• A surplus of waterbucks in Nini Farm South Lake Conservancy required translocation to a less populated area.
• Overpass planned.
The Eburu-Lake Naivasha wildlife corridor has gained 36 waterbuck antelopes through translocation by the Kenya Wildlife Service.
The waterbucks were moved from Nini Farm South Lake conservancy.
"They were moved because there was a surplus in the conservancy. Loldia Farm in Eburu has enough space and environment to support wildlife wellbeing," said Eric Kihiu. He is the Rhino Ark, Mau landscape coordinator and resource mobilisation manager.
The Nini Farm conservancy had a surplus and that informed the decision.
Translocation is usually done to build the population in an underpopulated zone and reduce pressure in another ecosystem.
Loldia forms the core of the corridor that links Eburu Forest to Lake Naivasha and is a suitable habitat for the beautiful antelope.
Members of the Rhino Ark-supported wildlife corridor committee observed the waterbuck release on January 13 at Loldia Farm.
Kihiu said the translocation was carried out by the Kenya Wildlife Service who are trained in translocation measures and what is needed.
"Rhino Ark came since we support the wildlife corridor. We spearheaded the securing of the Eburu wildlife corridor that connects the forest and Lake Naivasha through Loldia farm."
An overpass has been proposed to allow wildlife to move freely from the Eburu Forest downwards to Ndabibi-PLC farm-Suswa to the Greater Lake.
The proposed overpass will also connect wildlife to other critical areas such as Kongoni-Oserian to Hell's Gate National Park, then to Kedong to Mount Longonot and Suswa.
It was designed in 2016 in collaboration with Rhino Ark and the Lake Naivasha Riparian Association.
Eburu forms part of the wider Rift Valley ecosystem and conservation area encompassing Lakes Nakuru, Elementaita, and Naivasha, the Soysambu Conservancy, Mt Longonot and Hell’s Gate National parks.
The Eburu Forest covers 21,498 acres (87km2) of a prime indigenous habitat on Mount Eburu. Its highest peak, Ol Doinyo Eburu, rises 2,820m above sea level, forming part of the catchment for Lakes Naivasha and Elementaita.
In December 2010, Rhino Ark made a formal commitment to support the conservation of other mountain forest ecosystems, building on the experience of the Aberdare fence project.
The Mau Eburu Forest has been surrounded with a 43.3km electric fence. It was completed in 2014.
In 2010, photographic evidence of the Mountain Bongo in Eburu was collected by the Bongo surveillance unit. It is a large brown antelope with thin white stripes running vertically.
The critically endangered Mountain Bongo is only found in Kenya. It is believed that fewer than 200 exist.
The Mountain Bongo is found in parts of the Aberdare and Mt Kenya forests east of the Great Rift Valley, and in small numbers in the Mau Forest.
21,535.94: acres of Eburu's prime indigenous forest area
43.3km: length of Eburu electric fence
2014: completion of the fence
200: Number of Mountain Bongos in wild
40+: species of mammals in Eburu
2016: When an overpass was designed
(Edited by V. Graham)