Saving Hirola antelopes in Kenya

This video says about itself:

9 January 2013

Learn about the plight of the world’s most endangered antelope, the Hirola, and what is being done to keep them from extinction! This short video showcases an interview with passionate Kenyan conservationist, Ian Craig, and the team from the Ishaqbini Community Conservancy. It’s inspiring to see what can be achieved when a caring few come together to protect their natural heritage. By Giovanna Fasanelli.

From Wildlife Extra:

Good news in the crusade to save the endangered Hirola antelope

The critically endangered Hirola is the last living representative of an evolutionary lineage that originated over three million years ago. The surviving herds of fewer than 240 individuals only live along the Kenya-Somalia border, inhabited by the Pokomo community and Ishaqbini Conservancy.

Resembling a hybrid of Impala and Hartebeest, the Hirola is instantly recognisable by its trademark white “spectacles”.

In 2006, the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy was established by The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), The Nature Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and community partners to protect Hirola.

Rangers began anti-poaching and wildlife monitoring activities and were able to eliminate poaching within the 19,000-hectare conservancy. A predator-proof sanctuary was then built and 48 Hirola were successfully translocated to the sanctuary in August 2012.

Ishaqbini is home to Somali pastoralists who voluntarily established this dedicated area for Hirola, assisted with the translocation, and continue to play a crucial role. The people of Ishaqbini have been quietly conserving this landscape for centuries and regard the Hirola as a blessing.

With poaching under control and habitat improving, the Hirola population began to show signs of recovery. A recent survey has shown that in fewer than three years 34 Hirola have been born in the sanctuary.

“A lot of people may not view 34 births in three years as significant, but with fewer than 240 Hirola left in the world we’re talking about the difference between survival and extinction,” said Matthew Brown, Africa Deputy Director, The Nature Conservancy.

“Without immediate action like this community partnership, a mammal would go extinct for the first time on mainland Africa in modern human history.”

Additionally, the other wild animals in the sanctuary such giraffes, zebras, Lesser Kudu, Gazelles, Ostrich and many others are significantly multiplying.

Elephants have made their way into the sanctuary for the first time, and there is now an elephant family of eight settled in their new secured habitat.

The project’s long-term goal is to release animals bred within the sanctuary back into the free-ranging population, ultimately building a viable population that is equipped to cope with natural levels of predation and competition.

5 thoughts on “Saving Hirola antelopes in Kenya

  1. Pingback: Linnaeus and Ethiopian wildlife | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Saving rare hirola antelope in Kenya | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: White giraffes seen in Kenya | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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