Presentation on theme: "KENYA WILDLIFE SERVICE. Conservation of Eastern Bongo: Kenya’s Experience Dr. Charles Musyoki, PhD, OGW Senior Scientist Department of Species Conservation."— Presentation transcript:
Conservation of Eastern Bongo: Kenya’s Experience Dr. Charles Musyoki, PhD, OGW Senior Scientist Department of Species Conservation Programs
The broader context of mountain bongo conservation Endemic to Kenya’s endangered highland forest Especially susceptible to human encroachment Symbolic of health of endangered forest ecosystem Forest ecosystem is a vital water tower, crucial to wellbeing of Kenyan people Possibly sub-Saharan Africa’s most endangered large mammal Healthy populations exist in Europe and North America totaling in excess of 500 animals
Bongo conservation history Aberdare National Park established in 1950 Bongo exported to Europe & North America in the 70’s & 80’s where captive populations flourished Wild populations crashed in latter part of 20 th century In early part of 21st century, bongo considered effectively extinct in wild In 2004,18 bongo repatriated to captive Kenyan herd Four isolated populations since rediscovered totaling ~100 animals 2008 classified as critically endangered ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●●
Trends in numbers and Distribution (Bongo) AberdareMount KenyaEburruMauLondianiCherangani 19752010WildCaptive 500506-76899Locally Extinct
Fragmentation of bongo populations Each area of bongo habitat is effectively an island 60% of mammalian extinctions have occurred in island populations Isolation & small population size increases extinction risk Loss of GD Reduced fitness, survivorship etc Susceptibility to catastrophes Demographic stochasticity Chance fluctuations in births, deaths, sex ratios
Captive bongo in Kenya The Mount Kenya Game Ranch Ltd. was established in 1967 The purpose of the Game Ranch was to create a sanctuary for rare and endangered species and educate the public about conservation The rare Mountain Bongo was chosen as its logo and work towards its protection and insurance of survival of the species was amongst others commenced immediately. In 2004, the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy was founded to assist with the wildlife Programs of the Mount Kenya Game Ranch. Over 300,000 Kenyan students have attended wildlife education programs of the Conservancy and the Foundation free of charge.
Bongo breeding Captive breeding of bongo at the MKWC/MKGR dates back 40yrs. The founder herd was 10 individuals (4:6), 5 (2:3) bred successfully as captured in the international studbook. In January 2004, 13 American institutions donated 18 (4:14) bongos “US bongo” (17 adults and 1 sub adult female.) to supplement a resident herd of 18 (8:10) (adults 12, sub adults 2 and young 4) totalling 36 (12:24). (Adults are 2yrs and above, sub adults 1 to 2 yrs, young are below one year). A total of 10 from the original US herd managed to breed. First calving comes at averagely 3yrs which means the start breeding at about 2yrs. They calve after about 9 months. Presently, there are a total of 68 (31:37) bongos in the facility. Adults 49(20:29) sub adults 8 (4:4) and 11 (7:4) young. Of these, a total of 24 have US herd lineage.
POPULATION GROWTH FROM 2004 YEARMALESFEMALESTOTAL 2004122436 2006192342 2008223254 2009273461 2010313768
THE US HERD ADAPTATION On arrival, the US herd was quarantined for about one year with females sorted into two herds each with one male with breeding recommendation from the PM2000 program. The first two weeks, 4 bongos were lost to what was later discovered to have been a strain of Theileria called Taurotrogi. Several animals followed in the subsequent weeks. Up to eight animals may have succumbed to the theileria. A total of 13 have since died. Some due to intra-specific aggression/accidents, Euthanasia following reproductive system relapse and some due to e-coli. Suppressed immune systems due the lengthy duration of non exposure to tick borne diseases The surviving five animals and the offspring are believed to have developed resistance today.
CONDITIONING FOR RELEASE PROTOCOL After weaning, animals are moved out to a 100 acre piece of wilderness area an extension of the mountain forest along Nanyuki River a typical bongo habitat within the breeding facility. While in there, Human contact is kept at minimum and an encounter is made unpleasant. Commercial feed supplements are gradually withdrawn to encourage dependence on natural browse. Due to the limited range in the facility, natural browse is foraged from the nearby mount Kenya forest to supplement We however still supplement their food and mineral requirements depending on availability of natural supply.
Conservation planning for bongo National bongo conservation task force National stakeholders workshop Vision Goal Strategic objectives Activities