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ISSN 2073-5111(Print)

inside: 2 Two IBAs under threat

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naturekenya.org May 12
Minister for Forestry and Wildlife graces the opening ceremony of the Council of Africa Parnership meeting 2012.

3 Scopus now available in PDF

B ir dLife In t e r n at i o n al meeting i n N a i r o b i
P. Matiku

The CAP meeting received some high level attention. At the opening ceremony, the Prime Minister of Kenya was represented by Hon. Dr Noah Wekesa, Minister for Forestry and Wildlife. The Chairman of the East Africa Natural History Society (Nature Kenya) and the Chief Executive Ofcer of BirdLife International gave speeches to set the scene for the meeting. Later in the week, an evening get-together was hosted by the Spanish Ambassador. There were good speeches given by the ambassador, the representative of the UNEP Director and the CEO of BirdLife International The focused discussions during the week were fruitful. Partners agreed on a global framework and elements for a regional programme of work. The focus will emphasize saving species, protecting sites and habitats, promoting ecological sustainability and empowering people.

Partners agreed on a global framework and elements for a regional programme of work emphasizing on saving species, protecting sites and habitats, promoting ecological sustainability and empowering people. - CAP 2012

Minister for Forestry and Wildlife Hon. Dr Noah Wekesa (2nd left) with, from left, Mark Anderson of BirdLife South Africa, Paul Matiku of Nature Kenya, Julius Arinaitwe of BirdLife Africa secretariat, Marco Lambertini, CEO of BirdLife International, and Alan Carles, Nature Kenya chairman. Photo by E. Mwongela

irdLife International, a global partnership of conservation organisations, had a successful meeting in Nairobi in March.

To deliver this framework for the period 2014 to 2017, BirdLife will work on key priority programmes including: yways for migratory birds, preventing extinctions of globally threatened species, saving forests through the Forests of Hope initiative, protecting Important Bird Areas, empowering people and building the capacity of the BirdLife Partnership and secretariat. The strategy will be adopted by the Global BirdLife Partnership World Conference that will take place in Canada in June 2013. Hosting this BirdLife meeting was not without challenges. It took substantial time for key senior Nature Kenya and BirdLife Africa Secretariat staff. Although the meeting was in Nairobi, staff had to be resident at the venue so as to mingle and share lessons and experiences with the delegates and maximise their presence in Nairobi. There were also gains. Three members joined the Society, and sales of books, honey, T-shirts and other merchandise amounted to Ksh 88,000. Bilateral meetings in particular with RSPB (BirdLife UK), NABU (BirdLife Germany) and DOF (BirdLife Denmark) took place and helped to consolidate the relationship for project development. The delegates went back home a happy lot.

Specically, it was the Council of Africa Partnership (CAP), the rst in a series of regional meetings to plan BirdLife strategy for 2014 to 2017. The CAP meeting, which is held every two years, is the main governance body for BirdLife International Africa Partnership. The members of BirdLife Africa, together with key stakeholders and supporters, come together to discuss and adopt a common framework and strategy with priorities for bird conservation in Africa. Nature Kenya, being the BirdLife Partner for Kenya, together with the Africa Secretariat of BirdLife International, also located in Nairobi, hosted over 80 delegates coming from over 30 countries in Africa and Europe.

Mombasa o Buttery u House o

The Mombasa Butterfly Exhibit will soon be opening to the public in the grounds of Fort Jesus National Monument. It will showcase the rich and varied biodiversity of the coast region. The exhibit will include a butterfly flight cage with storyboards, and a gift shop that will specialize in community conservation products. The live butterflies for the exhibit and the gift shop products will be purchased from farmers living around Arabuko-Sokoke Forest and other key biodiversity areas. The facility is designed to be a popular venue for local and foreign visitors and also promote conservation awareness and support for local communities. The project has been in the works since the early 2000s and is supported by the United States Agency for International Development USAID. (Buttery photo courtesy of P. Usher) Anthony Githitho - National Museums of Kenya Project Manager

Communities and Kenya Forest Service step up against commercial charcoal production in Dakatcha Woodland
E. Mwongela | G. Odera

Dam in Nandi Forest would destroy over 1,000 ha of indigenous trees


E. Mwongela

action

he Mayor of Kapsabet and the towns council are rmly against the construction of a dam at South Nandi Forest.

