Hirola Conservation Programme:

saving the world's most endangered antelope

Promotes the conservation of the hirola antelope and its fragile habitat in partnership with communities in eastern Kenya.

Thursday, 05 September 2013 19:57

TWO COLLARED FEMALES KILLED

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Female 11484 dies!

This female was collared on 14 December 2012 in Burathagoin together with 11491.The collared adult female was preyed on by lions on the first week of August this year. Unfortunately we realized this a week after the animal died and we only rescued the collar. Although the animal was killed in an open area, it was close to a forested area where it was probably ambushed. This area was about 400 meters from the core of the group home range where we re-sighted them in the past eight months. We noted crack at the base of the collar probably from the lion bites. This was first casualty of all collared females since August 2012.

Female 11488 dies!

This animal was collared on 12th of August 2012 in Boni forest with an initial herd composition of 4 individuals. We recorded consistent changes of the herd structure since collaring which we attributed to predation and although we never encountered the carcasses.

During the attack the herd was grazing close to an abandoned cattle boma; with new grass offshoots from recent burn by livestock herders. The habitat here is open bush grassland and is approximately 2KM away from an active cattle boma. During the same week locals have reported additional carcasses of topi, lesserkudu meaning that predation is high in the area. On the fateful day when female 11482 died, local herder saw the lion very early in the morning but immediately disappeared into the dense bush.

Herds in Burathagoin utilize a very narrow band of grassland between forest edges and they are regularly exposed to predators and have limited space available to escape. From experience during the past hirola capture, when chased, hirola will still avoid bushes and will try to use open space. The area is currently dry with no water holes. There is currently heavy presence of livestock in the area but these livestock herds use water pans in the villages and graze in the same area with the collared herds.

 

Read 739 times Last modified on Monday, 18 January 2016 09:16