Black rhinos, lions, elephants three-way standoff


This 27 September 2018 video says about itself:

Who would win a fight between a pride of lions, a herd of elephants, and a pair of black rhinoceroses? The answer may surprise you. A Safari Live crew happened upon such a scene while filming in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.

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Kenyans from lion hunters to lion conservationists


This 3 September 2018 video says about itself:

These Warriors Once Hunted Lions—Now They Protect Them | National Geographic

In Kenya, the Samburu warriors are taking the knowledge they used in the past to hunt lions and working today to save them. Through a program called Warrior Watch, launched by the Ewaso Lions conservation group, the Samburu are working within their local communities to protect livestock and promote coexistence between people and lions.

Kenyan Grevy’s zebras threatened by lions?


This 2013 video says about itself:

Grevy’s Zebra Conservation in Kenya

A short documentary about conserving the Grevy’s Zebra featuring the work of Belinda Low and the Grevy’s Zebra Trust.

From the Wildlife Conservation Society:

Are vulnerable lions eating endangered zebras?

New study looks at whether a recovering predator is causing another species to decline

August 31, 2018

Are Laikipia’s recovering lions turning to endangered Grevy’s zebras (Equus grevyi) for their next meal?

That’s what a team of researchers led by WCS and WWF set out to discover — whether the comeback of a top predator — in this case lions in Laikipa County, Kenya — were recovering at the expense of Grevy’s zebras, which number only around 2,680 individuals with half of those living in Laikipia.

In recent years, lion numbers have slowly recovered in this region as livestock ranching — which commonly practiced shooting or poisoning lions — has given way to wildlife tourism. Lions (Panthera leo) are classified as Threatened by IUCN.

Publishing their results in the journal PLOS ONE, the team used satellite telemetry to track the movements of both lions and zebras.

The team found that lions preyed on both Grevy’s and plains zebras (Equus quagga) far less than expected. Their data showed that the population of Grevy’s zebra populations may in fact be stabilizing with recruitment into the population tripling since 2004.

The researchers did conclude that competitive displacement by livestock and interference competition for grass from plains zebras, which are 22 times more abundant than Grevy’s, are most likely the predominant threat to Grevy’s zebras’ recovery.

Kenyan athlete wins race on one shoe


This 30 August 2018 video says about itself:

One Shoe Wonder Battles to Photo Finish in Men’s Steeplechase!

The men’s Diamond League steeplechase final featured a photo finish between Soufiane El Bakkali and Conseslus Kipruto. Kipruto lost a shoe mid race!

Kenyan Kipruto lost one shoe because another participant had kicked it out.

It reminds me of a Dutch children’s song.

This is a video of the song ‘De boer had maar ene schoen’, the farmer had just one shoe.

However, the farmer in that song did not have just one shoe because someone had kicked it out, but because he was poor.

And the song says that one shoe was not enough for the farmer. However, at least today, it was enough for Conseslus Kipruto.

Saving cattle, lion lives in Kenya


This video says about itself:

The Lion Chaser: The Invention That Changed Farming in Kenya | BBC Innovators | Earth Unplugged

22 August 2018

Richard Turere was just 11 when he came up with a way of stopping lions from killing his cows and goats. His Lion Lights became a global success and this young Masaai boy became an African superstar.

But what happened when the spotlight disappeared? We returned to Kenya to find out what happened to the child prodigy.

New bat species discovery in Kenya


This 13 July 2018 video is called 2 Lemon-Yellow Bat Species Discovered in Africa. And They’re Adorable Fuzz Balls.

From the Field Museum in the USA:

Fuzzy yellow bats reveal evolutionary relationships in Kenya

July 12, 2018

Summary: DNA analysis of fuzzy yellow bats in Kenya revealed at least two new species unknown to science. It’s important because Africa’s biodiversity is often under-studied and poorly understood, even though bats play a crucial role in agriculture and public health.

After Halloween, people tend to forget about bats. But, for farmers, residents of Kenya, and scientists, bats are a part of everyday life. While North America has 44 species, Kenya, a country the size of Texas, has 110 bat species. Many of these species also contain subspecies and further divisions that can make the bat family tree look like a tangled mess. Researchers set out to cut the clutter by sorting the lineages of yellow house bats and in the process found two new species.

The bats of Scotophilus vary in size and other characteristics but, in general, “They’re cute. They look a lot like the bats you see in Chicago but they’re this great yellow color”, says Terry Demos, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Chicago’s Field Museum and lead author of a recent paper in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. These furry creatures can roost in the nooks and crannies of homes in Kenya. “These are bats that live with people — they don’t call them house bats for nothing”, adds Bruce Patterson, MacArthur Curator of Mammals at the Field Museum and co-author of the study. Bats usually don’t fly too far to find a home either. Despite having wings, bats prefer to stay in a specific region, resulting in huge amounts of diversity throughout Africa.

Before understanding how these bat species related to one another, it was difficult to even research them. “We were using three different names for these bats in the field”, says Patterson. That kind of evolutionary confusion is enough to make anyone batty. As Demos and Patterson explain, bats that look very similar could have wildly different genetic information. This means that new species could be hiding in plain sight due to their physical similarities to other species. The only way to solve this mystery is to use cutting-edge genetic analysis techniques.

Skin samples collected from the field in Kenya, combined with information from an online genetic database, provided clarity to species confusion. Comparing all the DNA sequences of the samples showed the amount of similarity. The more similar the DNA, the closer species are to each other evolutionarily. This information was then used to make a chart that looks like a tree, with branches coming off one point. The tree is similar to a family tree, but instead of showing the relationships between different family members, it shows the relationships between species. The results accomplished the goal of finding the limits of species but also showed unexpected results. Besides sorting the known species, the tree predicted at least two new bat species. “These new species are unknown to science”, says Demos. “There was no reason to expect that we’d find two new species there.” When Patterson saw these two undescribed species, he got excited: “It’s cool because it says there’s a chapter of evolution that no one’s stumbled across before.”

These findings are not only interesting to scientists but to the local farming industry. Organic groceries at Trader Joe’s would be next to impossible without bats. They act as a natural pesticide, eating insects that threaten crops. Besides farmers, local health officials also rely on bat research because bats can be disease vectors that threaten public health. Being able to understand bats means that scientists can protect public health and plates of food.

This unexpected finding attests to the diversity of life in Kenya and other tropical locales in Africa. The variety of species in these regions is not ye described because, “Africa is understudied, and its biodiversity is underestimated, and it’s critical because there are threats to its biodiversity”, says Demos. This research gives a framework for future scientists to categorize species of bats and describe new species.

In the United States, because our bats are well researched, there is an app that can recognize bat calls, kind of like Shazam for bats. Patterson plays bat sounds off his phone: “I recorded this in my driveway and an app was able to identify the bat. This is what we want to be able to do in the field someday.” The next step in this research is using the genetic analysis of Scotophilus bats as a framework that allows scientists to categorize and eventually recognize species based on observable features, such as the chirps, squeaks, and sounds human ears can’t hear.

Demos notes that it is important to better understand these mysterious flying mammals to help conservation and local farming efforts. This study surveying Kenya paves the way for exploring other regions using the same methods. Science has brought us closer to understanding how bat species relate to one another, but Patterson says there is still more to discover — “No interesting biological questions are ever fully answered, and progress towards answering them invariably opens up a variety of others.”

See also here.