Conservation Biology Department

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Mission:
The Conservation Biology Department’s (CBD) mission is to conduct research on the ecology and conservation of non-human primates, other endangered mammal species and their habitat, and contribute in addressing pertinent global problems facing biodiversity (e.g., climate change, habitat restoration, sustainable conservation and development, building local community resilience and adaptation to climate change, and human-wildlife conflicts etc.). In effort to realize its mission and fulfill its national mandate, the department places special emphasize on nonhuman primates and as a model to understand different facets of ecology and biodiversity conservation.

 


Background & Research Focus:

Kenya is home for at least 19 species and 24 sub-species of primates including some of the world’s top most endangered and rare species such as the endemic Tana River red colobus (Piliocobus rufomitratus), Tana River mangabey (Cercocebus galeritus), Percival’s black and white colobus (Colobus guereza ssp. percivali), Kilimanjaro guereza (), and the cryptic de Brazza’s monkey (Cercopithecus neglectus). Over the last 50 years, primate populations in general have been declining patterns in the majority of forested habitats not only in Kenya but at at global scale as well.

Kenya is among the top African countries, which have lost >70% of their primary forest or wildlife habitats and correspondingly has recorded a sharp decline in primates and other wildlife in such habitats. Recent surveys and population viability studies suggests that the endangered primates remaining in various fragmented habitat in the country face eminent risk of extinction due to unprecedented anthropogenic disturbances. This is true in most of designated Important Primate Areas (IPAs) like the Lower Tana River region, Mathew Ranges, Kitale Forest and the Chyulu hills, and, thus, immediate conservation and management interventions are necessary to save the primate biodiversity in the Kenya. Consequently, CBD at IPR has increasingly emphasized the larger conservation goals to include the community conservation component into primate research with the aim to promote long-term sustainable coexistence between humans and their shared habitats, which also support rich biodiversity in these IPAs (e.g., the Hirola Project at the lower Tana region).

Due to shrinking habitats because of human as well as natural causes increased human – wildlife interactions are inevitable and therefore the CBD has also expanded its research to include the larger ecosystem approach in tackling environmental issues brought by anthropogenic impacts. This includes investigating the influence of land use changes and climate on mammal diversity and (re)emergence of zoonosis within the unique ecosystems (e.g., Laikipia-Samburu ecosystems, Chyulu-Tsavo ecosystem, and lower Tana River Primate ecosystem).

Lastly but not least, a key function of the department is capacity building in the field of primatology, environmental studies and conservation biology both locally and internationally. To achieve this goal the CBD provides mentorship and promote training for local community fellows, undergraduates, and graduate students. First, the department works with local communities around the field sites to identify and train local research assistants and community conservation ambassadors, who actively help in community conservation education and play the leading role in mobilizing the conservation activities.

Second, CBD offers training intership opportunities in our running field projects for undergraduates and fresh graduates seeking to gain field experience before starting the active career life. Similarly, we facilitate graduate students both at Masters and PhD level to collected their data I different field of our interest. Finally, we collaborate with both local and international universities to run the Primate Wildlife Ecology Conservation (PWEC) Field School, which is a unique program aimed at bringing together both local and international students and giving them an opportunity learn and train together, share experiences on current ecological conservation issues and acquire first hand experience in practical fieldwork and technical techniques in ecology and conservation necessary to carry out independent research either as a undergraduate finalist, graduate student or an earlier career researcher.

 


Research

RESEARCH PROGRAMS & PROJECTS

1. MATHEW’S RANGE & KITALE RESEARCH PROGRAM

i) A Collaborative Biodiversity Conservation Initiative (CBCI): Primates and other biodiversity monitoring, enhancing knowledge and conservation to promote sustainable community livelihoods in Samburu County, Kenya

Collaborators: Northern Rangeland Trust, Rutgers University

This is a long-term research and conservation project focusing on primates and biodiversity in Mathew’s range forest reserve in Samburu county, Kenya. The project started in May 2011 with surveys of de Brazza’s and Percival’s black and white colobus monitoring and community mobilization to protect the species and their habitats. The project has expanded over time and the scope now includes development of alternative sustainable socioecological and economic practices within Kalepo conservation unit. To meet this goal CBD in collaboration with Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy and/or Northern Rangeland Trust is working to establish a field research station at Ngare-Narok area in Kalepo unit of Namunyak conservancy. This will facilitate need-based research to offer lasting solutions in the protection of the locally threatened primates and their habitat in Mathew’s range and enhancing eco-educational tourism in effort to promote local livelihoods.

