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.
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…
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.
In 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.
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.
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?
If you are more inclined towards aquatic lifestyles and activities, you also have the opportunity to interact (swim, see…) dolphins.
Or 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…
Or if you are feeling adventurous, you can go for dhow rides in the Indian Ocean with the locals.
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!!
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.The 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 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!!!
Nairobi Ranch – Kipini is simply beautiful, and being in Kenya, a country endowed with incredibly diverse landscapes and unique geographical features all teeming with wildlife and home to more than 50 cultural communities, it is indeed a luxury to be experienced by the most deserving residents. Kipini is uniquely positioned between marine, forest, woodland and grassland ecosystems. There are white sandy beaches, ancient sand dunes as well as seasonal and permanent wetlands and lakes most of it undisturbed and rich in plant diversity.Situated at the northern end of the Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests biodiversity hotspot, the KWBC area of interest is embedded in a zone of internationally recognised importance to a rich assembly of globally threatened plants and animals. KWBC Nairobi Ranch shares direct boundaries with two acknowledged sites of importance to the hotspot, and five other important hotspot sites are present within the larger zone of KWBC interest. 18% of large mammal species observed or expected in the Kipini area alone are considered threatened according to IUCN 2003 Red list criteria KWBC controls relatively large blocks of unspoilt coastal habitats in a natural mosaic at Nairobi Ranch. In association with Witu forest, the relative size of the blocks gives enhanced value, providing refuges for populations against the reduced survival probabilities associated with habitat fragmentation; a predominant effect caused by rapid development through the great majority of Kenyan coastal habitats.Strategically Nairobi Ranch lies at a fulcrum, uniting its own resources with four additional high importance habitats on its immediate boundaries; the Tana River estuary, Lake Kenyatta, and Witu Forest, and a continuum across semi-active cattle ranches northward through the heart of the coastal topi range to the drier interior habitats that mark the range of the hirola.Terrestrial diversityEndangered species of animals such as Ader’s Duiker, the Cheetah, the intriguing African Wild Dog or “painted wolf” as well as the rare coastal topi are found in Kipini. Further inland the rare and endemic Tana Red Colobus and the Tana Crested Mangabey will be found in the gallery forests flanking the Tana River.In addition, there are elephant, African buffalo, hippo, reticulated giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, waterbuck, lesser kudu, gerenuk, desert warthog and eland. These large mammals, numbering an estimated 50,000 animals, are accompanied by a large number of smaller animals such as marsh mongoose, vervets, black and white colobus and sykes monkeys as well as a plethora of amphibians and reptiles.The unique and beautiful Hirola Antelope, only found in its Natural environment in Ijara to the north and west of Kipini is a sight to behold. Kipini has secured the approval of the Kenya Wildlife Service – the government agency charged with wildlife management – to embark on a translocation of this endemic antelope into the Conservancy as a means of re-establishing populations to areas where they once thrived.Marine lifeThe marine ecosystem is a recognized Global 2000 ecoregion supporting a great diversity of plants and animals. The coral reef at Kipini is rich with more than 1,000 species of coral fish and about 200 distinct species of coral all available for snorkeling and scuba diving. Turtles nest here each year and several species of whales and dolphins – including the globally threatened dugong – are regular visitors.Cultural diversityThe Kenya coast is home to some the most intriguing cultures in the world. From the ancient Giriama and Mijikenda culture and their sacred Kaya forests to the cultures of the Pokomo and the Orma who reside in the Tana Delta. From the rich Swahili culture, a mixture of Arab and indigenous African cultures, to the remnants of Portuguese cultural structures and to ruins of ancient cultures yet to be studied. There is also Lamu – a living museum and world heritage site – where the streets are narrow and donkeys are the predominant means of transport; its architecture centuries old.
The Kipini Wildlife and Botanical Conservancy (KWBC) was established in 2003 and registered in January 2004, following the signing of a management agreement between Nairobi Ranching Ltd and the Kipini Wildlife and Botanical Conservancy Trust (KWBCT). The objective of the KWBC is to work with partners to provide a new initiative in coastal land use, conservation and community development.The KWBC mainly comprises Nairobi Ranch, in Lamu District, but has also identified a wider zone of interest in surrounding areas still covered with natural vegetation to ensure harmonized conservation approaches across the entire region. Ultimately this will include the adjacent marine ecosystems, notably the adjacent area proposed (but not yet established) as the Ras Tenewi Marine National Reserve.Nairobi Ranch was purchased by the Sherman family (known as Swaleh Nguru family) in 1979 to develop cattle ranching interests. However severe problems with livestock disease (trypansomiasis) as well as lions and some banditry made the cattle operation difficult. Since the conservation establishment, the Sherman family donated its own land for the establishment for the conservancy. The EU has provided funding for infrastructure development, community development, and conservancy maintenance. The Finnish Government provided funding for the conservancy to carry out a detailed and in depth large mammal movement as per the attached documentation.Some of the land was sold back to the government for resettlement of people in the late 1980s. The family was then looking at alternative uses for the ranch and realized that one of the best options is to develop the natural potential of the land. Development of the ranch is necessary as Kenya can ill afford idle land but in this case it is imperative that this is undertaken with considerable care ensuring adequate conservation of the area. The model of much of the rest of the coastline is not proving to be optimal, which puts considerable pressure on new initiatives to rethink the approach on land use.The geographic and ecological position of KWBC Nairobi Ranch is special at both a local scale and in the larger context of coastal east Africa. At the local scale, areas of natural vegetation at the coast present an important opportunity for sensitive integration of conservation and development. Almost uniquely along the north Kenya coast, the former cattle ranch represents a corridor of un-spoilt and varied natural habitats linking the coastline to the hinterland. This creates an important natural refuge for animals and plants, strategically linking the coast with established tourism centers of Lamu and the underdeveloped hinterland between the Tana River and Somali border.At the larger scale KWBC Nairobi Ranch is situated at the northern end of the Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests hotspot (Myers, Burgess & Lovett 1999). The hotspot comprises a patchwork of forests at varying altitudes, embedded in grasslands, savannah woodlands and bush lands. The whole zone extends through a block of eastern Tanzania but also includes the entire coastal margin of Kenya. The hotspot is defined by the ranges of 1400 species of endemic plants and at least 130 species of endemic animals, coupled with the fact that forest habitats supporting them are believed to have suffered a greater than 75% decline in area. This has been attributed to clearance for agricultural use, logging, charcoal burning and wildfires. Key sites within the hotspot have been identified on the basis of the number of globally threatened species present. The seven northernmost sites in the hotspot all fall within the KWBC zone of interest.
Dear Reader,Thank you for visiting the Kipini Conservancy blog. Feel free to comment and contribute to articles that you find or issues you may have interest in.Hope to engage in upbuilding and mutually beneficial discussions as time goes on.Again, welcome to the Kipini Conservancy Blog Page.Kind Regards,Management.