By Hannah Campbell

Conservation and Wildlife Security

Earlier this month, our Conservation Officer, Horris Wanyama, attended an Elephant Monitoring Training Workshop lead by Save The Elephants in order to standardise elephant identification and monitoring methods across the landscape.

Save The Elephants, who are based up in Samburu, also shared their existing database of identified elephants. This is helpful as some of the elephants that we see at Loisaba make the 100 km journey up to Sera in Samburu, and could be unnecessarily identified twice if it wasn’t for this shared database.

Horris has been working with the rest of the conservation department in order to add to the database of elephant ID’s at Loisaba, with 52 females and 44 males currently identified.

Map to show elephants known as Kimita and Sankata at Loisaba during October 2019. Map © Space for Giants

Map to show Kimita and Sankata traveling through Isiolo to Samburu from 4th – 12th November 2019. Map © Space for Giants

Map to show Kimita and Sankata in Samburu at the beginning of this year. Map © Space for Giants

 

Community

After the successful Baotree trial in November and December last year, Koija community benefitted from the installation of predator proof bomas to 15 households as well as a five day healthcare training workshop that covered prevention of disease, basic first aid, nutrition and health and the dangers of drug abuse. Read more about Baotree here.

A big thank you to Paul (Community Officer) and Lenguya (SDZG Leopard Conservation Program) for organising the deployment of the bomas and the Loisaba workshop team for building them, to Kaltuma (Clinical Health Officer) and Paul for organising and implementing the health care workshop and to Dimitri (Baotree founder) for making it possible.

Installation of a predator proof boma

 

Healthcare workshop

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of Jillian Gann, we were also able to host two medical outreach clinics this month in Sagumai (8th Feb) and Morijo (22nd Feb), attending to a total of 192 patients. If you would like to contribute towards this critical healthcare for our local communities, help us reach our $10,000 goal for 2020 here.

Kaltuma and Jennifer treating patients at Morijo

 

Research

This month, our research team moved into their new offices! The team started with just two employees in 2017 on the SDZG Twiga Walinzi project. With the addition of the Leopard Conservation Program and four more employees, the team of six (along with their equipment) needed a larger working space for their research.

“On behalf of the entire team here, I would like to send a warm thank you to all. This is the best office ever with enough space for all of us, enough for all our equipment and the breeze outside is just so refreshing. The WiFi is also very good and we no longer need to use LAN cables. Thanks so much to Tom, Hannah, Richard, Gichuru, Njuguna and all that made the renovations happen.” – Symon Masiaine, Twiga Walinzi Conservation Coordinator

Symon Masiaine (Twiga Walinzi Conservation Coordinator)

Lexson (Twiga Walinzi), Anthony (Twiga Walinzi), Limo (Leopard Conservation Program) and Lenguya (Leopard Conservation Program) in their new office.

 

Photos of the Month

Most liked Instagram photo:

Marico Sunbird © Peter Ekidor

Most liked Facebook photo:

Leopard © Taro Croze

If you have any photos from your stay at Loisaba that you would like featuring on our social media, please email them stating how you would like it to be credited to Hannah at communications@loisaba.com!

 

 

By Hannah Campbell

Imagine waking up to find that you had lost your job and your life’s savings all in one night. You’d understandably hate whatever was responsible for your loss, and may even go out of your way to destroy it.

This is how a herder feels when he loses his entire herd of goats to a leopard or other predator attack during the night. As tourists and conservationists, we see these animals as magnificent cats that should be protected from extinction, but to the pastoralist communities that surround Loisaba, they are simply a huge risk to their livelihoods.

For the conservation of wildlife to be successful, it is vital that the people these species share their habitat with are also committed to their survival, and see a benefit and value to their existence.

A new coexistence model known as Baotree was recently trialed here at Loisaba, in partnership with Lion Landscapes. Designed and led by Dimitri Syrris, Baotree aims to provide local communities with a mechanism to actively earn community development goals, through carrying out conservation-based activities, thus engaging in the protection of their environment and their livelihoods. This approach keeps the responsibility for natural resource management firmly within the communities, whilst supporting and catalyzing the development of conservation-based activities.

“It is critical that, for conservation of wildlife and associated biodiversity to be successful, the custodians of existing ecosystems that support the magnitude of biodiversity required for the survival of large carnivores and other mega-fauna can benefit directly from that conservation. Loisaba Conservancy seeks to scale the impact of wildlife, livestock and community coexistence. What is needed is an inclusive approach that will promote diversity and achieve a credible, measurable result.” – Dimitri Syrris

The model works by assigning conservation tasks known as ‘gigs’ to communities, such as reporting a lion sighting to assist with research and strengthening their boma to help reduce human wildlife conflict. Each of these gigs is rewarded with a conservation currency, “bao-points”, which are then exchanged for a community benefit. The more important the gig for conservation, the more bao-points earned!

Invasive Species Removal

During the trail, the following steps were carried out:

  • The Baotree concept was presented to the chief, chairman and community members of Koija
  • Priority needs were agreed with the community members
  • Baotree community volunteers were identified and provided with a unique Baotree ID, registered to their community
  • In collaboration with Loisaba Conservancy and Lion Landscapes, the Baotree gigs were designed to support localised conservation efforts
  • Baotree printed a list of gigs that the community could complete in order to earn Bao-points (each gig had a specified evidence requirement) – the value of each gig was not shared with the community during this pilot to ensure there was no skew re which gigs were completed
  • The Bao-crew reported the gigs via phone call, which were then validated by members of Loisaba staff
  • On completion of the Baotree pilot, a community meeting was held to signify the end of the test period, and to discuss implementing the community project goals.

List of Community Gigs and associated Bao-Points

The pilot was a great success, with Koija community earning a total of 2,732 Bao-points after completing 125 gigs. Information from community meetings and a recent survey showed that within these communities, the men would like to see their livestock better protected and the women would like a better understanding of healthcare.

Installation of a predator proof boma

Baotree allowed the installation of 15 predator-proof bomas, along with a five day healthcare training workshop that covered prevention of disease, basic first aid, nutrition and health and the dangers of drug abuse.

Healthcare workshop

Dimitri is currently working on the next steps, with the success of the pilot pushing him forward.  A core focus is on scaling the solution through a technology facilitation platform –  where all stakeholders within conservation, communities and the international world will have a positive return on impact.  Dimitri is a strong believer in Baotree and his vision for coexistence to be key in unlocking a new type of digital independence within the African continent.

Follow Baotree on Instagram and Facebook for updates!

Baotree founder, Dimitri Syrris, with Baotree participants