Location of Nyamunyak and Other Community Conservancies in Northern Kenya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The long-term objectives of the project are as follows:

  1. To conduct long term behavioral and ecological studies on habituated groups of the de Brazza’s Monkey (Cercopithecus negelctus);
  2. Complete the habituation process on a previously semi-habituated group of vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) and habituate the Percival,s colobus for detailed behavioral monitoring.
  3. Long term phenological monitoring to monitor changes in food productivity and possible impacts of changing environmental conditions
  4. Undertaking periodic assessment of the habitat suitability for the primates and other wildlife and mitigating the identified threats
  5. Recruit students to undertake field research at the site for the purpose of providing mentorship, training, and building local capacity in primatology, biodiversity, and socioeconomic and ecological research
  6. Construct Phase 1 of the Mathew Ranges Forest Research Station (MaFReS) by constructing the basic necessitates for a well-equipped field research site (water distribution and storage system in the camp, toilets and showers).

The unanimous vote by the community elders to establish the Mathew Ranges Forest Research Station (MaFReS) in September 2015
Funding agencies: Nacey Maggiocalda Foundation, International Foundation for Science (IFS), & Primate Conservation Inc

 

 

 

 

 

 


ii) Kitale de Brazza’s Monitoring Project

According to reports conducted by IPR in the late 90s, the de Brazza’s monkey population in Western Kenya was at risk of local (national) extinction based from reported declining population patterns in and out of unprotected areas due to anthropogenic activities in their forest habitats. The first documented reports of eastern population of de Brazza’s monkeys in the Mathew ranges in 2007, and the only known population in the East of great Eastern Rift-valley brought in a new focus and perspective, in conservation of the species. Interesting question begging answer have been: genetically, how closely related the western and eastern population of de Brazza’s monkeys? How long have the two populations separated? And, what are the ecological similarities and differences between the two populations? In efforts to address these questions, a comparative study between the western (Kakamega) and eastern (Mathews Ranges) parts of Kenya was initiated in May 2012 with the long-term aim of comparing adaptive behavioral and genetical status between the two geographically isolated populations of de Brazza monkeys. A group of de Brazza monkeys that ranges within and in the surrounding environs of the Kitale Museum was followed in May –June 2012 and later in from March-June 2016. During these time periods fecal samples for genetic analysis were collected as well as behavioral ecological data collected to facilitate comparative analysis with the Mathew’s range de Brazza’s. In addition, in both Mathew’s range and in Kitale, de Brazza’s form polyspecific associations with black and white colobus monkeys as well as with other primates, suggesting the value of trying to understand what derives and maintains such associations.

Behavioral field studies of the De Brazzas by members of the Conservation Biology Department

The Kitale De Brazzas study group ranges within the Kitale Museums ground

Interactions between the De Brazza’s monkey and the Black and White colobus on the study area in Kitale Museums

FundingAgency: Goldberg Grant for Research and Conservation, International Foundation for Science (IFS)

 


2. LAIKIPIA RESEARCH PROGRAM

Remote sensing and GIS mapping for Climate and land use change in Laikipia ecosystem,
Kenya: A tool to explore patterns of biodiversity and emergence of vector borne
zoonoses and enhance environmental management and community health

Funding agency: Partnership of Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Grant – USAID
b) Human-Nonhuman primates interactions and risk of zoonotic infections in the Chyulu-Tsavo & Tana River primate ecosystems

Collaborators: Smithsonian Institute, Kenya Wildlife Services, University of Nairobi

Laikipia County in central Kenya supports one the highest mammalian diversity
in East Africa. The semi-arid environment is changing rapidly, due to land-use and climatic changes and is projected to alter ecosystem resilience. These anthropogenic changes can alter the dynamics of zoonotic infections in wooded and bush land fringes of semiarid ecosystems. Vector borne diseases, carried by vectors such as mosquitoes, ticks and sand fly are known for their rapid response to environmental modifications and climate change. This project is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institute, Kenya wildlife Services, and the Climate Change Institute-University of Nairobi.

