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Three new hirola groups identified

By on December 10, 2008 in EDGE Fellows, Focal species, Hirola, Mammals, Uncategorized

Kimitei, our EDGE Fellow monitoring the Critically Endangered hirola population in Tsavo National Park, Kenya, has sent us this update:

Rains are now dropping in Tsavo East and the whole place is turning out to green from its dry vegetation that has been in the place. Though not much change have been seen, but temperatures are now low, the sky is covered by clouds and hirola groups are now emerging from their hide outs to open areas where more food can be found than before. These conditions prevailing has enhanced our search and monitoring of hirola groups. For two days we have been in the field, three new groups are identified and named.

The first group was seen near Satao Camp close to Satao (SAT) group 2 kilometres away. This group consists of 4 yearling females. They were desperate and run up and down showing they might be having a problem. For three hour monitoring, they settle and again a heavy down pour hit the area.

The second group was that of 2-bachelor herd in the Dika Plains. This group was close to the Dika Plains herd (DP) and thus named Dika Plains 2 (DP2).

The third group was along Voi River near Aruba Lodge. The group consists of 11 members of 3 adult males, 2 adult females, 4 yearling females and 2 calves (3 weeks male and 2 weeks female). This is the only group found with 3 adult males together. In fact the males seemed to be friendly to each other from their friendly play using their horns. One of the adult females were very old but in good health.

Up to now we have managed to locate 7 groups where M2 group has already split into two groups. The current known population of Tsavo East is 45 hirola – 38 yearlings and above with 7 calves of less than one month old.

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