Wildsolutions

Wide-Eyed Primates and Wild Warthogs

By Yvonne de Jong & Tom Butynski
Posted on the National Geographic Explorers Journal on August 1, 2014

There are two species of warthog (Kiswahili name ‘ngiri’) and both occur in Kenya; the common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) and the desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus). As mentioned in our earlier blogs (e.g.,Quest for Kenya´s Desert Warthog‘), our mission during this project is to better understand the biogeography and ecology of the desert warthog, one of Africa’s least known large mammals. During this project we also, opportunistically, collected data on other large mammals—particularly the primates.

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Photos: Biodiversity of Northern Kenya´s Huri Hills and Mount Forole

By Yvonne de Jong & Tom Butynski
Posted on the National Geographic Explorers Journal on January 3, 2014

The Huri Hills, a remote region of large lava cones, is located between the Chalbi Desert and the Kenyan-Ethiopian border in central-north Kenya. These hills rise about 300 meters (985 feet) above the lava plateau, reaching 1524 meters (5000 feet) above sea level. Just north of the Huri Hills, separated by a descending plain of black-cotton-soil, lies the granitic Mount Forole (1887 meters;  6200 feet). This sacred mountain marks the Kenyan-Ethiopian border.

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The Creatures of Kenya’s Forgotten Loima Hills

By Yvonne de Jong & Tom Butynski
Posted on the National Geographic Explorers Journal on July 22, 2013

Turkana is Kenya’s most remote district. Located west of Lake Turkana in the north-west corner of the country, Turkana District has been high on our list of ‘warthog survey sites’ for years. When you think ‘desert’, you think ‘Turkana’…a logical place to search for desert warthog (scientific name Phacochoerus aethiopicus, Kiswahili name ‘ngiri’).

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Kenya’s Elusive Patas Monkeys

By Yvonne de Jong & Tom Butynski
Posted on the National Geographic Explorers Journal on June 7, 2013

An extremely hot and dusty road leads us northwards along the Kenya-Uganda border. We are in West Pokot District, central western Kenya. Despite what appears suitable habitat, no warthog (Phacochoerus sp.) will expose itself to us in this heat, and neither will the Guenter’s dik-dik (Madoqua guentheri), olive baboon (Papio anubis) or any other mammal that we hope to encounter in the region….

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Secret to Olive Baboon Survival in a Barren Desert

By Yvonne de Jong & Tom Butynski
Posted on the National Geographic Explorers Journal on April 9, 2013

We have trained eyes for detecting primates, but it took a little while for us to realize that we were looking at a group of olive baboons (scientific name: Papio anubis, Kiswahili name: nyani). The setting here, between the eastern shore of Lake Turkana and the western edge of the Chalbi Desert, is new to us. On a distant rocky hill, surrounded by expansive black lava plains with a sparse cover of  thorny acacia (Acacia species) and commiphora (Commiphora species) bush and badly damaged toothbrush trees (Salvadora persica), a group of olive baboons is resting…all eyes fixed on us…..

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