We apply an interdisciplinary approach to focus on a) the interrelationships between climate change, land use patterns and their impact on large mammal distribution, and disease vector diversity, and how these in turn influence human adaptation and ecosystem resilience to ecological change. Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) will be applied to examine the relationship between inter-annual NDVI parameters and species richness of large mammals, ticks and sand flies disease vectors. The satellite remote sensing is an alternative, and potentially superior, means of estimating appropriate environmental factors thereby improving predictions of species richness and ecological resilience.

The use of remote sensed data to represent environmental factors influencing species richness in different ecosystems in Laikipia will provide valuable knowledge on the spatial variability of species richness and ecological resilience of different land use systems. Together with disease vector sampling and molecular analysis of vector feeding preferences, this project will also address vector borne disease dynamics in Laikipia. For more information on the most current research activities please visit the site: http://sites.nationalacademies.org/pga/peer/pga_173891

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Nancy moinde (left) and dr. Gilbert ouma (right) presenting at the stakeholders workshop in laikipia

Participants of the stakeholders workshop posing for a photo after the workshop at impala research center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A meeting with the USG partner at the Institute of Primate Research

Dr. Gilbert Ouma Presenting to Community Leaders at the community leaders buy in meeting held at Impala Research Center

Dr. Nancy Moinde Presenting to community leaders at a community buy in workshop held at Impala Research Center

A group photo of PEER team after a community workshop held at Impala Research Center

PEER members collecting blood from live rodents in the lab

Small mammal survey team taking measurements and biodata of a capture rodent

 


3. CHYULU HILLS CONSERVATION PROGRAM

Since the inception of the Biodiversity monitoring and socio-ecological survey project in Chyulu hills ecosystem in 2009/10, specific projects have been designed to address the identified conservation issues facing the ecosystem. These include:

a) Adaptations to climate change and shifting land use/tenure systems and implications towards biodiversity conservation and management of the Chyulu Hills Ecosystem

Collaborators: Green Forest Fighters Community Based Organization
Dr. Dillion Mahoney, Dept. of Anthropology, University of South Florida

Chyulu Hills National Park and its environs support a number of reportedly threatened and faunal species – black rhinos (Diceros biconis), Abbott’s sterling (Cynnyricinclus femoralis) and Ayres Hawk Eagle (Hieraaetus ayressi) to name a few and several floral species. During the 2009 and 2010 biodiversity census conducted by the CBP-IPR, there were undocumented reports that the black and white colobus species were believed to still inhabit the higher altitudes of some of the Chyulu Hills peaks. No sightings of this colobine species were captured during this survey. It is not yet clear, however, which subspecies this colobine population are believed to inhabit the Chyulu Hills. Given the geographical and altitudinal range of the Chyulu Hills, this region could be a possible hybridization zone for the white & black colobus subspecies of Colobus guereza found at the coastal regions of Kenya and the C. angolensis found in the Western and central regions of Kenya. The biodiversity survey findings were vital for the development of the primate population and biodiversity database that is key for successful for the implementation of national primate management and conservation strategies and policy.

Due to the forest loss and degradation largely due to human activities within the Chyulu ecosystem and its immediate environs, the CBD long-term has proposed a study will focus on climate and land use changes as means to better understand human adaptive mechanisms to these changes as means of improving current conservation and management strategies of the Chyulu ecosystem

Currently the CBD is involved with ongoing afforestation local based community conservation activities initiated by local CBOs are being carried out. The in partnership with Dr. Dillion Mahoney from the University of South Florida, the CBD-IPR is currently collaborating with the Green Forest Fighter (GFF) CBO to evaluate the effects of climate change and land use practices on biodiversity and ecosystems services.

Surveying the Chyulu Hills National Park Ecosystem with Dr. Dillion Mahoney – University of South Florida, KWS research personnel Mr. Nyaga, Dr. Nancy Moinde and accompanying KWS ranchers August 2014.

Dr. Moinde addressing Chyulu Hills Community Afforestation programme meeting near Mtito Andei with representatives from different community based Conservation organizations within the Chyulu Ecosystem in June 2015. Dr Dillion Mahoney siting left and Stan Kivai (taking picture).

