CT Newsletter Issue 1 2009


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The Colobus Trust is a conservation organisation designed to promote the conservation, preservation and protection of primates like the rare Angolan Colobus monkey (Colobus angolensis palliatus) and its coastal forest habitat in southern Kenya. The Trust was established in 1997 in response to an outcry from local residents about the high number of deaths of the Colobus in the Diani area. Now the Trust has numerous projects concerning the wildlife and the citizens of Kenya, including animal welfare, biological/ecological research, community development and education, forest protection and enrichment and eco-tourism awareness programs.
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CT Newsletter Issue 1 2009

  1. 1. Colobus Trust Newsletter 12 years of Primate Protection Issue I 2009 Www.colobustrust.org WE ARE STILL HERE! Yes we are! Many of our valued supporters have asked directions. For example, this year we are embarking what has happened to the Colobus Trust newsletter. It on a major census of primates and mammals in key has indeed been some time since the last one, so it is forest patches along the south coast; getting the power with pride - and some relief - that we are able to bring you lines insulated to stop the horrendous electrocutions of this special edition, to bring you up-to-date with all that primates is already being tackled and EIAs has been happening at the Colobus Trust and its plans (Environmental Impact Assessments) of potentially for the coming year. damaging developments in forest areas will be As for many organizations in Kenya, last year was a undertaken. All the activities struggle for the Colobus Trust as will continue in conjunction we had to weather the massive with key partners, in drop-off in tourism following the particular Camp Kenya and political clashes in Kenya after the the Kenya Wildlife presidential election of December Service. 2007. 75% of the core revenue However, the challenges of comes from tourism and the Trust running this small was left with very little income for a conservation organization significant chunk of 2008. increase by the day. As The reduction in international Diani develops there is volunteers also affected the more and more impact on amount of conservation work that our wildlife, and this year we was achieved, as most of the also face the challenges of activities depend to an extent on the world financial crisis. So the manpower and skills that the Colobus Trust needs volunteers bring with them. more support and However, the Trust has survived assistance than ever. We this challenging period and is still hope that this newsletter will managing to run its core give you insight into the programmes trying against greater front-line conservation work and greater odds to protect the that is done, and allow you coastal forest; caring for injured to understand how important your support of the and vulnerable primates; educating school children Colobus Trust is. about environmental issues and reducing risks to To learn more about the Colobus Trust and to keep up- primates from threats such as snares, traffic and un- to-date with the daily happenings at the Trust, take a insulated power lines. look at our blog: http://colobus.wildlifedirect.org/. As The fact that the Trust has continued to exist is due in no we move into a new era for the Trust, we hope you will small part to those who responded to the appeal for continue to be involved and help us to try to secure a support that went out in December. To those who positive future for the colobus and other primates of assisted, thank you for your help. Due to you, and of the south coast of Kenya. course to the dedicated staff, the volunteers, a few special individuals and the partner organizations, the Colobus Trust has come through the storm and is still From the Trustees: alive and kicking. Raymond Matiba, Jophie Clark, Luciana Parrazi, Lulu So what does 2009 hold for the Colobus Trust? We are moving into the coming year with a renewed sense of The Trust would like to thank Superior vigor and purpose, and with a new strategic plan in place Printers, Mombasa for supporting the entire for the next five years, which will allow us to continue our print run of this special edition of the CT core work and to branch out in new and challenging Newsletter 1
