The African Bird Club app is a book in your phone

The African Bird Club (ABC) has developed a free birding app ‘Birds of Africa’ as an identification guide which will eventually cover all the birds and countries in Africa. The latest version of this app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play for free.

Currently you can explore details of the birds of Kenya and 41 other African countries with more than 2,300 bird species.

As ABC is a registered charity, the app has been designed as a free resource for birders, guides, rangers, bird clubs and young people new to birding. It contains a wealth of detail including photos, sounds, text and maps to help the user to identify birds in their local area or elsewhere.

To date over 20,000 people have downloaded the app and users have said that it has transformed their birding. You can find further details at

You can see a video of the app’s use by Bird Clubs in Nigeria at

The development of the app has been made possible because of the work of volunteers in many countries. Rockjumper Birding Tours and Tasso Leventis have provided generous financial and content support, making significant contributions towards the development and maintenance of the app. The project has been managed by ABC volunteer, John Caddick.

For more details check the above links or email

The African Bird Club is a UK-registered charity with members from across the world. In addition to publishing a peer-reviewed Bulletin and raising the profile of birds and conservation in Africa, ABC has donated more than £570,000 to conservation and research projects in 48 African countries, including Dakatcha Woodland in Kenya.

Issued on behalf of the African Bird Club by John Caddick 

+44 7710 529023

Addressing wildlife poisoning in Amboseli

On a sunny mid-morning, 99 men and women are gathered at the Enchilishili Social hall at the Eselenkei Group Ranch in Amboseli, Kajiado County. Like in other grassroots public gatherings, the attendees keenly listen to the speakers. Vulture conservation and wildlife poisoning are the topics under discussion today. This village meeting is one of the many that Nature Kenya has scheduled to educate communities living within the Amboseli ecosystem on the dangers of wildlife poisoning.

“Wildlife poisoning is prevalent in Amboseli. Vultures are the most affected victims. We use such gatherings to sensitize our people on the threats posed by the poisoning,” says Jackson Oloibon, a community vulture volunteer based in Kimana.

“We are thankful to Nature Kenya for this informative session. Over the years, we have witnessed a decline in vulture numbers in this area and assumed that the birds have migrated to other places in search of food and shelter. Today we have learned that these birds are disappearing due to wildlife poisoning,” says Meijo ole Kerina, an Enchilishilivillage resident.

Upon learning about the importance of vultures in keeping the environment clean and the threats facing them, ole Kerina pledges to mobilize fellow villagers to report anyone who attempts to poison wildlife.

During such meetings, community members ask questions, share their opinions and give suggestions on preventing wildlife poisoning incidents in their areas. Villages adjacent to the Amboseli National Park frequently experience predator attacks on cattle. In retaliation, villagers lace cattle carcasses with poison to kill the predators, including lions and hyenas. These poisoned carcasses are consumed by vultures and other scavenging animals, which are unintended targets. Poisoning is a leading cause of vulture deaths in Kenya.

Chiefs and other administation officers are engaged to reach out to the communities. So far, four meetings have been held this year in Iltilal, Samai, Nolasiti and  Enchilishili villages, with 408 community members reached. Stakeholders from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Maasai Community Wilderness Trust and Big Life Foundation are also involved in the outreach.

Nature Kenya has recruited 17 community volunteers in the Amboseli area to monitor vulture populations and wildlife poisoning incidents. Nature Kenya is also supporting the construction of predator-proof bomas to reduce cases of big cats and hyenas preying on cattle in homesteads.

Amboseli National Park is a designated Important Bird Area (IBA) and Key Biodiversity Area (KBA). Besides having many large wild animals like African Elephants, Black Rhinos, giraffes and lions, the park hosts over 400 bird species with more than 40 birds of prey, including the threatened Secretarybird, Martial Eagle, and Lappet-faced, White-backed, Hooded and Rüppell’s vultures.

