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Nairobi, Kenya

Kagendo D.,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology | Kagendo D.,Meru University of Science and Technology | Magambo J.,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology | Magambo J.,Meru University of Science and Technology | And 10 more authors.
Parasitology International | Year: 2014

To investigate the presence of Echinococcus spp. in wild mammals of Kenya, 832 faecal samples from wild carnivores (lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, wild dogs and silver-backed jackals) were collected in six different conservation areas of Kenya (Meru, Nairobi, Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks, Samburu and Maasai Mara National Reserves). Taeniid eggs were found in 120 samples (14.4%). In total, 1160 eggs were isolated and further analysed using RFLP-PCR of the nad1 gene and sequencing. 38 of these samples contained eggs of Echinococcus spp., which were identified as either Echinococcus felidis (n=27) or Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (n=12); one sample contained eggs from both taxa. E. felidis was found in faeces from lions (n=20) and hyenas (n=5) while E. granulosus in faeces from lions (n=8), leopards (n=1) and hyenas (n=3). The host species for two samples containing E. felidis could not be identified with certainty. As the majority of isolated eggs could not be analysed with the methods used (no amplification), we do not attempt to give estimates of faecal prevalences. Both taxa of Echinococcus were found in all conservation areas except Meru (only E. felidis) and Tsavo West (only E. granulosus). Host species identification for environmental faecal samples, based on field signs, was found to be unreliable. All samples with taeniid eggs were subjected to a confirmatory host species RLFP-PCR of the cytochrome B gene. 60% had been correctly identified in the field. Frequently, hyena faeces were mistaken for lion and vice versa, and none of the samples from jackals and wild dogs could be confirmed in the tested sub-sample. This is the first molecular study on the distribution of Echinococcus spp. in Kenyan wildlife. The presence of E. felidis is confirmed for lions and newly reported for spotted hyenas. Lions and hyenas are newly recognized hosts for E. granulosus s.s., while the role of leopards remains uncertain. These data provide the basis for further studies on the lifecycles and the possible link between wild and domestic cycles of cystic echinococcosis in eastern Africa. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Mworia J.K.,University of Nairobi | Kinyamario J.I.,University of Nairobi | Omari J.K.,University of Nairobi | Wambua J.K.,Kenya Wildlife Services
African Journal of Range and Forage Science | Year: 2011

Invasive species in Africa have important impacts on food security and biodiversity conservation. African floodplains in arid areas are critical wildlife habitats in addition to crop production and dry season livestock grazing. The study aimed to understand the patterns of spread of the invader Prosopis juliflora in a typical African floodplain characterised by both multiple dispersers and habitats. Data was collected on faecal seed density, establishment and vegetation composition, and subjected to non-parametric tests and regression analysis. The results showed that both livestock and wildlife species played a critical role in dispersal of Prosopis juliflora, especially yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus), bush pigs (Potamochoerus larvatus), donkeys and goats. Habitat preference of wildlife dispersers and livestock herding patterns influenced the spatial pattern of invader seed influx. Establishment of Prosopis juliflora was enhanced by ecological disturbance such as in rested crop fields and habitats outside conservation areas as compared to those inside. Establishment was also higher inside the floodplain than outside probably due to higher seasonal soil resources. Lastly, indigenous woody species diversity declined significantly as the density of Prosopis juliflora increased. We conclude that patterns of spread of Prosopis juliflora were related to ecological disturbances, type of disperser and flooplain effect. © NISC (Pty) Ltd. Source

Huxham M.,Napier University | Langat J.,Napier University | Tamooh F.,Kenya Wildlife Services | Kennedy H.,Bangor University | And 3 more authors.
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science | Year: 2010

