Thursday, January 28, 2010

African Crowned Eagle

African Crowned Eagle

With the recent skirmishes that had affected some parts of the country making many people homeless, the African Crowned Eagles in Ngong Forest were also not spared. It was in mid December when we went on our patrol, we found that the huge nest which is the home to the eagles, was invaded by Sykes Monkeys who were annoyed by continuing depletion of their members. This was because they are sources of food for these large birds of prey. The birds were not there, perhaps they had gone hunting but on returning they found that they were one of the IDPS, as they now had nowhere to go.

The eagles have been staying out in the cold for about five months but now we were very happy to see them back, starting to construct their nest. We monitored the building process and it took almost a fortnight to complete and now we see that the eagle spends the night in the nest.

Croton tree with nest

African Crowned Eagles are very huge and are one of the biggest birds of prey in Africa. they are very rare because they are found in Africa’s dwindling forests and because they have that attitude of Cain-ism (from the bible). the first chick to be born is lucky to survive as it will kills its siblings! this means that it will have enough to eat, it takes 3-4 years to acquire its adult plumage.

Please help the forest guards conserve the habitat of the Crowned Eagle by protecting it from woodcutters and debarkers and by monitoring important features such as this nest.

This photo of a young male Crown eagle is one taken by Simon Thomsitt, full details on his work with Kenyan birds of prey can be found



AWF's area of focus

Protecting Africa’s species is about more than numbers. True, many declining wildlife populations need to increase their numbers to survive. But equally important, they need an intact habitat where they can thrive without the growing pressures from human populations. Today, wildlife in Africa does not exist in isolation. Most wildlife populations live outside of protected areas, where they live alongside humans. Effective wildlife conservation means recognizing this complex human-wildlife dynamic and implementing programs to address the needs of both humans and animals.

AWF's Unique Approach: Real-Life Results

AWF’s species conservation programs look at species as part their natural environment. This approach is unique in three ways:
  1. AWF applies research to all its work. In other words, our research goes beyond an academic look at an issue or species. We put our research to the test in all our work, including our work with bonobos, elephants, and lions.
  2. AWF's wildlife researchers are African. AWF fosters the education and work of African wildlife research scientists, like our growing cadre of Charlotte Fellows.
  3. AWF research is part of a larger landscape-conservation strategy in which findings immediately inform plans of action.

The Challenge

AWF’s strategy begins with conservation of habitat and ecosystems, but conserving land alone is not always enough. For many species, the biggest threat comes from people. AWF’s species conservation explores human-wildlife conflict - from the effects of poaching to patterns of predator attacks on livestock - and builds programs that benefit both humans and animals. Help AWF find new ways to conserve Africa’s wildlife for future generations.

Forest Walk

Forest Walk

Last Saturday we had a fascinating walk in the forest in the company of five visitors . We discussed on the route to follow ,passed by the education center, the orientation banda and into the thick forest .

At the African Crowned Eagle ’s nest, there was a new owner, i had earlier noted that the eagles had vacated their nest after being there for over six years,the nest is now home for the African white backed vultures .


The african white backed vultures at the nest site

We then took a narrow path that leads to the picnic site where we stood for some time as the visitors discussed with the Project Coordinator ,one would not fail to notice the Eurasian bee eaters hovering up and down.


Visitors at the proposed picnic site

The route towards the seasonal river was very sloppy and crossing the river we found two astray dogs lying at the road side. They seemed too full and satisfied, probably they are part of the predator on the small wild mammals living in the forest.


The astray dogs

The glade opposite Racecourse dam was very different from the others as a result of the fire outbreak during the dry spell.

” It was a wonderful experience,walking under the dense forest canopy, the breeze and quiet enviroment,learning more on the forest and the many birds, it will keep us coming back, said one of the visitors as we took a shorter route to the parking area.

Ngong Road Forest is protected through donations from friends and well wishers, join us by donating towards protection of this adorable forest.

Recreational Trail Use and Wildlife Movement

Recreational Trail Use and Wildlife Movement

Spatial Analysis of Human Recreational Trail Use and Wildlife Movement in the Livingstone River Area, SW Alberta: Methodological Considerations for Monitoring the Ecological Effects of Trail Users

Presented at the 2006 IMBA Summit/World Mountain Bike Conference by Michael S. Quinn, Ph.D.; Miistakis Institute and Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary; 2500 University Drive N.W.; Calgary, AB T2N 1N4; .

Recreational trail use results in direct and indirect effects to area wildlife. The nature and significance of the effects are a function of the type, timing, intensity, predictability and spatial distribution of the recreational activity. The responses are highly variable across wildlife species.

It is difficult to identify statistically significant causal relationships due to confounding variables, response lags and non-linear responses. In addition, it is hard to distinguish and ascribe the effects of any individual use from the cumulative effects of all uses. The speed, distance range and silence of mountain bike travel are thought to be factors that characterize its potential for negatively affecting wildlife. Dispersed use (e.g., wildland trail) is expected to have different effects than concentrated use (e.g., mtn bike park). The presentation focused on the results and transferable lessons learned from an on-going study of motorized trail monitoring in the mountains of Alberta.

The Livingstone River Area in southwestern Alberta is an ecologically significant area of public land that provides an important connection between adjacent protected areas. Most of the area is zoned for multiple use, which means the area is available for resource extraction and recreational activity. Recreational use in this area consists primarily of off-highway vehicle (OHV) use, random access camping and fly fishing. Recreational use is largely unmanaged and increasing. The proliferation of trails and campsites has become extensive in the past decade. Furthermore, much of this activity is concentrated along critical riparian movement corridors and in sensitive montane, subalpine and alpine environments. Human use and associated linear disturbance is recognized as among the most significant habitat fragmentation factor limiting sensitive wildlife (especially large carnivores) in the region.

We have developed a sampling method that employs remote digital infrared cameras on known human trails and wildlife trails. The cameras have proven to be very effective for monitoring all trail use. Initial results show clear patterns of wildlife response both spatially and temporally. For example, animals clearly shift their use patterns in response to busy weekends. Another interesting preliminary finding is that large carnivores may preferentially select human trails. In areas frequented by grizzly bears, this may increase the potential for negative interactions with trail users (this may be an issue for fast moving, quiet mountain bikes). The presentation reviewed the qualities to evaluate in selecting trail monitoring cameras. Durability, weather resistance, strength of infrared illuminator and battery consumption were identified as critical factors.

Additional Resources:


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