The Herds are Back…

By Will Knocker:

After months of greenery & long grass, the Park has turned tawny & the migratory herds are back: eland do not go far: across the Empakasi into the Sheep & Goat land. This is one of Kenya’s significant populations..

The NNP kongoni (Coke’s hartebeest) population is a conundrum: it used to consist of 2 populations, resident & migratory. As the migratory population has been confined to the Park (the remaining dispersal area is short grass plain-unsuitable for this sp. which is adapted to long grass areas) the population has shot up, in spite of record numbers of lions, for whom kongoni are a favourite prey sp.  …

The Plains zebra are back! In a year of good rain such as this, our population of up to 4000 roam as far as they can in the remaining dispersal areas. However it seems that even these remarkably adaptive creatures, able to deal with the suburban conditions (fences, people, dogs) outside the park have had to overcome their fears about lions & have come back in small family groups & some bigger migratory mobs consisting of hundreds of animals…the lions will be happy!

Up until the turn of the century, such sights would have included thousands of wildebeeste, but alas the last few hundred like the short grass plain of the Sheep & Goat land & only venture into the park if pressed by drought conditions….

NNP remains the last pristine corner of the Athi Kapiti Ecosystem, now a truncated shadow of what it once was. It is so encouraging to see the herds of migratory species come back to the park safe & sound after the Rains…..













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  1. sauwah
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    it’s so nice and glad to see they are back and it’s very good for the lions. and i sure hope the lions in this little park surrounded by people and their livestock will stay inside the park and away from those damn cattle and goats ! and wish the livestock owners could build stronger and lion proof bomas to prevent any more spearing of lionesses and their cubs.

  2. willknocker
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Sauwah! Welcome back! I wondered where you had disappeared too!
    Yes Protected Areas are the only hope for Kenya’s,(Africa’s) large mammals…

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