Samburu Long Term Monitoring Monthly Report Aug 2008


by David Daballen

Date Published

A brief summary of recordings in Samburu on the Long Term Monitoring for the month of August 2008.

Total monthly rainfall: Nil extremely hot

Number of Days Spent Monitoring: 15 days

Total Number of Individuals Recorded: 295

Total Number Bulls: 5

Total Number Cows/Calves: 290

Proportion (%) Recorded Last Month: 74%

Number of Mature Bulls: 5

Number of New Calves: 7

Number of Estrus Females: Nil

Number of Deaths: Nil

Recorded Births: 7

Estrus/Matings: None Recorded

Deaths: Nil within our patrol

Musth: Nil

Other relevant information:


A student from Belfast University John who is starting his PHD on Giraffe’s visited us here in camp for two weeks. He was looking if he could come and look at the rare Reticulated Giraffe who are only found in north Kenya.

Because wildlife here in general are quite calm compared to other parts in Kenya or African by the end of his two weeks. He has achieved a lot in-terms of individual Identification. He also liked the study.

If all goes well with him, he was very much considering coming back for his study in Samburu.

Thure Cerling:

Thure Cerling Professor at Utah University who is Isotopes expert and long term collaborator of STE paid very short visit, at our research place to check the situation with all the tail hairs and any other interesting samples like toe nails horns and jaws.

He was in Ethiopia in River OMO where they where looking for more fossils, and checking some ancient construction and he was explaining to us what he found and what they have seen which sounded fascinating.


Chyulu Smith is friend to Andrew the expert bush pilot who has been a big help many times and we have taken him as one of us. Mid Feb this year an expedition went to Mali to collar the last remedy of the Sahel elephants.

That is when Chyulu then joined to accompany Andrew and become big help; she was on the Air support team. She took lots of good pictures and interesting notes, which were companied later for the final report.

However the field notes she took were helpful for her school fieldwork, as result of clarification she wanted to make she had to come back and went through our immobilization file and conducted some interviews.

Elephants Funeral (Jow)

Having worked with the BBC, and come out twice with the crew Jow was well unknown to STE field staff. She did come this time out not for filming, but the follow up of the elephant’s funeral part, which was shoot in one of the episodes. To get some insights of the behaviors displayed by individual families to massai girl female who died in the reserve.

She spent fours days in camp, the first thing we did was to identify all the characters in the scene and who was doing what, for how long, and all that behavioral activities were broken down by both Lucy and I. We are hoping to get some scientific paper out of it.