 

Collaborators: Kenya Wildlife Services, & Local communities (Kamba Pokomo, & Warndei)

The Chyulu-Tsavo-Tana River ecosystems are characterized by high human-nonhuman primates as well as other wildlife interactions because they constitute the buffer zones of major wildlife conservation areas. Consequently, increased interaction with wildlife puts the local communities living around these ecosystems at a greater risk of contracting zoonotic infections. Bush meat consumption, sharing water sources, and consumption of left-overs of crop raiding or livestock predation worsens the situations. This project therefore focuses on collecting fecal and blood samples from nonhuman primates and analyzing them and investigating the human medical records from local dispensaries to understand the pathogens of zoonotic nature that are harbored by both human and non-human primates. Importantly, the projects utilize such data to educate and sensitize the local communities in undertaking precautionary measure to mitigate the risk of zoonotic infections while promoting a healthy co-existence of wildlife and humans. Finally, the project aims to provide such data to health and livestock ministries to inform policy formulation for control of such diseases.

Funding agency: Kenya National Council of Science, Technology & Innovation (NACOSTI)

 


4. TANA RIVER PRIMATES RESEACH & MONITORING PROGRAM

Collaborators: Kenya Wildlife Services,
Ndera Community Conservancy,
Rutgers University, Hunter College of City University of New York, USA

The lower Tana River forest galleries support two of the world’s most endangered primates, the Tana River Red Colobus (Piliocolobus ruformitratus) and the Tana River mangabeys (Cercocebus galeritus). Because of anthropogenic activities particularly habitat loss and fragmentation, the two species faces an eminent threat of extinction in their restricted wild habitat, which comprises of less than 80 forest fragments restricted with a 60 km stretch of riverine habitat in the lower Tana River before the delta. Consequently, conservation interventions focusing on community education, sensitization, and mobilization to initiate community conservation programs to protect the species as well as long term monitoring of their populations and habitat dynamics are necessary for long-term persistent and population recovery of these species. Thus, in this program CBD has focused on:

i) Community conservation education with main focus on primary schools and organized community groups with a goal of creating an informed population on conservation matters
ii) Initiating community restoration program with the aim of establishing community tree nurseries and based on the nutritional profiles oft he primates foods restore the primate habitat with nutritionally beneficial plant food species.
iii) Monitoring population demographics and behavior of he mangabey and the red colobus with main focus on feeding and nutrition ecology
iv) Monitoring tree phenology to understand food productivity dynamics.

Funding agencies: Primate Conservation Inc, Conservation International, Nancy Maggioncalda Foundation, Leakey Foundation, International Primatological Society, Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST), Rutgers University Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES)

 


5. GUEREZA TRANSLOCATION PROGRAMS

a) Mount Kenya Guereza Translocation Program

Many of the primate habitats either protected or unprotected are increasingly becoming threatened as a result of soaring human population and changing global climate. The problem is even worse in agroecosystems which for a long time have supported wildlife populations.

They are however, the worst of the affected areas as agricultural expansion takes toll especially in riverine areas where irrigation agriculture is dominating in the face of unreliable rain fed agriculture. Many terrestrial animals are forced to migrate from natal habitats while the arboreal ones including Mount Kenya guereza (Colobus guereza kikuyuensis), whose terrestrial movement is clumsy, are left hanging on unsustainable fragments and supplementing their diet from the agricultural crops prompting a rare scenario of human-colobus conflicts.

This has been the case with guerezas occupying the riverine areas of Kipipiri, the Happy Valley, whose habitats have been cleared for agriculture expansion. Terrestrial and semi-terrestrial primates including Baboons, Sykes monkeys and Vervets who once occupied these areas have migrated to nearby private conservancies, Kipipiri forest and Aberdare National Park leaving guerezas hanging on highly fragmented and degraded riverine habitats. These arboreal primates are forced to adopt terrestrial tradition and crop raid from the surrounding farms in supplementing their diet. To curb this human-colobus conflict and save these populations from extermination, this project was initiated to translocate vulnerable groups to suitable protected habitats away from agricultural communities.

