My family comes to visit
Shiv Kapila— 9 June 2009 — in East Africa Project ShareThis week, after the end of the 4th population count, I see that things have not changed a great deal, and thankfully I talk about our eagles. They are being found where I expect they should be, and the only imbalance is caused by the temporary presence or absence of sub-adult and juvenile birds, feeding on carrion in the North. As before, the water level of Lake Naivasha continues to decrease dramatically. Obviously this is in part due to evaporation, but mostly because of a combination of constant water abstraction and the current prolonged drought. Flower farms and power stations are still taking water from the lake at the same rate, and in one case, extending their jetty further into the lake to get to deeper waters. Local residents say that if the rain doesn’t arrive, the area the lake covers will be halved in a matter of weeks. This is very easy to believe when you have to get out of the boat and push in shallow water, even if you are nearly two kilometres away from shore in some places. As the water level recedes, the lake perimeter shortens and eagle territories overlap as a consequence, as well as the fact that the eagles are further away from the fish they want. The resulting conflict and hunger means that some pairs are forced to leave, and this could account for the short term decrease in numbers over the the last six months.
The thrill of my work was almost interrupted by a visit from my parents but thankfully they brought my twin brother, Jai. We all stayed a night at Chui Lodge, a luxurious tented camp set in a huge (20,000 acres) wildlife sanctuary near Oloidien, a smaller, more alkaline lake to the South West of Lake Naivasha. The sanctuary holds about 16 White Rhinos and hoards of other game. On game drives we managed to see a Serval, Mongooses (mongeese?), some rhinos, buffalos and Grevy's zebras. It seems also to be the warthog mating season. Our stay ended with a tour of Oloidien by one of the Lodge’s guides, who knew almost everything of the area and its wildlife. This lake is very good for waterfowl-we saw a flock of about 300 lesser flamingos here because Lake Nakuru (70km North of Naivasha) is almost totally dry. Find more articles about , Africa
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