant in KipiniThe thieves and murderers (which is basically what poachers are) killed two of Kipinis Elephants. One of these elephants was tagged with the help of Save the Elephants and KWS. The information and story is available at http://www.savetheelephants.org/files/pdf/publications/2009%20STE%20Progress%20Report%20on%20Coastal%20Elephants.pdf, or upon request from [email protected] may sound like a stupid question to ask, but WHY do they have to kill them? If they need ivory that badly, tranquilize the elephant cut off part of the tusk and let the animal live to grow some more…But why are the people we put in charge of wildlife such twits? Why isnt ivory banned globally? What is happening to our wildlife will soon (and i mean soon) turn into what happened to diamonds in Angola and Sierra Leone, or Oil in Iraq and Kuwait, or Nuclear energy in Iran.I say we forget the politics and do something as conservationists. For dealers and sellers of Ivory, lets make them universally feel like they suffer from leprosy. Lets encourage the world to shun ivory, leopard skins, tiger teeth…If we dont do it now, what will we tell our Kids?Imagine what grand parents in Seychelles tell their grandkids: “when i was your age, there used to be a bird called the Dodo…”Are those the stories we want to pass on?

Kipini in Living Colour

 Back to my ideology of pictures are worth a thousand words. Kipini is a truly rich and beautiful place. You don’t have to take my word for it. But you can take my pictures for it :)In the previous blog i talk about the big and the small… but i think 99% of the time it was about the big…Today i dedicate this blog to the small… moderately small… Ok not so large!In the introductory pictures you have the big, the medium, and small… A range of sizes you are bound to find in Kipini.If you are looking to find the tiny little critter…Or whether it is the birds in the heavens… or in some cases perched in trees…

The Wild Side of Kipini: The Animal Story

Kipini Conservancy: Hakuna Njia. That is swahili for No Route or No access or not through way. But this is only for those who have malicious intent.Allow me to welcome you to Kipini.Pictures are worth a thousand words… thats if you know that many of course.The following story is one of pictures (and some words).This story is of what you will find in Kipini.If you were a carnivore or four legged quadruped or even a  2 legged flying mammal… or if you want the extreme end, a 6 – 100 legged creepy crawly, would you like to live here? (referring to the picture mate).It looks beautiful doesn’t it?Clear blue skies, water, green fields… I could go on until i run out words to use. If your a modest, yet in my opinion misguided walking creature like the crab, you will find a home here. In Kipini you will and can find common and not so common wildlife. You will find the large and majestic African Elephants, Hippos, Waterbuck, Kongoni, Impala. You name it. But those are the large ones. You can find smaller yet equally beautiful species here too. Although i know not their official names, look at the pictures. The frog no bigger than a coin, crawlers like the centipede and millipede… I will let the pictures say the rest.  But its not all a bed of roses and heavenly bliss. Amongst  certain species… actually all species of animals, there will be the occasional fight. Just ask him. And no the way he is wearing his horn is not the latest buffalo trend that didnt bode well with his comrades. What set out as a normal family fun day out turned out badly for one buffalo as he probably overstepped his grass eating privileges. This was of course not taken lightly by his kin folk. If you would like to experience and see all the drama, beauty and life for yourself, feel free to contact us. We would be glad to share this wonderful and beautiful world with you!!!