  2. 2. 12 Years and fighting on... By Onesmus Macharia (CT Manager) Dear Friends of the Colobus Trust, monkey and so much other wildlife. Looking back on the last year, I often wonder how we The Trust continues to address this problem through have managed to survive. It has not been an easy task dialogue with forest owners including hoteliers, but then who ever said that facing the type of traditional kaya elders and relevant governmental challenges that we do at the Trust would be easy. organizations. In a number of incidents the Trust had to Rather, having a tough ride is the rather unfortunate resort to exposés through the media and our blog, reality of conservation that we have to come to terms thanks to our effective blogger and assistant manager, with. On the other side of the coin, it is also within the Gwili Gibbon. We have also made strong same context that one realises just how many good presentations to the Land Use Planning Committee, people there are out there that genuinely care for which visited the Trust last year. Our recommendation wildlife, and who have been supportive of the Trust is that the south coast should be declared an eco- during this difficult time. So where exactly are we one tourism zone and all development proposals be year on from the post election crises that brought our thoroughly vetted to avoid turning the area into a mass beautiful country to its knees? tourism zone dominated by concrete. Should this approach be adopted at a national level, HABITAT LOSS THROUGH DEFORESTATION habitat for the colobus and other primates in Diani will Tourism is fast expanding along Kenya's fragile south be safe-guarded. Indeed, habitat conservation has coast, and particularly in Diani. The level of tourist been recognized as the most important part of the infrastructure is ever increasing, including hotels, Trust's new 2009 -2013 Strategic plan. The Trust will shopping malls, private villas, sports facilities and continue to campaign for the preservation of remaining housing for workers serving in the hotel industry. forest patches at all available forums. In most cases, these developments take place in total disregard for environmental laws (contained in the PRIMATE ELECTROCUTIONS BY POWER LINES Environmental Management and Coordination Act of The rapid growth in tourism infrastructure has meant a 1999). The result has been the destruction of prime corresponding expansion of the electricity supply lines. forest habitat, home to the black-and-white colobus U n f o r t u n a t e l y, s a f e t y f o r arboreal wildlife has never been considered by the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KP&LC) during its endeavours to meet growing power demands. Un- insulated power lines are cheaper and have therefore been favoured by the company, leading to continued electrocutions of numerous monkeys including the colobus. Recently the KP&LC has acknowledged the issue of monkey electrocutions in Diani and has promised to take measures to end the problem. Trial insulation of power lines in areas where monkeys have frequently been electrocuted has been initiated by the Colobus Trust with the help of Camp Kenya, and KP&LC have provided technical experts to supervise the installation of insulating conduits. Ultimately the Trust would like to see the KP&LC taking full responsibility to ensure the problem of Diani's primates being electrocuted is eliminated. Based on the 2
  3. 3. lessons learnt in Diani, these safety measures for wildlife should then be applied by the KP&LC throughout the country. CRIPPLING FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS Funding is critical for any organization. Traditionally, the Colobus Trust has depended on internally generated funds through the volunteers' programme, eco- tourism activities, sale of merchandise, and occasional fund raising events supported by the South Coast Residents Association and members of the Trust board. The Trust also enjoys limited financial support from international well wishers through our blog, hosted by Wildlife Direct. Other sources of funding are our membership and Colobus Trustee Raymond Matiba and Manager Onesmus colobus adoption schemes. Appeals to Macharia receive a donation of Ksh. 100,000/= from the Director individuals and organizations also occasionally of Lantana Homes, Hamish Govani yield some funding for the Trust. For the last year the Colobus Trust has been operating under difficult financial circumstances. The catalyst for this near crippling situation was the political crisis that erupted after the December 2007 disputed presidential elections in the country. From a full capacity booking of volunteers in December 2007, we experienced massive cancellations of bookings only a few days after the crisis and the situation has never been the same since. In fact we did not have a single volunteer in December 2008 despite the period being the peak tourist season. Eco-tours did not fare any better as there were very few tourists on Diani beach. On a positive note, the crisis has been an eye opener to the Trust that the organization is too dependent on tourism for its operations. As a first step to reduce this dependence, the board of directors has employed a fund raising consultant to coordinate all fund raising activities. Working closely with the management team of the Trust, the consultant is formulating achievable fundraising strategies for the immediate and long term needs of the Colobus Trust. Fundraising this year got off to a good start with a generous donation from Lantana Homes. These are the sort of local support initiatives that are so necessary for non-profit organisations like ours. The Trust will also continue to participate in the WSPA sponsored fund raising training programme. This programme is intended to help participating organizations to develop capacities in fundraising instead of being donor dependent. Thus expectations are high that the current financial crisis will soon be resolved. With the determination of management spearheaded by the board of directors, we know we can steer the 3
