Category Archives: Eburu Forest

Mau Eburu Forest

Wanton destuction of indigenous forest

Wanton destuction of indigenous forest

8,715 hectares (87 square kms) of prime indigenous forest nestled in the folds of a 2,820 metre high active volcanic mountain overlooking Lake Naivasha. It is a fragile little island of biodiversity in a vast sea of mostly indifferent and often times destructive humanity.

It is effectively UNGUARDED. VULNERABLE. MUCH EXPLOITED.

It is the home to perhaps 12 of the fewer than 100 surviving wild population of critically endangered Eastern Mountain Bongo antelope worldwide.
Unless we act quickly, a terrible fate awaits this precious ecosystem. Rhino Ark is spearheading the fencing of this forest, in partnership with the Government.

Join us in this quest.

MAU EBURU FENCE CONSTRUCTION TO START IN EARLY 2012

stakeholders attending meeting at Ndabibi

stakeholders attending meeting at Ndabibi

Construction of the Mau Eburu fence will start in the 1st quarter of the year 2012.

Funding totaling to Kshs 42.6million has already been secured. Within this figure, materials valued at Kshs 30million have been provided by the Kenyan Government and are to be dispersed by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

The balance of funds secured to date are from donations to Rhino Ark including a Ksh 4.6million tranche provided by Finlays, the agribusiness with tea estates and flower farms in Naivasha and bordering the Mau Forest Complex and from Rhino Ark’s Rhino Charge.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting at Ndabibi in Eburu on 23 November 2011, Rhino Ark Management Committee Chairman Colin Church said, “Rhino Ark’s commitment to fence Mau Eburu has attracted considerable interest from donors. I am confident this interest will translate into further direct support. It will enable us not only to complete the electrified fence quickly but also to create an enabling environment for conservation initiatives, re forestation and a full range socio/economic partnership benefits for Eburu’s forest adjacent communities”.

Co-ordination of the project has been led by the Ministry of Forests and Wildlife and with the full support of the Interim Co-coordinating Secretariat for the Mau Complex (ICS), the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

The Kenya Forest Working Group (KFWG), a member body of the East African Wildlife Society (EAWLS), Save the Mau Fund and other conservation bodies are actively involved.

Mau Eburu forms part of the Rift Valley conservation and ecology ecosystem stretching from Nakuru, Lake Nakuru National Park, the Soysambu Conservancy, Lake Naivasha, to Longonot and Hells Gate National Parks.

Mau Eburu is about 80 km2 of pristine forest – hugely infiltrated by illegal loggers but whose forest edge communities are already trying to conserve its water catchment and indigenous forest. It is also a stronghold of the critically endangered Eastern Mountain Bongo antelope.

Mau Eburu will require a fence of about 50 kms in length – a little longer than the now completed Mt Kipipiri section Rhino Ark undertook in 2008/09. It will cost Kshs 100 million to build.

Greensteds School Gets Bongo Posters

Greensteds Staff and pupils receive posters from Rhino Ark

Greensteds Staff and pupils receive posters from Rhino Ark

Greensteds International School, based in Nakuru, is the most recent recipient of educational posters and brochures about the Eastern Mountain Bongo antelope. The materials were donated by Rhino Ark in recognition of Greensteds’ interest in supporting the conservation of Eburu Forest. Mt. Eburu is part of the Mau mountain range and, in the words of teacher Nick Martyn, “is in our own backyard”.

Greensteds are supporters of Rhino Ark, and they sponsored a Control in the 2010 Rhino Charge event. On 26th February 2011, students and staff of Greensteds held a successful relay run from Narok to Nakuru via the Mau to raise funds for sponsorship of a Control in the upcoming 2011 Rhino Charge.

The bongo posters and brochures were developed by Rhino Ark as educational tools under the Schools Wildlife Clubs component of the Bongo Surveillance Programme. They will help to educate Greensteds students about the critically endangered mountain bongo. Globally, there are less than 100 bongo believed to exist in the wild, and they are only found in Kenya. A small, highly threatened population of 7-12 animals has recently been observed in Eburu Forest, and this herd is believed to be the only one left there.

The poster and brochure donation marks the start of a more direct engagement in Rhino Ark’s conservation activities by the Greensteds community. The posters were presented by Rhino Ark Resource Development Manager Eric Kihiu, accompanied by Bongo Surveillance Programme Schools Wildlife Clubs coordinator, Peter Munene.