"Notes from the Field" provides frequent updates and pictures from our biologists and students who are working in the field or at our headquarters, the World Center for Birds of Prey.
Found 5 entries matching your request:
Naivasha Notes 5
As I last posted, I had noted significant declines in the number of active Augur buzzard territories in three of the four survey areas around Lake Naivasha, Kenya. In the last few weeks of July, I finished surveys within Hell’s Gate National Park (HGNP), to conclude the census. Results indicate that there has been a decline from 36 to 24 active Augur buzzard territories overall since the 1990’s, for a loss of 33 percent. While territory abandonment has tended to be most extreme in areas of highest human disturbance (up to 60%), it is notable that declines have also been significant in control-like sections of the study area, including HGNP and Mundui. Both of these areas have remained largely unchanged over the past 15 years, as they are managed for land and wildlife preservation. Declines in the numbers of active territories in these areas have been documented at 33 percent and 29 percent respectively, roughly reflecting the overall trend. All in all, there have been striking declines in the number of active Augur buzzard territories around Lake Naivasha since the 1990’s. These declines have occurred in both horticultural areas and natural reserves. The question that remains is: Why?Read more...
Naivasha Notes 4
A one-legged bicyclist pumps athletically as we pull away from the crammed old-town section of Nairobi, weaving through stalled cars and honking horns. The word “bustling” conveys no sense of these streets- it is a storm: people running in all directions; carts laden with spare tires, sacks of maize, 5 gallon jugs of water, anything you can imagine are towed by men- young or old- but always with bulging shoulder muscles; stalls on the streets offer all in one- butcher/hotel/cell-phone top-up/convenience store; street hawkers demand the purchase of sunglasses, cd’s and dvd’s, hideous safari hats and cheaply made trinkets, peanuts, and yogurt jugs baked in the equatorial sun and covered with a complex of dusts; matatus honk with customized horns and flashing lights; and cars weave in and out amongst pedestrians, bikers, and towering, fearless buses, down the complex maze of pitted and potholed, sign-less and lawless streets.Read more...
Naivasha Notes 3
This last week has yielded quite a mixture of experiences. It started last Monday, when I awoke at 10pm with a strong fever after having felt sluggish all day- never a good sign in malaria country! So I decided to make the midnight journey to the local clinic- not an appealing prospect at this moment. But the friendly crew here at Elsamere got the van rolling, we jostled an uncomfortable fifteen minutes down the bumpy road, and I was heartily comforted by the local medic- “no malaria in Naivasha…you’ve certainly eaten something bad…” And so a few days in bed, comfortably coinciding with a few very rainy days that would have inhibited much activity anyhow, resulted in a rejuvenated and refreshed self. After this sedentary interlude, I felt ever more energized to capitalize on my time here in Kenya, so I’ve been busy back with the Augur buzzard surveys, albeit a bit behind schedule.Read more...
Naivasha Notes 2
Having become familiarized with the study area and with the biking legs warmed into prime shape, data is starting to pour in regarding the Augur buzzard presence around Lake Naivasha, Kenya. With 85 independent visuals on the buzzards in as many as 23 different territories over the past 16 days, a picture of the species’ presence in the area is starting to come into focus. So far, I feel highly confident about the existence of 7 different active breeding territories, while an additional 10 territories are very likely active, pending further observations. At least one territory documented by Munir Virani in the mid 90’s seems to have been abandoned by the buzzards. However, with so many territories still being observed, it is too early to draw any conclusions regarding the affects of habitat alterations on the population in the area. Read more...
As I am experiencing Kenya for the first time, I am in a constant state of awe. There is a complex, teeming ecology here, more diverse and vibrant than any I had imagined- with roughly 72 species of diurnal raptors and vultures ranging within the country alone, not to mention the amazing diversity of other birds, and the famed complex of large mammals, my binoculars have barely left my neck over the past week to sleep. The scenery is dramatic, too, with rich ochre soils, verdant grassy plains, and cumulus clouds billowing over the volcanic features of the Great Rift Valley. And then there’s the frantic Nairobi traffic; the matatus packed with people and strapped with goods- chairs, bags of maize, and lumber, to name a few; and the calls of “Hello, how are you?” (with the tone rising distinctively on the you) by the smiling and waving children in the street… Read more...
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