  4. 4. Wildlife Care by Lulu Clark (Trustee) If you enjoy having wildlife in Diani as much as I do, and especially in your own garden, and you wish to help them tackle the dry season, traffic, dogs, snares and power lines, here are a few things you can easily do to help them out: 1.Put water into the trees; select a tree that allows monkeys access by tree as opposed to on the ground, especially if you have dogs. A simple 'karai' or bowl filled with water and securely positioned into a fork in the tree, above the reach of any dogs you may have and away from any roads where cars may be passing close by, is a great help to the monkeys, and you will be rewarded by a steady flow of visitors. The water will also attract a lot of birds and maybe some squirrels. Remember to fill it up morning and evening as once they know it is there your arboreal waterhole will be an important stopping place on their daily travels. 2.If you are lucky enough to have suni in your garden, during the dry season you can keep a patch of grass watered so that they always have something to eat. Ideally it should be at the edge of the garden as they feel more secure near the bush, and again, make sure it is well away from any dogs or roads. You could also keep a karai or basin of water on the ground as although suni usually get enough moisture from the vegetation they eat, when the vegetation dries out they will drink water. 3.Did you know that you can order suni meat at Mwisho wa Lami? Ask your gardener to do regular checks for snares in your own garden and in any bush nearby, even if it is not your property. 4.Dispose properly of your own rubbish and collect rubbish whenever you can … empty tins, broken bottles etc are a hazard to wildlife. A member of staff at the Colobus Trust recently helped a civet cat that had its head stuck in a tin; imagine its relief when the tin was pulled off. 5.Get ready to plant indigenous trees … to be ready for the long rains, now is the time of year to be digging holes for trees. Remember the holes should be 4 ft square and filled with good topsoil. The Colobus Trust has an indigenous tree nursery and can offer advice on what to plant and where. 6.Support the Colobus Trust power line insulation program; get your power lines insulated and prevent any more deaths by electrocution on your patch. 7.Stick to the 50 kph speed limit on the Diani Beach Road and encourage others to do the same. T/A: Superior Printers Ltd. Purifies any Source of Water be it from Tap or Borehole to Bottled Quality Drinking Water in your Home or Office!!! Superior House, Makadara Road, Opp. G.P.O., P.O. Box 90181, Mombasa 80100 Kenya. Tel: 2311390/2316792/2223978, Fax: 2227532,Cell: 0733 786 552 / 0712 457 555 E-mail: sales_superior@nurseif.com www.superiorpurifiers.com 4
  5. 5. FUN LEARNING WITH EXPERTS By Hamisi Pakiah (CT Education Officer) Charity work can be very broad, and that's why there is charity education at the Colobus trust. Come every Tuesday and you will see our dedicated staff, with at least a group of thirty happy students, ready for a full day’s learning. And on two Fridays of each month the team visits a school for an outreach programme. The education programme is about eleven years old and provides education to primary, secondary and college students. There is nothing as fun as an educational workshop at the Colobus Trust. Students get to learn more about wildlife, habitat, ecology, conservation and Last year, 2008, generous donors helped the being kind to the animal kingdom in general. Colobus Trust to employ more casual By taking a walk through our nature trail, students learn labourers to remove snares in the more about trees, monkey species, and other small animals. At the Centre, they also get to see the surrounding areas in Diani. They were unfortunate ex-pet monkeys undergoing rehabilitation. removing an average of 40-50 snares per This empowers them to report any such future cases to the Colobus Trust as well as passing information to the day, the worst having been 137 snares in entire community around them. Monkeys are part of just one day in one area. It was a gruesome our wildlife and an attraction to the tourism sector. They job as several dead animals were found deserve the same respect as leopards and elephants. It is very true that every tourist staying in Diani will take which included not only suni and monkeys, a picture of a monkey. but also cats and dogs. The attached photo At the trust you can also watch “Mizoga”, a video by Born Free in collaboration with Kenyatta University, is of a lucky Suni, called Bambi, who which explores the very complicated problems survived, but sadly her mother was found surrounding bushmeat consumption. Long