It has been long since updates are sent for the blog readers. All is well for hirola monitoring. A population is thought to increase if new born are added to the population; since December 2009, several calves of hirola have been sighted. In each group, at least one calf.
Something to be noted, all sighted hirola have good body condition charged from their coat and body stamina. Their hair is smooth and glittering – no standing hair recorded. Their muzzle is normal wet. Only one 4 months calve have been sighted limping for the last two months. The injury is in the right hind limb. A small swelling is on the knee. However, the calf is in good body condition and can run but straining.
On the other side, the digestive system parasites study is still going on. Mugendi (a graduate student from Moi University) accompanied me to collect the hirola and livestock droppings.
Preliminary results from previous samples tested 80% positive of presence of gastro-intestinal parasites. Also livestock samples showed almost the same percentage. This shows that hirola might be facing the complications related to parasite infestations. Their adaptability and survival would be compromised.
Keep in touch for more updates!
In spite of these calf sightings, the long-term future of the hirola is not guaranteed and this species remains critically endangered with extinction.
To help support conservation work for the hirola – Africa’s most threatened antelope – please donate here.