KBA in Focus: Ol’ Donyo Sabache

In the east of Namunyak Conservancy, Samburu County lies the magnificent Ol Donyo Sabache Key Biodiversity Area (KBA). The KBA, also known as Mount Ololokwe, is a massive basalt rock outcrop with dramatic cliff faces towering above the surrounding plains. Ol Donyo Sabache is a sacred site for the Samburu people, often used as a traditional shrine for prayers and rituals. It is a popular destination for hikers and trekkers, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape from its summit.

The KBA presents an ideal roosting and nesting site for several birds of prey such as the Critically Endangered Rüppell’s Vultures and the elusive Taita Falcons. Ol Donyo Sabache is also a stopover for numerous Palearctic migrants like Levant and Eurasian sparrowhawks, Saker and Peregrine falcons. It also shelters numerous plant and other animal species of conservation importance.

Despite its magnificence and biodiversity importance, the KBA faces many threats. They include habitat loss and fragmentation due to the expansion of human settlements, agriculture, and infrastructural projects. Power lines passing near the KBA pose bird electrocution and collision threats. Increased demand for pasture and water has escalated competition for natural resources between wildlife and livestock. This has led to overgrazing and depletion of vegetation cover and reduced the availability of food and shelter for wildlife. Poaching and illegal trade in wildlife products, such as ivory and rhino horns, remain a major conservation challenge in the area, resulting in a population decline of some wildlife species.

Changes in temperature and rainfall patterns due to climate change have also impacted negatively on the distribution and behaviour of some wild animals.

To address these challenges, conservation actions such as restoring habitats, promoting sustainable land use practices, instigating anti-poaching measures and conducting public education and awareness campaigns are critical to ensuring the continued biodiversity of the Ol Donyo Sabache KBA and surrounding areas. Community conservancies in the area, like the Kalama Community Conservancy to the south and West Gate Community Conservancy to the west, play a crucial role in ensuring that the KBA remains pristine.

Nature Kenya has been submitting comments to the national and county government departments and agencies for infrastructural projects deemed likely to affect the KBA, like the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project.


Unusual and rare: the Taita Hills Warty Frog

The Taita Hills Warty Frog does not go through a tadpole stage like most other frogs. The frog’s eggs directly hatch into froglets morphologically similar to the adults, skipping the tadpole stage! This distinct reproductive cycle eliminates the need for a moist or watery substrate to deposit the eggs. And unlike most other frogs, the Taita Hills Warty Frog prefers walking to jumping.

The Taita Hills Warty Frog (Callulina dawida) only occurs in the indigenous forest fragments in the Taita Hills. This unique little frog is classified as Critically Endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species due to the fragmentation of its habitat. The frog population is scattered in the isolated Taita hills forest patches. Unfortunately, these patches are facing degradation due to human activity, such as logging and planting exotic trees. The survival of this endemic amphibian hangs in the balance as a result.

Scientific evidence indicates that the Taita Hills Warty Frog thrives on the indigenous forest floor and spends much of its time in soil or leaf litter. The frog’s permeable skin that absorbs water and oxygen makes it well suited for the indigenous forest environment, making these habitats vital for its survival.

In January 2023, a team of researchers comprising members of the Kenya Herpetofauna Working Group (KHWG) conducted searches and surveys in Ngangao, Ndivenyi, Chawia, and Fururru forest blocks to understand the distribution of the Taita Hills Warty Frog. During the five-day sampling exercise, the team recorded seven Taita Hills Warty Frogs, including a gravid female with approximately 30 eggs. The team also came across a female frog sitting on her eggs.

A notable new red colour variation of the species was also observed by the researchers. This differed from the dark silver appearance recorded in the past.

The visit to Taita hills was part of a project supported by the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund that seeks to enhance the protection of the Taita Hills Warty frog habitat through community participation and education. Working with the Dawida Biodiversity Conservation (DaBiCo) Community-based Organization, the researchers conducted community meetings at Ngangao to inform the community on the linkage between the unusual frog and the indigenous forests. More than 300 trees were also planted at a local school during the community engagements.

The researchers plan to continue engaging communities and other stakeholders in monitoring the Taita Hills Warty Frogs.