dead in a snare. The Colobus Trust is still discussions with the students always follows after this drama. And finally, after a long day of walking, learning continuing with this program, but much and discovering, kids enjoy our beach (environmental) reduced, due to financial constraints. Any games, but not before completing our workbooks and donations to the Trust for this purpose worksheets. Over 1000 students visit the Trust each year. Our would be much appreciated to enable us to education programmes have been supported by the go full steam ahead. World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and our outreach programs could not have been (Luciana Parazzi, Colobus Trustee) possible without our WSPA donated vehicle. The Colobus Trust also continues to work very close with teachers. KWAPAG, for example, is a group of wildlife patrons from Kwale district under the umbrella of the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya. Competitions to registered members have been done twice, both held at the Colobus Trust. The first one commemorated the Trust’s tenth anniversary. We supported these events by providing educational material and prizes. All the participants agreed that the Trust was the best venue and that's why it hosted the second prize giving. Our way forward: In partnership with WSPA, we hope to purchase visual resources for our outreach programmes. We will also be launching special packages for schools to come and stay and learn at the Trust. Keep visiting our blog for updates. And Remember: By being kind to any animal you are helping create a better future. 5
  6. 6. The Importance of primate status of the primate populations, and in particular the colobus. monitoring programmes (By Monitoring programmes are often used in conservation biology, especially with large mammals Julie Belmont, CT Volunteer) including primates. Such programmes consist of doing regular and numerous surveys of species The south coast of Kenya forms part of the “Coastal populations within a precise area. In our case, we Forests of Eastern Africa” Global Biodiversity Hotspot want to make two surveys per year, conducting and thus is recognised internationally as a unique area, fieldwork sessions in Diani forest and within all the the wildlife and ecosystems of which must be protected. surrounding kayas (local sacred forests) (see green For more than 10 years the Colobus Trust has been areas on the map). During these sessions, we will dedicated to the conservation and welfare of primates walk along targeted areas, following a precise living in the Diani area, and especially the charismatic methodology and recording data on each primate and vulnerable Angolan black and white colobus monkey identified. In this way we will be able to answer (Colobus angolensis palliatus). many questions about populations and troops In Diani, the major human impact on wildlife comes from organizations, including for example population habitat alterations due to the growing human population. sizes, troop structure, sex and age ratios, Within the last few reproduction rates, years, increasing etc. This valuable tourism, urban information will give expansion and new us indications of how roads have had a huge stable the monkey negative impact on the populations in the remnants of a once area are, and what the large and rich forest main factors are that ecosystem. affect this stability. Yo u c a n s t i l l s e e We will be able to monkeys on a daily determine existing basis in Diani, including and new threats and vervets, Sykes, colobus be able to act against and baboons. These them in an informed species have tried in manner. different ways to adapt Obviously such an to their rapidly changing ambitious project will environment, for require a huge example by foraging on amount of input, both rubbish tips, eating in the field and for data introduced plants in analysis and private gardens, and reporting, and taking food from therefore needs kitchens and dining significant funding. areas. However this However the products impression of a large of the project will number of monkeys is benefit not just the an illusion. The Trust Trust, by informing the has been conducting regular primate censuses for the future focus of our conservation efforts, but will be past decade and has seen a decline in numbers for all hugely useful to other students and scientists species, and especially for the colobus. Colobus have a conducting studies in the area. With future special and limited diet, constituted only of leaves and collaborations and funding, we hope to extend the some flowers, which does not allow them to adapt as well monitoring programme on a wider geographical area as other species. Therefore they are much more in the south coast. sensitive to habitat modification. The Trust will also use the opportunity to gather data Due to the major financial difficulties that the Trust faced on other wildlife species encountered during the field during the past year, it was not possible to conduct a work. This will allow us to have a