Mangrove trees may allocate >50% of their biomass to roots. Dead roots often form peat, which can make mangroves significant carbon sinks and allow them to raise the soil surface and thus survive rising sea levels. Understanding mangrove root production and decomposition is hence of theoretical and applied importance. The current work explored the effects of species, site, and root size and root nutrients on decomposition. Decomposition of fine (≤3 mm diameter) and coarse (>3 mm diameter, up to a maximum of ∼9 mm) roots from three mangrove species, Avicennia marina, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza and Ceriops tagal was measured over 12 months at 6 sites along a tidal gradient in Gazi Bay, Kenya. C:N and P:N ratios in fresh and decomposed roots were measured, and the effects on decomposition of root size and age, of mixing roots from A. marina and C. tagal, of enriching B. gymnorrhiza roots with N and P and of artefacts caused by bagging roots were recorded. There were significant differences between species, with 76, 47 and 44 % mean dry weight lost after one year for A. marina, B. gymnorrhiza and C. tagal respectively, and between sites, with generally slower decomposition at dryer, high tidal areas. N enriched B. gymnorrhiza roots decomposed significantly faster than un-enriched controls; there was no effect of P enrichment. Mixing A. marina and C. tagal roots caused significantly enhanced decomposition in C. tagal. These results suggest that N availability was an important determinant of decomposition, since differences between species reflected the initial C: N ratios. The relatively slow decomposition rates recorded concur with other studies, and may overestimate natural rates, since larger (10-20 mm diameter), more mature and un-bagged roots all showed significantly slower rates. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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A stray male lion falls after it was shot by a Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) ranger in the Isinya area of Kajiado county after it attacked and injured a local resident on outskirts of the capital Nairobi, Kenya in this March 30, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Stringer/Files More NAIROBI (Reuters) - A new road and rail project cutting through a nature reserve on the outskirts of Nairobi threatens wildlife, livestock and people, conservationists said on Friday, after two lions were killed this week. Kenyan wildlife rangers shot dead a male lion named "Mohawk" on Wednesday after it strayed from Nairobi National Park and attacked and injured a resident. [nL5N1722KD] The next day rangers found the body of another lion outside the reserve, speared to death in a township south of Nairobi. Conservationists said construction work on the transport projects was affecting animal behaviour and leading more big cats to try to escape in search of quieter hunting grounds. "Before construction started in the park, the lions were not escaping, so there are indications that the noise and blasting is affecting their movements," said Robert Ndetei, species conservation manager at World Wildlife Fund’s Nairobi office. "If you don’t plan properly, if you don’t do proper environmental-impact assessments, then you are doomed to fail, and at the Nairobi National Park this could lead to more lions and other animals coming into contact with a growing human presence," Ndetei told Reuters. Nairobi National Park is home to about 35 lions. There are about 2,000 left in the whole of Kenya. Kitili Mbathi, director general of Kenya Wildlife Service, agreed that the construction work was to blame for the increasing number of lions straying from the park. "Yes, it has been disruptive but we are trying and they (the contractors) are trying to minimize the disruption," he told Reuters by phone. He said the road was nearly complete, while the main construction work on the railway should be finished in June, restoring some calm. "We have a temporary fence in certain places there, so now we will be able to put in a permanent electric fence. Eventually, when all the construction is finished, from that side of the park, we don’t expect any more disruptions," he said. Mbathi said the wildlife service had increased patrols along the perimeter of the park. "A key concern is that the developer is not taking proper care to ensure there is less disturbance of the habitat while also not securing the perimeter fencing,” said Lucy Waruingi, acting secretary of the Conservation Alliance of Kenya. Human settlements and activity have long been encroaching on the Nairobi National Park, which was established in 1946 and gives visitors the chance to see lions, giraffes, zebras and other wildlife against a backdrop of high-rise buildings. The road under construction will link Nairobi airport with the city centre, while the new railway line will connect the capital with port city Mombasa. Kenya's economy is expected to grow by 5.9 percent this year and by 6 percent in 2017, increasing pressure on the environment and exacerbating conflicts between humans and wildlife. Wildlife tourism is an essential foreign revenue earner for East Africa’s largest economy.

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A Kenya Wildlife Services ranger walks through a secure ivory stock room in Nairobi on March 21, 2016 (AFP Photo/Carl De Souza) More Nairobi (AFP) - Kenya on Wednesday launched a three-week amnesty to hand in ivory and rhino horn ahead of the world's biggest burning of ivory next month. The mass burning, the vast majority of its ivory and rhino horn stockpile, will amount to some 105 tonnes of ivory, seven times the size of any ivory stockpile destroyed so far, as well as 1.35 tonnes of rhino horn. "Anybody holding any ivory, rhino horns or any other wildlife trophies or jewelry or trinkets made from these materials should surrender them," environment minister Judi Wakhungu told reporters, as preparations for the giant burning ceremony were launched in Nairobi national park. "Those who take advantage of this amnesty will not be punished." The highly publicised display on April 30 will be led by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and attended by a gaggle of celebrities, conservationists and heads of state. Kenyatta set fire in March 2015 to a giant pile of 15 tonnes of elephant ivory, which conservationists said then was the largest ever burned in Africa. At the time, the pile of tusks formed a dramatic three-metre (10-foot) tall pyre, which burned for several days until the ivory was reduced to ash. "Although the destruction of ivory and rhino horn will not in itself put an end to the illegal trade in these items, it demonstrates Kenya's commitment to seeking a total global ban in the trade of ivory and rhino horn," Wakhungu added. More than 30,000 elephants are killed for their ivory every year in Africa to satisfy demand in Asia where raw tusks sell for around $1,100 (1,000 euros) a kilogramme (2.2 pounds). "The poaching of elephants and rhinos and illegal wildlife trade is a major problem across much of Africa, it threatens the very survival of these iconic species," Wakhungu said. "Poaching is facilitated by international criminal syndicates and fuels corruption."

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