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pault

Wild dogs almost gone from Laikipia?

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I heard that all of the known wild dog packs in Laikipia have been wiped out by canine distemper - just some individuals left.  Attributable indirectly to the land invasions I suppose but just shows how fragile things are. This apparently happened in the middle of this year but I have seen nothing about it and searches are making me none the wiser. Anyone have some news on this? 

 

Here is the link. I can't vouch for it as I don't have time for research now.

https://m.phys.org/news/2017-09-wildlife-price-kenya-illegal-grazing.html

 

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Oh Dear ....... 

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it wouldn't surprise me at all: even in a super-controlled and mostly fenced enviroment like Kruger in ZA an entire pack was recently wiped out by canine distemper

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Tragic if true. If anyone hears anymore I hope they will let us know. Fingers crossed in the meantime.

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I can't bring myself to click "like" but thanks for the sad update @pault.

 

I hope it turns out better than feared and that the Wild Dog and herbivore populations can be rebuilt.

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Posted (edited)

This is truly heart breaking. There is a quote from Annabele Carey from LWC in the article so it certainly appears this tragic news is true.    Time will tell if the various species can rebound. :(

Edited by lmonmm
uh

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Annabelle said on FB that there have been some sightings, so fingers crossed that there is a core population still remaining or at least enough individuals to form a core. What heartbreaking news this is :( And this was such a success story...

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Posted (edited)

As @Sangeeta says Annabelle commented on a FB group 'The African Wild Dog' thread sharing this article

 

But they are not all dead, not every dog in every pack, this is misleading and makes the story stronger. There are still sightings reports coming in but as explained to the writer they are not all dead. Distemper wiped out the dog population in 2006 and by 2008 there were substantial packs in laikipia growing again. They need protection that is for sure and canine distemper is devastating but keep it in perspective."

Edited by IamFisheye
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Ugh this is so frustrating.  I'm selfishly glad for myself that I went when I did in February, but feel so sad for the wildlife in Laikipia, not just the dogs as the article makes clear.  I hope they will be able to rebound again as apparently they have done in the past.

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Posted (edited)

On 22.9.2017 at 5:59 PM, Sangeeta said:

Annabelle said on FB that there have been some sightings, so fingers crossed that there is a core population still remaining or at least enough individuals to form a core.

 

What else is she supposed to say? She has to protect their business

Edited by ice

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@ice, I think that's a very cynical comment on your part. If there are no dogs, it isn't as if people wouldn't get to know eventually. As Annabelle says, these dogs have suffered from distemper outbreaks before, but they have bounced back. Why should that not be the case again? 

It's easy to attribute motives to people. But it is not nice to make these types of subjective comments on a public forum.

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@Sangeeta

 

and what exactly are your motives (as a travel agent)? And if you had read more carefully, you could have noticed that I never questioned that these dogs might recover (I'm sure they will). All I did was quote Annabelle's comment "There have been some sightings" - now "some" is (I hope you will agree) a very vague expression - "some" could be three sightings a day, three sightings a week or three sightings a month; "some" could relate to single dog sightings or splinter group sightings or pack sightings; "some" could mean "up close" or "far away in the distance" and last but not least "some" could mean "a brief glimpse" or "for hours at a time"

 

As a travel agent I am also sure will agree that all these factors make a huge difference to potential tourists who are thinking about trying LWC to find dogs or possibly head somewhere else where the chances in theory are better

 

The way Annabelle's comments on FB were quoted here, for somebody who does know who she is, it could have been easy to believe she is a tourist, so for those around here who are not as knowledgable as you are, I merely pointed out that she could have an agenda - it's up for each and every one to himself to decide if that is indeed the case or not

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On 9/21/2017 at 5:45 PM, ice said:

it wouldn't surprise me at all: even in a super-controlled and mostly fenced enviroment like Kruger in ZA an entire pack was recently wiped out by canine distemper

Are you for real? It sounds as if you are hoping for something bad to happen in Kruger for some reason. You then persist with an attack on a number member for no apparent reason.

