Thursday, March 11, 2010

Amboseli on the scope..

Kenya safari: Amboseli National Park

Good news..……...
Wildlife censuses in Amboseli has been completed. And hurraaay!! it is not as bad as was feared. Prolonged drought made naturalists and nature enthusiasts worried. For a while, and rightly so, as many carcasses could be found in the field, scattered. Both wildlife and livestock, nothing was spared.

The census was completed on 4th March 2010, and though official results have not been published yet, preliminary results on key species like wildebeests, Zebras, Elephants among others indicate a healthy population, already on the start to the path of recovery.

The census data collection also included observations on habitat conditions, water distribution, livestock numbers, human settlement patterns, illegal activities, and other attributes associated with the land and the general contribution to changes in the ecosystem.

The census covered the entire 14,000 km square Amboseli ecosystem, including the 390 km square Amboseli National Park and the surrounding community ranches, Nguruman-Magadi area in Kajiado as well as the West Kilimanjaro region up to Lake Natron in Tanzania. The joint aerial operation was succesfuly completed, with the Tanzanian team expected to finish its operation by the weekend.
There was great need to asses the situation of the adjacent lands as they play an itegral part as feeding grounds during certain seasons.

We look forward to the final results next week, see you then.

Update by Simon Njoroge
Kenya safari desk
Natural Track Safaris

Frogie frogie day.....

Croak! Croak! Croak!

How many times have you heard heard them and ignored them? or how many times have you paid attention to their presence? But for others, we have been fascinated by the beautiful voices but others got enraged by the loud "noise" disturbing you.

Usually the loud noise is made by the male frogs calling to attract females to the breeding sites for mating. Mostly it takes takes place during the rainy seasons. The males also call to announce the territories so as to keep off other males.

Frogs going silent Noticeably, these amphibians are going silent globally. And the sad thing is that the decline is happening even in forests where there is no human interference! We destroy amphibians' breeding habitats when we drain wetlands that serve as their breeding sites, when we remove trees or natural vegetation used for breeding and refuge by adults or when we alter the flow of streams and rivers. Climatical change is playing its part too, in addition to the invasive species, hemical contamination and infectious diseases to mention but a few.Viral and fungal diseases have resulted in mass deaths in the prestine areas.

A thing we should all note..
Frogs permeable soft skin can help us to tell the health of our environment.
The skin allows for moisture to pass through it easily. Unfortunaly, substances like pollutants enter their bodies and therefore frogs are amongst the first animals to disappear in cases of environmental pollution.

While in some countries they are considered a delicacy, they are a needed meal by many species of fish, snakes and birds So before diverting that stream, or clearing those bushes/trees irresponsibly, think of how much damage you will cause in the food chain.

Become a frogie friend...Start by observing and amphibians in your neighborhood, and enjoy the beautiful sounds, and magnificent colors.
When it rains, have a frogie day, go out listen to them, compare colors and record the differences. And if you come across pond/pool/river with dead frogs, its time to call the authority and have it checked: Do not drain chemicas and sewage to the rivers or pools.

These guys are on decline worldwide, and we are responsible. Other generations need to hear them too, tour resposibly and respect their right to live.

Have a Frogie-happy outing.

By Peter K. Philip

kenia safari desk
Natural Track Safaris