August 2007 Newsletter


After an exhilarating Game Count, the scheduled speaker for the Members Gathering failed to show due to unforeseen circumstances. Nairobi National Park Senior Warden, Mrs. Kulecho attended the meeting, and informally discussed the very dangerous progress of the Jamii Bora Housing Project in the Kitengela.

FoNNaP is well apprised of the issues and is making fullest efforts politically, administratively and legally to achieve and maintain environmental justice.

GAME COUNT RESULTS

Buffalo

135

Bushbuck

3

Eland

65

Coke’s Hartebeest

250

Grants Gazelle

48

Thomson’s Gazelle

84

Maasai Giraffe

46

Dik-dik

250

Waterbuck

7

Bush Duiker

1

Lion

1

Vervet Monkey

42

Spotted Hyena

8

Striped Hyena

5

Warthog

10

Impala

226

Black Rhino

14

Burchell’s Zebra

1,151

Hartlaub’s Bustard

4

Silver-backed Jackal

3

Baboon

115

Secretary Bird

4

Yellow N’d Spurfowl

4

Helmetted Guineafowl

49

Crowned Crane

9

Marabou Stork

303

Kori Bustard

4

Ostrich

66

Species counted – 26

TOTAL – 2606

Did you know?

The striped, spotted, and brown hyaena, with the elusive aardwolf together comprise the genus hyaenids. Once widespread in Eurasia and Africa, hyaenids are now reduced to four rapidly declining species. Striped hyaena behaviour differs according to whether or not the spotted hyaena is present. Where the two species coexist the striped hyaena is quieter, and more retiring and solitary. The spotted hyaena is more often heard than seen. Its loud, long-distance call carries for up to 5 km. Less frequent is its famous ‘laugh’, a shrill call that sounds like a maniacal human giggle. Hyaena are opportunistic carnivores and scavengers. Their preferred habitat are open savannahs, acacia scrubland, moors, grasslands, and plains with abundant herbivores.

Active and rapid eradication is currently in progress over large areas in Africa.

(The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals, 2001)

Excerpts from a speech delivered to the American Business Ass., 21 Sept. 2000, by Mr. Charles Njonjo, former; Attorney General, Chairman KWS, Chairman Presidential Lands Commission

A City Park With A Difference; Nairobi National Park’

No doubt you are all very familiar with Nairobi National Park. But do you ever stop and consider just how special it is? In fact, it is more than special – it is unique! Nowhere else in the world can one see such a variety and abundance of wild animals living freely on the edge of a major capital city. And not just any animals; they include lion, cheetah, leopard, buffalo, and the endangered black rhino – some of the most spectacular and exciting wild animals on earth.

100 years ago, the site of the present day Park was part of a vast ecosystem that stretched from Nyeri, down through the present day city of Nairobi and the Park, southwards through the Kitengela and Athi Plains and westwards to the Ngong Hills and the forests of what is today Karen. Agricultural and industrial development and human settlement have steadily reduced the size of that ecosystem, and the wildlife supported by it. Remarkably, the 117 sq km NNP and a substantial part of more than 2,000 sq km of southern rangeland remain, still home to significant migratory herds.

The lions of NNP have suffered greatly from the rapid urbanisation of their territory, with large numbers killed by the Maasai because of predation. Recovery of lion numbers, however, does occur. To be born as a male lion has many difficulties. Female cubs grow up and remain in their mothers’prides, but young males are forced out as they mature. The Park only has room for one dominant group of mature breeding males. Young males, eventually rejected by their own prides, are mercilessly bullied by these adult males and are either killed, or flee from the Park, where the future is truly bleak.

The Park is also famous for its cheetahs and their extraordinary fecundity. One cheetah gave birth to 10 live kittens, although few survived

The buffalo seen in the Park are descended from a small group of calves introduced in 1965; just 17. Since then the numbers have increased rapidly, with more than 400 animals present by 1993. The population then went into decline due to an epidemic of rinderpest, but the numbers recovered.

In the early 1960’s, there were only 5 rhinos in the Park. Between 1960-70, rhinos were moved to the safety of the Park from less secure areas of the country, and now the Park hosts the largest population of black rhinos in the country. Surplus animals are periodically translocated.

Since it was established, the Park has lost just one major species of previously resident mammal – man. When the Park was gazetted, eleven Somali families and their livestock were allowed to remain only for the lifetime of the head of each family.

The future well being of the Park, however, with its rich biodiversity, is under threat. Conservationists recognise that the Park depends on the continued availability of the open rangeland to the south, and if the Park becomes isolated from adjoining rangelands, it will die out. The Park as we know it would cease to exist. Right now the Park is slowly but surely being choked by development. Already, several traditional migratory routes have been lost. If nothing is done very soon it will be too late!’

FoNNaP wishes to thank Mr. Njonjo for his continued membership support, and extend our deepest appreciation for his generous donation of Ksh 50,000 as Chairman of CfCBank.

Park News

On Saturday, 21 July, the Sikands began their NNP safari by the Main Gate at 10:30 am. Just below Ivory Burning Site were 9 giraffe of various ages, male and female, feeding and necking. Just as we were turning towards Nagolomon Dam, a male, spectacular, massive saddle-billed stork flew over us.

Saddle-billed storks are an uncommon wetlands bird, with a wing span of over 3 ft. The saddle-bill is a very large black and white stork with a very long tri-coloured bill, (red and black with a yellow saddle. They hunt with a slow walk through flooded vegetation where it captures fish and frogs, which are often tossed in the air before swallowing. (Field Guide to Birds of EA, 2002)

Also in the Park that morning were 20 more giraffe, 1 male rhino, 1 eland, 60 buffalo, 2 male lions, 4 female and 6 male ostrich, 10 zebra, 10 impala, 15 kongoni, 30 grant’s gazelle.

AFRICAN HERITAGE DAY III

AHDIII is once more upon us. The date set for this special event is:

SATURDAY, 6 OCTOBER, 2007

1-9 PM

PROGRAMME:

DESTINATION – The African Heritage House overlooking Nairobi National Park.

TRAVEL – Aboard the new Rift Valley Railways passenger cars.

ENTERTAINMENT – Courtesy of the German Ambassador to Kenya, Mr. Walter Lindner, featuring Kenya’s leading musicians (including: Eric Wainana and Ayub Ogada).

MENU – A la Hotel Intercontinental.

TICKETS – Ksh 5,000 inclusive of train rides, buffet, music and entertainment and tour of African Heritage House. Proceeds go to Kitengela Predator Consolation Fund.

CHIEF GUEST; s AMBASSADOR TO Kenya, mr. Michael ranneberger.

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One response to “August 2007 Newsletter

  1. Hi,I came to this site after founding this other one by chance that made me felt shocked>>> http://www.fatheroflions.org/Elsa.html
    Is that information true? Are those poor lions starving to death? I had the image of Nairobi in the 60s as I watched them on TV,but never imagined it would become a city with skyscrappers and so near to the park.What I´ve seen this afternoon scares me more than any global warming ad.It really made me feel very sad.I wish I were rich to help.

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