 

I remember that Dr Clay reported a pack that went missing during a distemper outbreak in Maun. I have also heard that similar outbreaks have hurt the Madikwe and the Hluhluwe population. But closer to home, our reserve in Botswana had an outbreak of rabies and our dog pack went from 33 to 7 in the space of a few days. They say that sometimes mongoose are carriers. But the good news is that the numbers recover very quickly and the 7 went to 17 in a very short space in time. We subsequently sterilized our breeding dog, to prevent the numbers getting too high, and we also inoculated most the remaining dogs. 

 

Once they have moved the invaders out, I am pretty sure that will be able to source more dogs for re-introduction. The true concern here is how easy it is for wildlife habitat to be lost, and how difficult it is to get back. Lets hope they are able to sort out the issue with invaders. 

 

BTW - I have a great explanation about the land invasions here - The cattle barons of Kenya

 

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Mashatu also lost their wild dogs to disease or poisoning a couple of years ago.

They have successfully re-introduced the species.

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Posted (edited)

 

4 hours ago, ice said:

@Sangeeta

 

and what exactly are your motives (as a travel agent)?

@ice - clearly nefarious and underhanded, if one reads between your lines :P It might surprise you to know that camp owners and travel agents can be wildlife enthusiasts & conservation-minded too. The two are not mutually exclusive.

 

I suggest you re-read what Annabelle said (quoted in its original by @IamFisheye above) and what I paraphrased - and do that with a non-prejudiced eye. Does it really sound to you like either of us is suggesting that Laikipia is a wonderful place right now for dog sightings? She was simply trying to say that she thinks there may be a remnant population left over in the area. And I see no reason to doubt her because such a thing is not unusual in cases of distemper, and because she probably has better info than any of us right now, considering how closely they track dogs at LWC.

 

If you are concerned about the number and quality of sightings, perhaps you should simply ask for clarification? And if you want to clarify who Annabelle is, perhaps you should simply state that.

 

As for me, the quality of guiding and wildlife, as well as the overall safari experience (especially for families), is of such high quality at LWC that I would continue to encourage people to go there, provided they are not going there only for dogs. That's not so hard to understand.

 

Edited by Sangeeta
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I concur with @Sangeeta . If you really care, then go and visit the area. The loss of the dogs and the influx of the invaders should be a good reason to give them some support. 

 

If Sangeeta is a tour operator, I am sure she could offer you a multitude of other alternatives and you are welcome to book your stay at Laikipia through another agent. So I cant see the relevance of drawing a facebook squabble to this platform and trying to claim that her sadness for this tragedy is because of personal interest.

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I am not interested in Sangeeta's services as a travel agent and I am neither interested in booking a stay at LWC through another operator: I have visited the area and personally, I found nothing exceptional about it (except their rather high rates). So if I was asked for my opinion I would advise people to head somewhere else and that's the last I will  add to this thread. 

 

ice off

 

 

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2 hours ago, Sangeeta said:
4 hours ago, Bugs said:

Are you for real? It sounds as if you are hoping for something bad to happen in Kruger for some reason. You then persist with an attack on a number member for no apparent reason.

 

 

read more carefully: I am saying it has already happened in Kruger

 

and I have not been attacking anybody, I was questioning or asking for motives, something that is regularly done at places like tripadvisor but seems totally utterly out of place here at TA - so:

I am awfully and extremely sorry if I have hurt anybody's feelings

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conclusion:

 

I'm am not interested in Sangeeta's services as a travel agent and I am neither interested in booking a stay at LWC through another operator: I have visited the area and personally, I found nothing exceptional about it (except their rather high rates). So if I was asked for my opinion I would advise people to head somewhere else and that's the last I will  add to this thread. (sorry but to now book a stay at LWC to support them is a ridiculous advice I am not even going to comment)

 

ice off

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8 hours ago, Bugs said:

BTW - I have a great explanation about the land invasions here - The cattle barons of Kenya

 

That is a great treatise you have put together there @Bugs - well done!     As with so many of the world's problems, the root causes are overpopulation (of humans and their livestock) and lack of education.    And these are exploited cynically by economic elites and evil rabble-rousing politicians like Matthew Lempurkel.

