Coca-Cola Beverages Africa-Kenya (CCBA-K) supported Hombe Community Forest Association (CFA) members to plant 15,000 trees in Mt. Kenya forest, facilitated by Nature Kenya. Early this year, Nature Kenya and CCBA-K signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) to implement socio-economic investment programs in environmental conservation in Kenya. The MoU, geared towards CCBA-K’s sustainability agenda, targets forest reforestation programs in Kenya’s catchment areas.
Planting took place during the April rains season. The Hombe restoration site includes a swamp on the verge of drying up. It is hoped that the newly planted trees will resuscitate this wetland as they mature.
Hombe CFA has a membership of about 1,900 individuals drawn from the neighbouring community. Most members engage in tree seedling production as their main source of income. The CCBA-K support has helped to improve the livelihoods of Hombe CFA members through the sale of 15,000 tree seedlings.
“The support from Coca-Cola Beverages Africa-Kenya has helped me pay for rent and other basic family needs like food, particularly during this difficult Covid-I9 period,” says Gladys Wangu, a member of Hombe CFA.
“I am grateful to the management of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa-Kenya and Nature Kenya for their support towards restoration of our forest. I appeal to others to also join us in making Hombe and the larger Mt. Kenya forest regain its original state,” says Wilson Thige, the chairperson of Hombe CFA.
Mt Kenya forest is home to rich flora and fauna. Among the species it hosts is the Critically Endangered Mountain Bongo and Kenya Jewel Damselfly, and the vulnerable Abbott’s Starling.
Every year since 1969, bird ringers from Europe and Kenya meet at Ngulia Safari Lodge in Tsavo West National Park to participate in the ringing of Palaearctic migratory songbirds. These are birds who breed in Europe and Asia and migrate to spend the winter in Africa. Most of these birds fly south at night, passing over Tsavo in November and December. On dark, misty nights, the migrating songbirds become disoriented and land in the bush around the lights of the lodge.
This is a rare occasion in bird migratory phenomena in the world. The birds are gently caught, carried in cloth bags, identified, measured, and fitted with a light metal ring on one leg. Then they are released to continue their journey. A total of 597,694 Palearctic migratory birds of 72 species and 15,570 individuals of Afrotropical birds of 234 species have been ringed in the last 51 years (1969-2020) at the site.
Last year (2020) 10,666 Palaearctic migrants of 32 species and 588 Afrotropical birds of 75 species were captured and ringed. With so many birds, it was a challenge for the local Kenyan team to take the lead, since the ringers from Europe could not participate due to travel restrictions because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Plans for the 2021 ringing are on; it will be a two-week session commencing on 30th November and ending on 10th December 2021. The Kenyan team is expected to carry out the event, since international travel is still difficult. Nature Kenya members are welcome to book a stay at Ngulia Lodge during that time and observe the ringing. You may also volunteer to “scribe” (write the notes) for the ringers. It is a rare opportunity to see many species and big numbers of Palaearctic songbirds in ringers’ hands both day and night.
For more information or to sign up, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Titus Imboma <email@example.com>.
Global Big Days of birding are a 24-hour opportunity to celebrate birds near and far. On October 9th nearly 33,000 birders around the world took part in the 2021 October Big Day. Participants were drawn from 195 countries and reported 7,269 species, making the day the biggest ever in birding history!
This year’s global team consisted of more than 800 eBirders from Africa, 2,000 from Asia, 2,500 from Europe, and 5,300 from Central and South America. These tremendous efforts showcase the power of birds to bring people together.
Kenya was ranked in position 7th globally with 791 bird species recorded on the day. The top country was Colombia (1,347 birds), followed by Peru (1,223), Ecuador (1,100), Brazil (1,082), Bolivia (817) and India (793). A total of 368 checklists were submitted from Kenya.