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.
Through the Hirola Conservation Programme, we are working to save this critically endangered species from imminent extinction. Since 2010 and in conjunction with collaborators, we have initiated a locally supported scientific research to understand the reasons underlying hirola declines, and to explore management options to curtail these declines. Our work is focusing on hirola population dynamics, habitat use, and the effects of land-use change in northeastern Kenya for hirola. In addition, we are working with local communities to better understand social factors affecting the survival of the species and the future of hirola conservation in the region.These are knowledge gaps that have been consistently identified as research priorities for future hirola conservation. We employ GPS telemetry using Vectronic GPS PLUS collars, mark-resight and sight-resight analyses. GPS-telemetered animals are enabling us to generate unprecedented data on habitat selection and demography of this unique species. In addition, we are analysing remotely-sensed imagery to determine the causes of hirola declines; this information will be used to guide management strategies of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). All of our work involves capacity building and education of local communities within Ijara District in Kenya.