Skip to content

Large hirola group spotted with calves

By on April 21, 2009 in EDGE Fellows, Focal species, Hirola, Mammals, Uncategorized

Here is the latest blog from Kimitei, our EDGE Fellow working on the critically endangered hirola antelope in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya.

It was on 23 March 2009 when we went for hirola survey and monitoring after a long break without doing it due to unavoidable circumstances. We were excited after a long miss of hirola sighting. With me were the driver and one student volunteer and research assistant. The search started with most of dust and high temperatures within the hirola range. The hirola range was dry with most of the grass were zero green. Most of the shrubs and herbs had suffered a lot of dehydration.

We had no lack for almost three quarter of the day. It was hard for us to sight grazers on the rangeland due to the hot temperatures prevailing. What we could sight were vultures on the sky with others on top of shrubs. This suggested that animal carcasses were somewhere. From their (vultures) movements, we were able to come across three carcasses of buffalo, Kongoni (cokes hartebeest) and zebra. All were remnant kills for lions. Hirola might be undergoing the same situation.

It was late in the afternoon that we came across 10 individuals of M2. Their age and sex composition was as follows:

They had good health despite the dryness. All were under acacia for shade. Their number was less than the previous number sighted.

On 26th we went again to search for new groups but did not succeed. However, managed to sight the M2 group but with the other members of the group that were missing. The group was 25 in number. All were
identified to be of the group especially the adults and yearlings. The mothers of the calves were not difficult to identify. Following is their summaries:

If you would like to support the work of EDGE Fellows like Kimitei, then please become an EDGE Champion, or donate here.