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An update on the progress of the Ishaqbini hirola sanctuary


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#1 Safaridude

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 06:46 PM

Just a small update here...(from my conversation with Ian Craig)

The construction of the hirola sanctuary is going well. It continues to have the full support of the Ishaqbini community.

The fencing is well on its way. The actual closure and capture target is early to mid August.

A group of 8 hirolas have voluntarily moved into the sanctuary (partially fenced now). The predator population is still healthy (there were 5 cheetahs inside the sanctuary area, signs of leopard kills inside and out, as well as lions and wild dogs in the greater Ishaqbini area.

The long-rains (March - May) were terrible... the Ishaqbini area having received only 3 or 4 downpours. Strangely, just further down toward the coast, rains were plentiful, so the majority of the cattle are over that way now.

#2 Paolo

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 07:45 PM

Thanks for the update.

If I recall correctly short rains were very good and plentiful instead.

#3 Atravelynn

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 12:41 AM

Nice to read some good news. Thanks.
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#4 twaffle

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:44 AM

Encouraging news. Any further updates on security and possible tourists endeavours for the next couple of years or is that a bit far off to consider for now?

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#5 Safaridude

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:53 AM

Twaffle, we did not discuss those issues. But I personally think it's possible in the next few years.
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#6 Game Warden

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:55 AM

Has Ian got any photos he can share Safaridude?

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#7 Safaridude

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 01:31 PM

Will ask

#8 Safaridude

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 03:52 PM

Photos courtesy of Ian Craig, including the last photo which shows the 8 hirolas who voluntarily moved into the sanctuary recently...

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#9 Game Warden

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:37 PM

Great thanks Safaridude. So when completely fenced, any predators will be rounded up from inside and translocated, or be persuaded to move elsewhere? What about other wildlife - is this an area which has any migratory routes? Is the fear that it may well become genetically isolated, or is the hirola population large enough for this not to happen?

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#10 Safaridude

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 05:17 PM

The current plan is to have some buffalo, topi, gerenuk, lesser kudu, reticulated giraffe, and oryx in the sanctuary. Yes, the predators will be asked to leave. Otherwise, they will be trapped and relocated. The sanctuary is a small piece of a larger conservation area, so there are no migratory route concerns. The sanctuary should have at least 30-40 hirolas (maybe more). That number is usually enough to mitigate inbreeding, but keep in mind that you can easily release animals from the sanctuary and/or recruit new ones from outside the sanctuary to ensure genetic flow.

Edited by Safaridude, 22 June 2012 - 05:17 PM.


#11 twaffle

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:07 PM

I love the ribbons on the fence, very maridadi! :)

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#12 Safaridude

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 11:05 AM

Apparently the ribbons are for the giraffes there. They kept walking into the fence!

#13 twaffle

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 03:38 PM

Such a simple solution.

… clarity in thought comes after challenge …


#14 Safaridude

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:02 PM

Incredibly great news!

The hirola capture operation is complete. There are now 48 hirolas inside the sanctuary (24 of them went in under their own volition, and the other 24 were captured). No fatalities so far... which is absolutely incredible. There are now a few topis, oryx, lesser kudu, buffalo and gerenuk inside the sanctuary as well. 6 cheetahs and 3 hyenas have been removed from the sanctuary. So, here we go... the hirolas just has to start breeding. Apparently, some of them appear to be heavily pregant and doing fine.

A full report by KWS is upcoming.

We the Safaritalk members can all take pride in the awareness and fundraising campaign that made this possible.

Edited by Safaridude, 21 August 2012 - 12:03 PM.

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#15 Game Warden

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:11 PM

We need some intrepid roving reporters to get on scene...

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#16 Safaridude

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 01:22 PM

There will be several reports coming out shortly, I am sure.

#17 twaffle

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 01:34 PM

Uplifting indeed. Just the sort of news the Game Warden needed.

… clarity in thought comes after challenge …


#18 Paolo

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 01:44 PM

Fantastic news!

#19 Sverker

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 01:49 PM

The fence seems to be jumpable for leopards and lions, but I am hoping that I am wrong.

I suppose that there are no elephants around ...
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#20 Sangeeta

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:37 PM

The fence seems to be jumpable for leopards and lions, but I am hoping that I am wrong.

I suppose that there are no elephants around ...


I'm hoping you are wrong too! Can you clarify this, Safaridude? Not much anyone can do against a determined ele, but I am sure they must have considered the fence height and design carefully.

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