better proper census of primates and we are therefore uncertain understanding of the species richness of the south about the current status of primate populations in Diani. coastal forests, and will hopefully inspire new studies This is really worrying, especially for the colobus which of the fauna of this unique area of the world. are so vulnerable. As the Trust emerges from this Even though much forest and wildlife has already difficult period, it is with a will to renew proper scientific been lost, there is still hope. This monitoring research in the area. One of Trust's objectives over the programme will help ensure that what is left has a coming decade is to conduct a large, ongoing primate stable and long-term future. monitoring programme, to permit us to follow closely the 6
  7. 7. THANK YOU! THE COLOBUS TRUST WOULD Preparing insulation material with Camp Kenya for LIKE TO THANK ALL THE open electricity cables INDIVIDUALS AND Partners in ORGANISATIONS FOR THEIR CONTINUOS AND DEDICATED Primate SUPPORT WITHOUT WHICH WE Protection SINCERELY WOULD NOT HAVE For BEEN ABLE TO MAKE IT Diani THROUGH LAST YEAR When I started working for the Trust in October 2007 I had Assistant only just completed my degree. Whenever asked what I wanted to do after university my idealistic response was “run away to Africa and save monkeys”. Needless to say, Manager, Gwili when I received a phone call asking me to come out as soon as possible I could never had said no! Seventeen months have now passed. As you would expect from a tourist town, not one of these months has been the Gibbon says, same as another. I have seen volunteers come and go; I have lived alone for many months and at other times I have had a home full of great friends. But through all of this we kwaheri... have, together with the fantastic staff, survived some of the toughest times the Colobus Trust has ever seen and it is thanks to the combined force of these people and many more, that we have survived. The Colobus Trust truly is a modern conservation organisation. It is hard to think of anywhere else in Kenya, or elsewhere in the continent, that is faced with the task of trying to conserve such a unique habitat. This “uniqueness” comes from the fact that Diani's remaining forests are nearly all confined within developed, “urbanised” land, mostly hotels and luxury private houses. This unique “urban conservation” effort causes a complete shift in the prioritisation of well know conservation strategies. Therefore the well known and widely publicised conservation strategies such as a continual education program and the fight against the unsustainable harvest of plants and animals alike, although still relevant (and tackled by the Trust) are superseded by the threats caused 7
  8. 8. by human introduced elements. Therefore priorities lie new and can build into the Colobus Trust becoming a in the management of the threats put in place by this host research centre for scientist from all over the world. urbanisation. Priorities for ensuring the survival of There is lots going on at the Colobus Trust and things Diani's special ecosystem are therefore combating such are rapidly moving onward and upward. But the truth is issues as the electrocutions and road traffic accidents that yes we do need more help and yes, we need more that are responsible for the majority of primate deaths. financial support. But, rest assured, we are doing the These are difficult issues to manage, given that best we can with what we have so please continue development usually lacks the foresight required to act supporting the Colobus Trust in every aspect it needs! responsibly and the tendency of developers to treat the It has been a real pleasure to be part of the Colobus Colobus Trust as a hindrance. So the Colobus Trust Trust family and although I am moving on, I know I works, alongside other organisations, to promote these will always be attached in one way or the other! issues and combat them in a multitude of ways. To (The Trust would like to thank Gwili for his combat the two highlighted issue we have long been dedication to primate protection and we all wish known for our Colobridges program and more recently, him the best in his future adventures) for our successes in working together with the local community to insulate hazardous power lines that run through the forest. Whilst at the same time we have continued our education program, animal rescue and rehabilitation unit and attempted to control and manage poaching and irresponsible development. Rest assured, we are moving forward. So far in 2009 we have insulated over a kilometre of power lines as well as regularly maintaining our 28 existing Colobridges and much more. This work is ongoing. We have also continued to host volunteers from Kenya and all over the world, recently taking on students from Lund University in Sweden. This has been a very interesting time for us as they are undertaking a study on Colobus feeding behaviour; answering many questions we have long wanted to answer. I hope this is the start of something