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.
The antelope, giraffe, hippo conference is a conference set to promote conservation activities in Africa and highlight the positive results of conservation efforts in African countries. The conference connects in situ and ex situ research and conservation of antelopes, giraffes and hippos following the OnePlan approach and identifies new possibilities of in-situ project support for zoos.
We are fortunate to have HCP Founder & Director, Dr. Abdullahi. Ali, selected as a speaker in next year’s (2017) conference to be held from February 19th – 25th at the Prague in Czech Republic. Dr. Ali is expected to highlight the plight of the endangered hirola antelope in Kenya. With over 10 years of experience in hirola conservation, Ali will share some recent positive hirola conservation gains.
For more information about the conference, please visit www.angihip2017.com
Our conservation efforts were recently bolstered by the adoption of SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool, www.smartconservationsoftware.org) and CyberTracker (www.cybertracker.org) softwares. SMART is an efficient conservation tool that measures, evaluates and improves the effectiveness of wildlife law enforcement patrols and site-based conservation activities. SMART is designed to help wildlife authorities, protected areas and community conservation groups strengthen their activities through staff empowerment and boost motivation. The tool provides increased efficiency and promotion of credible and transparent monitoring of the effectiveness of anti-poaching efforts.
Hirola rangers’ with help of HCP are gradually embracing SMART and CyberTracker apps across all our conservation sites as an effective way of achieving our conservation goals including data collection, anti-poaching, capacity building and partnership with local authorities. It is now easier for the rangers to monitor their patrols routes, report sightings of hirola and and identifying poaching hotspots within the hirola range.
HCP works with the local communities in partnership with local authorities to conserve the endangered hirola and its habitat. By combining indigenous information, scientific knowledge, and our area-wide network through herders (citizen science) for Hirola programme, we are able to generate information from SMART and other conservation apps for overlay on Google maps or share this information with the local authorities for effective planning. In this way, SMART is empowering HCP by converting patrol and intelligence data into useful information that will help long term decision making within the hirola range. So far SMART is helping our field team generate unique data on possible poaching hotspots while improving enforcement efforts and strategies. The software is also helping HCP develop protection plans and implement conservation strategies tailored to specific challenges facing hirola conservation along the Kenya-Somalia border.
In January 2016 we secured solar lighting and mobile-phone charging kit for hirola rangers and the surrounding community. This has been a major issue for our rangers and community members who for years were not able to use phones and other electronics due to lack of electricity. Our project area lies along the Kenya-Somalia border with no electricity and other infrastructure. HCP is taking this opportunity to thank our supporters who made this possible.
In May 2016, we have launched community based hirola habitat restoration project that aims at restoring grasslands in areas where hirola persist currently as well as future reintroduction sites. Between 1985 and 2012, tree cover increased 300% across the historic range of hirola, translating to a 75% decline in grasslands cover for hirola. To restore grassland habitats, we are implement the following practices: 1) the physical cutting, uprooting or breaking of branches in attempt to restore grassland at scales of hundreds of hectares in prioritized areas within the hirola range, 2) nucleation plantings (pocket plantings) of native grass seeds at scales of hundreds of hectares, 3) community-based protection of elephants (in the form of anti-poaching squads and enhanced communication between villages) to encourage elephant herds to reside on community lands. We anticipate our effort will also have the knock-on benefit of improving local livelihoods within the hirola range.
Please support our initiative.