Spring has definitely sprung on Soysambu, and with it has come the next generation of wildlife. Baby Gazelles, Impala, Baboons and Zebra can be seen running and dancing around on the fresh (albeit short) but never the less, green grass! Three new arrivals in particular have everyone talking excitedly, three brand new Rothschild’s Giraffe! We are not sure exactly when they were born, but signs all point to sometime in the last week. The three calves are in a group of about 12 other adults and sub-adults living in the sanctuary around the lake sure. There is also another heavily pregnant female who looks ready to have her calf any day now! Soysambu Conservancy currently has a group of volunteers monitoring the giraffe and their habitat daily. The group from Africa Venture Volunteers is working on an ongoing identification project for the giraffe on Soysambu, taking pictures and monitoring movements and social groupings of the giraffe. The volunteers are also studying the habitat destruction that seems to occurring in areas of the Conservancy that the giraffe graze heavily. Acacia xanthophloea, or Yellow Fever Tree, is the primary food source of the giraffe, and in addition browsing the foliage, the giraffe are also stripping bark from the trunks and branches. This practice in some areas is leading to ring-barking and death of a number of the trees. Giraffe expert, Julian Fennessy of Kenyan Land Conservation Trust visited with a prospective PhD student Zoe Muller to see the giraffe population as well as to meet with the volunteers and offer them guidance in their researching. There has been surprisingly few studies done on the Rothschild’s giraffe, so with the help of Julian, Zoe and the volunteers we hope to gain a better understanding of the giraffe on Soysambu as well as add to the information bank of the Rothschild’s giraffe. Thanks to Zoe Muller for the photos.
” Clothes swap evening”clothes-swap-nov-11-09-004.jpg
Wednesday November the 11th, London – I hosted a “clothes swap evening” here at home to raise funds for the kids I taught at Mbogo Primary back in May. By the time I reached Soysambu I had already given away the pens, pencils, paper etc that I had brought out from England and therefore had nothing to donate to the children of Mbogo Primary School. I left them with a heavy heart but a determination to try and raise some money for them to buy the basics to keep on learning. I came up with the idea of a clothes swap evening in the summer for my girlfriends, something that was fun, a little bit different and would hopefully generate some money!
Everyone had to bring 3 pieces of clothing and hang them up on arrival. It was £15 a head and the idea was to have a fun girlie evening with wine and canapes, followed by a trying on session! The evening was great fun and a huge success, with everyone going home with at least one “new” item of clothing. I’m now well on track to raising £300 to wire over to Kat and the team at Soysambu by the end of November!
Here on Soysambu Conservancy we are not only working to protect and preserve the wildlife and habitat in our immediate vicinity, but the Conservancy land is a crucial part of a bigger wildlife and habitat protection project- The Lake Nakuru National Park to Lake Naivasha Project.
The aim of the project is to secure critical habitat for the free movement of wildlife between Nakuru Park and Lake Naivasha by connecting key community, private and public lands. Moving north to south, the long-term vision seeks to connect three nationally and internationally important water sources in the Rift Valley – Lake Nakuru, Lake Elmenteita and Lake Naivasha as part of a greater conservation area. The Project is involving land holders of small and large scale farms, businesses, properties already designated as wildlife sanctuaries, Kenya Land Conservation Trust; Kenya Wildlife Service; The Lakes Nakuru, Naivasha and Elmenteita Conservation Area (LaNNECA); and other conservation bodies.
As we look around us it can be disheartening to see forests and natural habitat being cleared to make way for more farms. However, a lion that recently roamed from Nakuru Park, through Soysambu all the way down to Lake Naivasha area was a symbol of hope that there still is hope in protecting this corridor. There is no doubt though, the window of opportunity is closing, which is why we are working right now to conserve this strip of precious habitat. So far the response and enthusiasm to the project has been very encouraging.
By supporting The Conservancy, you are not only helping to protect the wildlife, habitat and communities within and around Soysambu, but you are helping to preserve one of the last remaining wildlife corridors through the Kenyan Rift Valley. Please consider making a donation to Soysambu Conservancy, no matter how big or small, your money will go directly to protecting and conserving this land.
The day after I wrote the below article on the , our security team came across 30+ snares in one small area of Soysambu, proving that this really is a daily battle and something needs to happen now to stop it.
Pictured below is Soysambu Conservancy Community and Wildlife manager Charles Muthui with Mohammed, one of the security rangers unloading the snares yesterday (Saturday 7th Nov).
Warning: The blog below contains links to some graphic images…
Poaching for the bush meat trade has long been a problem on Soysambu.
Trespassers break onto The Conservancy and set snares – nooses made from lengths of wire, attached to a tree, bush or fence and hung over animal trails (see image below).
The unwitting animal, be it an Impala, Gazelle, Zebra, Buffalo, Eland etc, walks into the snare and becomes trapped. The more it pulls or struggles the tighter the snare becomes, eventually leading to a cruel death by suffocation. The animal is then collected and either eaten, or the meat sold.