Samburu Long Term Monitoring Monthly Report Feb 2008


by David Daballen, STE Field Leader

Date Published

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

Total monthly rainfall Nil. Number of Days Spent Monitoring: 16 days. Total Number of Individuals Recorded: 284

Total Number Bulls: 8. Total Number Cows/Calves: 276. Proportion (%) Recorded Last Month: Number of Mature Bulls: 7. Number of New Calves: 3. Number of Estrus Females: none observed. Number of Deaths: 2. Recorded Births: Nil. Deaths: two. Musth: Three


Toward’s the end of January, we received very unseasoned rainfall in Samburu and the adjust area. Very light showers in the Reserve but a strong storm in areas like Kalama and toward sapache. Nearly a month most of our resident females were spending a lot of time in Kalama conservancy. Anastasia was good example as we could monitor her through her GPS radio collar. Its good sign that area like Kalama are becoming more and more wildlife-relaxing haven!!

Field notes:

End of Feb beginning of March. We sent some of our experts to the on-going Tsavo count, after Kenya Wildlife Service kindly asked Iain for his usual support, both in terms of human resource and any other related assistance on the on-going traditional elephant count at Tsavo.

The team was comprising of GIS experts from STE and other experiences technical personnel including Onesmas, new staff member Alice were all representing STE at this historic counts. That was huge input from us and highly appreciated by our associate partner KWS.

Collaring & Injured Elephants:

February 4, Chege a KWS vet was flown from Lewa to Samburu, to replace Anastasia old due collar. Rosemary collar was also replace after the collar failed in one month of deploying, and at sometimes the Vet attend some injured elephants too.

The elephants that got treated are Nyerere, the middle age bull; non-breeding female misty from cloud family who was also in the list of priorities the vet has to do.

Due to long and well experience STE team, both collaring other operations went very well. Our hope is that the recent deployed collars will last for longer time and update us on the daily need of the jumbos.

There was another report of injured elephant east of Isiolo; due to agricultural activities by the communities living near-by the area is not friendly to roaming beast.

Probably very little conservation awareness on this area too. The vet requested Iain if we could assist him to facilitate his transport? Due to our daily collaboration we had to drive Dr Chege to where the animal was last seen.

Upon our arrival, we found KWS ranges looking for the injured animal in the area it was last seen. The terrain was a rough thick melifera bush, too rocky for driving off-track.

We divided ourselves into two groups and searched for couples of hrs, after the team exhorted its search it was then decide that we abandon the exercise, because the animal is either dead laying in some thicket or its gone. Chege and I return to our base but at-least we gave a trial.