Sponsored by World Land Trust – ABC Lecture

Dakatcha Woodland is an internationally recognized Important Bird Area that is home to globally endangered species including the Clarke’s Weaver (Plocious golandi), Sokoke scops owl (Otus ireneae), Amani sunbird (Hedydipna pallidigaster), Southern banded snake eagle (Circaetus fasciolatus), Fischer’s turaco (Tauraco fischeri), Sokoke pipit (Anthus sokokensis) and Golden-rumped Sengi (Rhynchocyon chrysopygus) as well as many species of mammals and plants.

With no official protection in place the land is in high demand and there is serious forest habitat loss. Unless land can be purchased there is little chance of preventing the extinction of Clarke’s Weaver. While the largest population of this Endangered species is known from a Protected Area (Arabuko-Sokoke Forest on the coast of Kenya) it does not breed there, being present only as a seasonal migrant from August-February (IUCN Red List 2016). Until relatively recently its breeding sites were unknown, but Nature Kenya has established that these are in the nearby and unprotected Dakatcha Woodlands. Uncontrolled logging of valuable indigenous trees and illegal commercial charcoal production in Dakatcha have destroyed large tracts of forest habitat and agricultural expansion, especially for pineapple production. In addition, unsustainable bush meat hunting threatens rare mammals such as the Golden-Rumped Elephant Sengi (elephant shew).

Only two conservation tactics can guarantee conservation success: 1. Land purchase and 2. Formal protection.

Nature Kenya is pursuing these two options with the communities so far engaged in setting up Community Conservation Areas (CCAs). However, formal gazettement is a process and cannot be assured, which is why land purchase is an immediate option. Land here is possibly the cheapest in Kenya at present but we must grasp this window of opportunity as land prices will inevitably increase dramatically. Nature Kenya wants to buy land while it is still affordable. The African Bird Club and World Land Trust are partnering Nature Kenya to realize this dream and save the Clarke’s Weaver from imminent extinction.

 

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 18/08/2019
1:30 pm - 1:50 pm

Location
Osprey Lecture Theatre