Project

Lolldaiga Hills Research Programme

Goal: The Lolldaiga Hills Research Programme (LHRP) was initiated on 1st August 2013 as part of the research arm of the Sustainability Centre Eastern Africa (SCEA). The goal of the LHRP is to maintain, if not enhance, the conservation values of the LHCL over the long-term, while allowing for the sustainable use of the landscape’s natural resources. The LHRP will (1) establish climatic, ecological, and land-use baselines, and document and evaluate climatic, ecological, and land-use change, its direction (trend), its extent, and its significance (impact), (2) undertake and support applied ecological research, particularly on threatened species and habitats, and (3) conduct and support research relevant to the sustainable use of, and reclamation of, natural resources.

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Yvonne A. de Jong
added a research item
The paucity of studies on Egyptian mongoose Herpestes ichneumon (Linnaeus, 1758) in Africa highlights the need for baseline information on the geographic range of this species as well as factors that may determine its distribution. This study presents eight novel locality records of H. ichneumon in Laikipia County, central Kenya, addresses questions on the species' distribution in Africa, and predicts environmental (climatic) suitability across its range. From a total of 4,822 H. ichneumon occurrence records, we used 4,432 georeferenced records to generate distribution maps, conduct ecological niche modelling, and identify environmental limits for this species across its range with a focus on Africa. 20% of all records originate from continental Africa, including 121 records for Kenya. Despite extensive field research and predicted habitat suitability, H. ichneumon has not been previously reported in Laikipia County. Our niche models, however, predicted parts of Laikipia to be environmentally suitable for H. ichneumon. Similarly, our new distribution maps show extended geographic ranges both in Laikipia and Kenya as compared to the 2016 IUCN map. The eight Laikipia records underscore the limited knowledge for this species, its distribution , and its environmental requirements in Africa. K E Y W O R D S carnivores, distribution, ecological niche modelling, Herpestidae, occurrence records Résumé Le peu d'études sur la mangouste égyptienne Herpeste ichneumon (Linnaeus, 1758) en
Thomas M. Butynski
added a research item
en The paucity of studies on Egyptian mongoose Herpestes ichneumon (Linnaeus, 1758) in Africa highlights the need for baseline information on the geographic range of this species as well as factors that may determine its distribution. This study presents eight novel locality records of H. ichneumon in Laikipia County, central Kenya, addresses questions on the species’ distribution in Africa, and predicts environmental (climatic) suitability across its range. From a total of 4,822 H. ichneumon occurrence records, we used 4,432 georeferenced records to generate distribution maps, conduct ecological niche modelling, and identify environmental limits for this species across its range with a focus on Africa. 20% of all records originate from continental Africa, including 121 records for Kenya. Despite extensive field research and predicted habitat suitability, H. ichneumon has not been previously reported in Laikipia County. Our niche models, however, predicted parts of Laikipia to be environmentally suitable for H. ichneumon. Similarly, our new distribution maps show extended geographic ranges both in Laikipia and Kenya as compared to the 2016 IUCN map. The eight Laikipia records underscore the limited knowledge for this species, its distribution, and its environmental requirements in Africa. Résumé fr Le peu d’études sur la mangouste égyptienne Herpeste ichneumon (Linnaeus, 1758) en Afrique met en évidence le besoin d’une information basique sur les aires de répartition géographique de cette espèce et les facteurs susceptibles de déterminer cette répartition. Cette étude présente huit nouveaux enregistrements de localisation d’H. ichneumon dans le comté de Laikipia, au centre du Kenya qui soulèvent des questions sur la répartition des espèces en Afrique et prévaut pour l'adéquation environnementale (climatique) dans son aire de répartition. Sur un total de 4,822 d’occurrences de H. ichneumonr enregistrées, nous avons utilisé 4,432 de ces enregistrements géoréférencés pour générer des cartes de distribution, pour mener une modélisation de la niche écologique et identifier les limites environnementales de cette espèce dans son aire de répartition, mais en mettant un accent particulier sur l'Afrique. Vingt pour cent de tous les enregistrements proviennent d'Afrique continentale, dont 121 pour le Kenya. Malgré des recherches approfondies sur le terrain et l’adaptabilité prévisible de l'habitat, H. ichneumon n'a pas été signalé précédemment dans le comté de Laikipia. Cependant, nos modèles de niche prévoyaient que certaines parties du Laikipia répondraient aux critères de l’environnement de l’H. ichneumon. De même, nos nouvelles cartes de répartition montrent des aires de répartition géographiques étendues tant au Laikipia qu’au Kenya en comparaison avec la carte de l'UICN de 2016. Les huit enregistrements sur Laikipia mettent en avant la limite de nos connaissances sur cette espèce, sa distribution et ses besoins environnementaux en Afrique.
Yvonne A. de Jong
added a research item
Gnusletter, Antelope Specialist Group. Distribution of Lelwel hartebeest Alcelaphus buselaphus lelwel on Lolldaiga Hills Ranch, Laikipia County, central Kenya.
Yvonne A. de Jong
added a research item
Yvonne A. de Jong
added a research item
Introduction Laikipia County (ca. 9,700 km²), central Kenya, comprises a highly diverse landscape of grassland, bushland, woodland, dry forest, moist forest, riverine forest, wetland, and farmland. Mean annual rainfall ranges from 40 cm in the north to 120 cm in the southeast and southwest. Although mean annual rainfall is >80 cm in the southeast and southwest, about 75% of Laikipia County (hereafter, 'Laikipia') is semi-arid. The altitudinal range is 1,260-2,400 m above sea level. In 2013, there were about 43 people/km² and the total population was about 400,000 people. Much of Laikipia's natural habitat has been degraded, fragmented, or lost as a result of over-grazing and over-browsing by livestock, cutting of trees, conversion to farmland, and over-harvesting of water. Detailed descriptions of the environments of Laikipia, and the threats to these environments, are presented in Georgiadis (2011) and Butynski and De Jong (2014, 2015). In the case of vultures, feeding on poisoned mammal carcasses has probably been the main cause of declines and extirpations (Ogada et al. 2016).
Yvonne A. de Jong
added an update
Issue 17 (January - February 2018) of the Lolldaiga Hills Research Programme Newsletter is now online! https://goo.gl/x74HkJ
 