Geroge Malakwen, from Community Action for Nature Conservation (CANCO) added that local leaders were taking the issue seriously during the National Liaison Committee (NLC) on Important Bird Areas (IBA) meeting held at the Nairobi National Museum in March. The Kenya government has plans to construct a Ksh.50 billion multipurpose dam in South Nandi forest, a designated IBA and the home of the endangered Turners Eremomela. Building the dam will see the destruction of over 1,000 hectares of indigenous forest. A lorry transporting charcoal at the Dakatcha Woodlands. The Woodlands are facing a new threat from illegal charcoal burning. Photo by D. Mumbu ast month we reported that Dakatcha Woodland Important Bird Area at the Coast had been spared from a biofuel plantation. Unfortunately, this area, so important for water catchment, traditional uses and biodiversity conservation, is still being devastated by illegal charcoal production. Nature Kenya and other conservation bodies present at the meeting raised concerns over the pending construction. They proposed an on-line advocacy strategy through e-mails on emerging threats to IBAs as a swift way for alerting partners and other stakeholders. Presently, Nature Kenya with support from the GEF/UNDP is running a project titled: Strengthening the Protected Area Network of Eastern Montane Forest Hotspot of Kenya that includes the South Nandi Forest. It will see the collaboration of local Community Based Organizations with Kenyas Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Wildlife Service, National Museums of Kenya and other stakeholders in enhancing community management of forests.

Community Forest Guards for Dakatcha Woodland were trained by the Kenya Forest Service and Nature Kenya in March and immediately saw action. In April, a week after their training and a day after their rst forest patrol, they arrested four charcoal burners. The charcoal burners had come from Bamba near Kili. They were arrested in Dakatcha Woodlands in collaboration with the District Forest Ofcer (DFO). They were arraigned in court and pleaded guilty to illegally setting camp in a forest area and extracting forest products without the required licenses. This was a victory for the Dakatcha community in championing the conservation of their own forest. Since then, however, the DFO has reportedly received several phone calls from local administrators, politicians and government ofcials. Despite these pressures, the Nature Kenya Site Ofcer at Dakatcha Woodlands, Geroge Odera, said, We will continue collaborating with Kenya Forest Service guards, Administration police, and community forest guards in a campaign whose aim is to bring charcoal production to manageable level.

A view of the South Nandi Forest. A proposed dam will lead to the destruction of over 1,000 ha. of indigenous trees. Photo by M. Mbenge

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Editorial team

naturalist
B
right planets

&

stars of

Lake Nakuru Trip


24 - 25 March 2012
Birding at Lake Elementaita...

Snap Shot!!

hemispheres

Fleur Ngweno
Three bright planets in May 2012
enus slowly sinks back towards the sun in May. It glows brightly in the western sky above the sunset, setting earlier each night. For most of May, the bright star Elnath appears very close to Venus. (In reality, Elnath is far, far away in space, while Venus is between the Earth and the sun.)

On June 6, Venus will transit across the face of the sun, a rare event. Here in East Africa we may see it at dawn. For more information, see: http://www.seasky.org/astronomy/astronomycalendar-2012.html or the NASA website. The planet Mars is now prominent high in the eastern sky (opposite the sunset). It glows with a steady, reddish light. The star Regulus sparkles above Mars. By months end, Mars is directly overhead at 7 pm. The moon is near Regulus and Mars on May 28 and 29. Saturn follows Mars in the eastern sky. Golden Saturn is near the star Spica that sparkles with a blue-white light. The nearly full moon is near Spica on May 4.

