Samburu Progress Report - Jan 2010

ACK Mary's picture
Fri, 2010-02-05 10:26 by ACK Mary
Serena Female w 3 cubs Buffalo Springs Feb 2009 (29) Larsens Male Samburu Feb 2009 Serena Female lost one cub Buffalo Springs Jun 2009

by Mary Wykstra\

The drought and the world financial crisis made starting new work very difficult in 2009. I am happy that we made it through the year. We let one scout go in the Salama area due to lack of funds and we did not hire any staff in the Samburu area yet. We made three attempts in 2009 to dart cheetahs in the Samburu and Buffalo Springs Reserves, but each time the KWS veterinarian was available, the cheetahs were no where to be seen.

We did however find our target area and our target cheetahs. There are two males in Buffalo that we believe exit the park into the Ngare Mara area, and there are females in the norther sections of Samburu that we believe go into West Gate and Kalama areas outsied the park. This will be our target animals in late January.

There is a female cheetah in the Solia area (Buffalo Springs) who had 3 cubs in Feb 09, but remained with only two in June. Because she is commonly seen by tourists, we would not want to target her for collaring. She has however not been reported to be seen since November at the end of the drought, but it is my hope that she will be a good mom and appear with cubs again in the next few months. (two photos atached)

There is an older male near the Larsen area who is also common for tourists; he would not be a target because he is also in a high tourism area and because he is a bit old. (photo attached)

We found a female with one sub-adult cub in the region of Samburu who would have made a good target, but she was found in the heat of the day when the veterinarian was called away on an emergency and she was not located again after the vet was again available.
Two very shy males are reported by the few vehicles that go to the area between White and Isiolo rivers, but it is believed that they are rarely seen, and that they may spend a large amount of their time in the Ngare Mara area outside of the Reserve. These males will be our target in January-February 2010 for placement of a GSM collar.

I spent my New Year in the Samburu and Isiolo area to set the schedule and deliver 2009 reports to the County Councils and Conservancy offices in the areas we will be targeting for cheetah monitoring in 2010. Funding from the St Louis Zoo has enabled us to set all the wheels spinning for the work in this area, and now the receipt of funds from the American Association of Zoo Keepers – Bowling for Rhino’s will ensure the implementation of the work.

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