Tag Archives: Kenya Forest Service

David Ngala receives Disney Conservation Hero Award from Director of Kenya Forest Service

David Ngala is no ordinary man. For over 30 years he has been working and fighting for the conservation of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest – the home to six threatened species of birds among many other interesting and intriguing rare wildlife. David’s passion and commitment to conservation has led not only to this blog being set up to raise awareness and give you the opportunity to support him directly, but also to him receiving a number of accolades for his efforts. The latest of these has been the incredible honour of being awarded one of just six Disney Conservation Heroes for 2012. This is a wonderful tribute to the man who knows Arabuko-Sokoke Forest better than anyone alive today and who has it in his heart to keep pushing for better conservation action for it.

The Peregrine Fund, through Munir Virani who David assisted with his Masters project on Sokoke Scops Owls in the early ’90s and which set Munir on his path of raptor conservation now as P Fund’s Africa Programs Director, put David’s name forward for the award and he was selected and awarded it in Nairobi at a ceremony in the Kenya Forest Service headquarters. None other than the country director, Mr D.K. Mbugua awarded David with his award and it was great to have Munir present together with Raphael Magambo, A Rocha Kenya‘s National Director, since David is working very closely with A Rocha in Arabuko-Sokoke.

Munir has posted some great photos of Ngala receiving his award on his own blog including this one:

 

Congratulations to David for his awesome efforts – and thank you to all those who have supported and continue to support him in his conservation work of working with community members and surveying cut trees and removing snares in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. If you would like to support him further, please donate through the donate button on this blog.

POWER SAW AT THE CROWNED EAGLE NEST SITE IN THE ARABUKO-SOKOKE FOREST

The nest of the eagle shown in the picture below has been active for about 20 years and I have known it for the last 8 years. In October last year I took a visitor to the site and we both saw the eagle on its nest but there was a tree close by that the bird used to rest on before going to its nest which had been felled (see other posts).

Crowned Eagle Nest that I found in forest last year

This picture I posted last year showing the nest and the adjacent cut tree.

I reported the matter to the Kenya Forest Service and then later took them to the site. The Forester decided that forest guards should return to the site every day to see if the poachers had returned for the timber as they had not yet split the trunk into planks. However over the following days that they went to check, they didn’t find anyone there.

After some time I went on a safari for two days to Mlima wa Ndege on the western side of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest which is 80km from the Gede forest station. I had gone to educate the community about setting up a community run nature reserve in their area.

When I returned back I was told the shocking story by one of the game rangers of how the tree had been cut by a power saw and that it happened over four days but during the night. This activity took place from 7/12/09 to 11/12/09. I was told that the forest rangers and the forest guards had been informed when it was happening because people around Mida and Arabuko area could hear the power saw working in the forest during the night.

According to the story I got, when the forest guards and game rangers heard about this they took the boundary road on the north side of the forest instead of taking the elephant track which would take them faster to the place. I was told that they did this because there were many elephants on the tracks and it was therefore dangerous for them.

This information made me feel bad because I thought that the rangers and guards would use their thunder flashes to move the elephants away from the track but they decided not to do so and therefore missed the poachers!

The day I went back there with the rangers we saw how the tree had been split into pieces of timber and that they had collected almost everything as you can see in this picture. 
you can still see the eagle nest in the background

  

I guess at least they tried and it was very good to be able to work with them and show them where the nest was. Let’s hope next time they are able to get their quicker and catch the poachers.

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