Scopus
the ornithological journal of the Bird Committee, now available as a pdf
Scopus is the ornithological journal for eastern Africa, published once or twice a year by the Bird Committee of the East Africa Natural History Society. Volume 31, dated November 2011, has now been published as a PDF. To see the Table of Contents, or to subscribe to Scopus and receive your copy, visit the Nature Kenya ofce or enquire at membershipservices@naturekenya.org
The Raptor Working Group of Nature Kenya is now on Facebook. Please check out our site (even if youre not on Facebook). In addition to keeping informed about Raptor Working Group activities, you can get the latest information on issues affecting raptors in the region and also contribute your raptor sightings to our citizen science efforts. You can also contact us at raptorworkinggroup@gmail.com

Stars of 2 hemispheres
Here in Kenya, on the equator, we can see most of the stars of the northern and southern hemispheres. Left (south) of Venus and the sunset, the brightest stars Sirius and Canopus are setting in the southwest. Further left, in the south, is the famous Southern Cross. The Southern Cross is a small constellation (pattern made by stars). Its four brightest stars form the shape of a Christian cross. At sunset it is tilted to the east, straightening out during the evening. Still further left, towards the east, two very bright stars seem to point to the Cross. These are Alpha and Beta Centauri in the constellation of the Centaur. The star Canopus and the constellations Southern Cross and Centaur cant be seen

in northern countries such as Europe. In the north we see stars of the northern hemisphere. The brilliant star Arcturus, sparkling orange in colour, is in the northeast, below and beyond Mars. The famous constellation of the Plough, also called Ursa Major or the Big Dipper, lies across the northern sky. Look for a pattern of four stars forming the bowl of the dipper, and three stars forming the handle.

Moon, May 2012


The full moon of May 6 is the largest full moon of the year. (The moons distance from Earth varies from month to month; when it is near it appears larger.) May 12: last quarter. May 20: new moon; there will be an annular eclipse of the sun, but not visible from Kenya. May 28: rst quarter.

the

in the field
Enter BBC Wildlife
Camera-trap

Magazine

LIMPSE MAY. 2012 AT A G rdwalk May 2 Morning Bi ty Park Birdwalk May 5 Friends of Ci p.m.) FONA guidebook (3 May 8 Launch of rdwalk May 9 Morning Bi re walk May 12 FONA Natu Birdwalk May 16 Morning watch May 20 Sunday bird rdwalk May 23 Morning bi re Walk May 28 FONA Natu rdwalk May 30 Morning bi re walk May 31 FONA Natu Tuesday morning Bird ring ing ever y al ology section, Nation (check w ith Ornith Museu ms)

Photo of the Year Award 12


Discover how BBC Wildlife Magazines Camera-trap Photo of the Year competition is helping to advance scientic knowledge and support world-wide conservation Do you work on a conservation project that uses remote camera technology? Then enter your photographs in BBC Wildlife Magazines Camera-trap Photo of the Year competition 2012, sponsored by World Land Trust (WLT) and Paramo and you could win a research grant of up to 3,000 for your project. For more information, log on to http://www.discoverwildlife.com/webform/ camera-trap-photo-year-2012-call-entries

W d Wednesday Morning Birdwalks meet EVERY WEEK at 8:45 am at the back of the main museum. The entrance is on Kipande Road. Sunday Birdwatch (also called Pot-luck Outings) meet the THIRD Sunday of each month at 9:00 am at the same location. Bring lunch. Mombasa Birdwalks Contact Marlene Reid through <donreid@africaonline.co.ke> or call 0720-949195 for more information. Contact the office for information on other birdwalks in Kakamega, Kisumu, and other sites Ngong Forest walks - 1st and 3rd Saturday at 9.00 a.m. Contact Simon 0729-840715

THREATENED AMPHIBIAN SPECIES OF KENYA


A talk by Dr. Patrick Malonza, a senior research scientist at National Museums of Kenya, Herpetology section Ford Hall, National Museums, Friday May 11th 2012, 2.30 p.m. The talk will touch on issues such as causes of amphibian declines, threatened species and conservation. Dr. Malonza has been working as a researcher on amphibians and reptiles since 1996 and did his Phd on amphibians of Taita Hills.

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