Wildsolutions

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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Close Encounter With a Desert Roaming Cheetah

By Yvonne de Jong & Tom Butynski
Posted on the National Geographic Explorers Journal on February 25, 2013

When you are lucky enough to spot a cheetah (scientific name: Acinonyx jubatus raineyi;Kiswahili name: duma), you typically see a ‘little’ head (well……for a cat of that size ‘little’) sticking out of tall yellow grass under a shady acacia or balanites tree. If you are really lucky, there is a second ‘little’ head sticking out nearby. While conducting our desert warthog survey on the edge of Kenya’s remote Chalbi Desert we had a very different encounter with the majestic cheetah…..

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New Population of Bushbabies Discovered in Northern Kenya

By Yvonne de Jong & Tom Butynski
Posted on the National Geographic Explorers Journal on January 23, 2013

During our research to better define the geographical range of the desert warthog in northern Kenya, we use every opportunity to collect data on other taxa present in this dry and relatively poorly known region. The nights, in particular, provide new and interesting findings…and, this time, we are not talking ‘pigs’ (see our two earlier blogs).

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