Yvonne A. de Jong
added an update
A solitary adult female Gadwall Mareca strepera was observed on Baharini Dam, northern Lolldaiga Hills Ranch (N0.29216; E37.13620; 1830 m asl) by Per Aronsson on 14 December 2017 and spent more than a month at this site. This individual was observed and photographed by Per Aronsson, Yvonne de Jong, Tom Butynski, and Carly Butynski on 4 January 2018.
 
Yvonne A. de Jong
added a research item
The Mount Kenya potto is currently considered a subspecies of the western potto (i.e., Perodicticus potto stockleyi). We argue that the Mount Kenya potto is a subspecies of the eastern potto (i.e., Perodicticus ibeanus stockleyi). This subspecies has not been observed alive for 79 years, and is assessed on the 2017 Red List as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct). We indicate priority field sites in which to search for P. i. stockleyi. Résumé: Le potto du Mont Kenya est actuellement considéré comme une sous-espèce du potto occidental (c-à-d. Perodicticus potto stockleyi). La présente étude suggère que le potto du Mont Kenya est une sous-espèce du potto oriental (c-à-d. Perodicticus ibeanus stockleyi). Cette sous-espèce n'a plus été observée vivante depuis 79 ans. En tant que telle, elle a été évaluée comme En danger critique (peut être Éteinte) sur la Liste Rouge 2017. Cet article présente des sites de terrain prioritaires pour la recherche de P. i. stockleyi.
Yvonne A. de Jong
added 2 research items
Here we present preliminary information on the distribution, abundance, and habitat requirements for 42 of the 54 larger mammals that are known to occur on Lolldaiga Hills Ranch, Laikipia, Kenya, as well as for two smaller mammals (i.e., unstriped ground squirrel and striped ground squirrel). The full list of mammals known to occur on Lolldaiga Hills Ranch can be viewed on <http://www.lolldaiga.com/biodiversityresearch/biodiversity/species-list/>.
Fact sheet concerning the geography, environment, and biodiversity of Laikipia County, central Kenya.
Yvonne A. de Jong
added an update
Please find the Lolldaiga Hills Research Programme's Monthly Newsletter for December 2016, as well as previous newsletters, at: http://www.lolldaiga.com/biodiversity-research/lolldaiga-hills-research-programme/newsletter/
 
Thomas M. Butynski
added an update
Yvonne A. de Jong
added a project goal
The Lolldaiga Hills Research Programme (LHRP) was initiated on 1st August 2013 as part of the research arm of the Sustainability Centre Eastern Africa (SCEA). The goal of the LHRP is to maintain, if not enhance, the conservation values of the LHCL over the long-term, while allowing for the sustainable use of the landscape’s natural resources. The LHRP will (1) establish climatic, ecological, and land-use baselines, and document and evaluate climatic, ecological, and land-use change, its direction (trend), its extent, and its significance (impact), (2) undertake and support applied ecological research, particularly on threatened species and habitats, and (3) conduct and support research relevant to the sustainable use of, and reclamation of, natural resources.