|Date||26 May 2002|
In July 2002, on behalf of Nairobi Ringing Group, I received a grant from The Rufford Maurice Laing Foundation (Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservation) to support a professional capacity building in bird ringing as a fundamental skill in birds’ research. The project wound up in June 2003. Among the many accomplishments, we made a higher indentation in terms of triumph including purchase of equipment e.g. PIV desktop computer, 1-4 man tent, 4 sleeping bags and replenished our rings stock. The funds moreover backed 6 ringing field expeditions and demonstrations at Egerton University, Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, School for Field Studies in Kitengela, and Friends of Kinangop Plateau (South). Ensuing such a tremendous transformation and renewed vigor, needs for an additional funding was inevitable.
After submitting a final project report and priming a follow-up grant application, an award was approved in December 2004. The incumbent project’s broad objective is to enhance capacity for learning bird ringing skills through research and conservation. Among other things, funds will enable ringing group’s membership fraternity expand on activities initiated with the first funding, make several field expeditions including trips two of Kenya’s biologically important sites i.e. Taita Hills Forests and Kikuyu Escarpment Forest. We’ll also have few trips dedicated to learning raptors’ trapping techniques, handling and banding within Nairobi. I have already established links with Simon Thomsett who has spent a good time with raptors.
Monthly ringing will continue in an urban (Nairobi) forested habitat, and weekly trainings at the Nairobi Museum grounds. A Rocha Kenya has already granted permission to start a constant effort site (CES) at their property in Karen, Nairobi. Our previous CES have been the Nairobi Arboretum whose condition has deteriorated as shown by reducing number of new and recaptured individuals. A report is in preparation based on our more that 4 years monthly ringing. The report will come up with recommendations to the management board for habitat restoration. The funds will also facilitate us continue creating awareness on bird ringing and conservation by interacting closely with the local conservation action groups e.g. Kijabe Environmental Volunteers and Friends of Kinangop Plateau. We shall also visit students and staff of the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute in Naivasha, Kenya.
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