Tag Archives: birdwatching

East Coast Akalat surveys in Arabuko-Sokoke

The East Coast Akalat is a rare bird at the Arabuko-Sokoke forest. It is known to occur in small groups in various other forested patches, however, the single largest known population is found in the Arabuko-Sokoke forest (Matiku et al. 2000). The East Coast Akalat has been classified as Near Threatened (likely to be seriously threatened in the near future), due to habitat fragmentation and loss in the forest in which it occurs (BirdLife Internatinoal 2008, IUCN 2007).  (*From a report written and produced by A Rocha Kenya*)  David usually conducts 12 East Coast Akalat surveys during December of every year. Last year David and Andrew , who is a research assistant at A Rocha Kenya, went to Komani, which is almost in the middle of the forest,

Ngala reading the GPS during the survey

Ngala reading the GPS during the survey

to do this survey.

They went out at 5:50 am and on their way they observed few suni footprints, which they were happy to see, as it is rare to see suni due to the trapping which was been taking place in that part of the forest. Despite the seemingly reduced number of mammal activity in the forest, there was still the usual abundance of birds calling in the forest.

It was a nice morning for a survey and they were able to identify 11 different East Coast Akalats calling along their transect. They were not fortunate enough to see the bird, as it was calling from within dense forest, but they closest one they heard was a mere 5 meters from the trail.The survey ended at 8:15 am.

On their way out of the forest David took Andrew to see the Sokoke Scops Owl; another rare bird in the forest. After hiking 50 meters off the road along a barely discernable path through the dense forest, David pointed out two of the owls roosting 5 meters above their heads in the forest canopy.

David and Patrick are currently working on writing an end-of-the-year annual report to give the the KFS to assist them in the protection and conservation of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. We will hopefully be posting some of his results and observations on the blog in the weeks to come.

In a bid to save Lake chem. Chem.

Sometime last week I went to lake Chem Chem to educate the local community on how they can sustainably use the lake and the ecosystem around the lake.

Lake Chem Chem. Is one of the best lakes around Ganda – Goshi area. It is situated between Gede to the north and Malindi to the west covering an area of about 1000 m long and about 450 m wide.

The lake is active in biodiversity with fish, frogs, hippos and many different species of water birds. Surrounding the lake is human settlements and shrubs.

This lake is well known as a habitat of water birds such as African pygmy goose, white backed duck and African poen billed stock among others. Grass lands birds such as Zanzibar red bishop, black winged red bishop and trush bare eyed thrush, black headed batis, black throated wattle eye and rufous chattere are also common here, making this area ideal for bird watching.

The lake is home to a large number of water birds and other biodiversity, however some human activity threaten the lake and its ecosystem. Illegal fishing of small fish is often the biggest threat to this lake and the creatures that depend on the fish for food. With the recent climate change the lake get dry during the dry seasons.

Some community members have seen the importance of the lake and the problem the lake is facing. They got together form a conservation group, which seek to educate the other community members such as fishermen on how to use proper fishing nets to avoid killing the small fish. The group also wants to be involved in tree nursery and planting trees along the edges of the lake.

L.chem members.jpg

Some members of Lake Chem Chem group

This is a positive step towards conserving the biodiversity of Lake chem. Chem..

David Ngala

FoASF conservation Officer