 

I was encouraged to read that the Samburu-Pokot alliance and that of some of the cartel members might fray and fall apart after the 2017 elections.  And that signs of this are already appearing.   I was very glad that Lempurkel lost his re-election bid, but I read today that local judges are starting to use Kenya's recent Supreme Court Presidential Election ruling as a precedent to invalidate local elections.    I sure hope this does not occur in Laikipia North!

 

* Question for you:   one of the root causes of the livestock overpopulation is wealthy people becoming cattle barons as a "tax shelter" to hide and grow their investments.   Do you think large-scale livestock deaths in the recent drought will deter or reduce this tax dodge scheme in future?  

 

 

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7 hours ago, ice said:

conclusion:

 

I'm am not interested in Sangeeta's services as a travel agent and I am neither interested in booking a stay at LWC through another operator: I have visited the area and personally, I found nothing exceptional about it (except their rather high rates). So if I was asked for my opinion I would advise people to head somewhere else and that's the last I will  add to this thread. (sorry but to now book a stay at LWC to support them is a ridiculous advice I am not even going to comment)

 

ice off

I think you have done a wise thing to mention that one should do their own due diligence and feedback from a camp owner or travel agent is just one data point - I would definitely agree with you and question it.

 

There are number of experts mentioned in the article:

- Dedan Ngatia - in the Mpala Research centre

- Jaymie Gaymer- conservation manager to the Ol Jogi conservancy whose conservancy is definitely not as dependant on a one trick pony and so maybe might have less bias - key is an open mind

 

Just to add further perspective- Jaymie does say " apart from a few individual dogs," so not sure what is all the song and dance on the article not being on the money- it seems it totally is and is definitely not saying each dog is dead but that all packs have been obliterated which is frankly a very very serious thing ( yes lets put it in the right perspective).... - the article specifically talking of 7 packs. maybe there are 2 dogs left over 7 packs, maybe there are 4-5. Maybe there has been 1 sighting since July when this happened over just a week. I agree with ice that words like "some" etc are intangible. There are no pics, not updates on any dogs sightings in Lemboro or Mpala for ages.  Yes lets keep it in perspective but the perspective is lets not hide our heads in the sand. When the Laikipia violence barely started many many months ago and some of us actually expressed concern because we had better knowhow , a similar casual statement was made by LWC on things not being as bad. The situation is that things are very very bad in Laikipia and acceptance is the first step towards giving the right support to this wonderful place, not any support but the right one if there is one.

 

I also agree with ice, the place is fairly overpriced for what it offers- its beautiful with wide scenic views and a feeling of wilderness inspite of numerous cows and camels, but I also remember that there are some far more wonderful places in Laikipia at that price point with better wild life ( or there used to be before all of them got dumped). Am not sure that things will not keep deteriorating in Laikipia- lets keep it in perspective, the cattle invasion, the politics are fairly unprecedented in recent history and only growing so not fair to draw a comparison from 2008- what if those masai dogs are here to stay

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@offshorebirder , I honestly don't know enough to predict anything. There are many forces at work, and that's why I like the article so much as it gives a detailed analysis, and makes an effort to understand many of those forces at work. What happens next is anyone's guess, but it doesn't look good.

 

Please share the article as much as possible. There is a good reason why the writer doesn't want to be named.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks @Bugs - I have been sharing it with friends, including several in Kenya.

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So that was a

On 9/21/2017 at 7:45 AM, pault said:

 Anyone have some news on this?

 

 

So that was pretty much a "no". :rolleyes:  

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I have just received the news letter from Laikipia Wilderness Camp

 

Sadly it makes no mention of dog sightings BUT one of the guides has recently seen a Zorilla. No picture though.

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