The groups will be moved to several conservation areas including Karura Forest, Soysambu conservancy, Lolldaiga hills, Ngong road forest, Ololua forest and Ngong Hills forest in an effort to redistribute C. g. kikuyuensis to several habitats within their range.


b) Kipipiri-Karura Forest Guereza Translocation Program

Collaborators: Kenya Wildlife Service,
Friends of Karura Forest and Kenya Forest Service

Translocation which is movement of a species from a wild to wild habitat has over the years been used to reintroduce a species to areas where they once inhabited. This can only be done if the factors which led to extermination of the species are eliminated and the habitat improved to accommodate continued survival and reproduction of the species. Presence of guerezas in areas surrounding Karura forest confirms the once existence of the species in the forest and due to excessive deforestation and fragmentation of the forest in early 1970’s and 80’s, populations might have been wiped out or moved to the surrounding farmlands. The concerted efforts by the Friends of Karura forest, a Community Forest Association in collaboration with Kenya Forest Service to restore the faunal and floral diversity prompted the need to reintroduce guerezas in a forest at its secondary stage of growth. Vulnerable guereza groups inhabiting the agroecosystems of Kipipiri were earmarked for translocation and 22 groups of 142 individuals were relocated to Karura forest. To-date, 28 new borns have been added to the population.

Program objectives:

• Habituate, capture and translocate vulnerable groups of Mount Kenya guereza to Karura Forest
• Curb human-colobus conflicts within the agroecosystems of Kipipiri
• Widen the faunal diversity of the once degraded and now rehabilitated secondary forest of Karura forest reserve
• Boost the ecological value of Karura forest and increase its potential as a tourists hub within Nairobi.
• Create opportunities for research and training on primate behavioral ecology.

Funding agencies: African Fund for Endangered Wildlife, Friends of Karura Forest

 


c) Kipipiri-Soysambu Conservancy Guereza Translocation Program

Collaborators: Kenya Wildlife Service
Soysambu Conservancy

Translocation is a management tool which has been used for several purposes including population supplementation in cases of small population with limited immigration opportunities. Soysambu conservancy holds a small guereza population and the only nearby population in Eburru forest has been cut off by farmlands and major roads. Such a population, at Soysambu, faces genetic problems due to inbreeding, limiting its growth and reproduction. This project aims at saving the vulnerable guerezas at Kipipiri by translocating them to Soysambu conservancy and diversify the existing guereza gene pool.

Program objectives:

• Provide refuge for imperiled primates to a conservancy were they will be more protected from harrassment and other threats,
• Potentially introduce more genetic diversity into the Soysambu population,
• Mitigate human-guereza conflict at the Happy Valley region
• Create further interest in and awareness of the species on a conservancy that is increasingly funded by ecotourism,
• Provide fertile opportunites for research of Guereza Colobus and their ability to integrate into a new environment.

Funding agencies: Friends and well-wishers in colobus conservation, Soysambu Conservancy

 


FIELD RESEARCH & TRAINING INFRASTRUCTURE

1) Mathew Ranges Forest Research Station (MaFReS) & Core Functions

The CBD’s long-term plan is to build and maintain a database inventory for the Mathew Ranges ecosystem, monitor anthropogenic ecological impacts and complete the region’s primate surveys and continue to comparatively evaluate the de Brazzas & percival,s colobus behavioral ecology with those of the Western or other closely related populations in the country. The MaFReS community conservation approach entails the ongoing eco-educational tourism programme, which promotes the already existing conservation efforts of the Namunyak community. This approach contributes to building knowledge to facilitate more informed management and conservation strategies of the region’s biodiversity and the socioecology of the Namunyak communities that coexist with the non-human primate populations in the region.
The MaFReS will be used as a base for collaborative research with both local and international scientists, graduate students carrying our research within the Mathew Ranges to inform on future management and conservation strategies that fully involve local communities. The CBD’s role is to coordinate and facilitate the establishment of MaFReS in the Mathew ranges as a key Institutional Field Research coordinated by the CBD for long-term research, training and eco-educational tourism with proceeds directed towards maintaining both the local community development activities and maintaining of the MaFReS. The first phase of constructions for MaFReS (i.e., toilets, showers and water storage/distribution systems) of the MaFReS was completed in May 2017. The long-term plan for MaFReS is to continue primate behavioral ecological research as well as develop the construction of MaFReS phase 2 and 3 which will include the research/student/tourist accommodation structures and eco-lodge respectively.

 


2) Primate Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Field School

Course Description & Objectives

The Primatology, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation (PWEC) Field School offers its participants a unique opportunity to learn about wildlife biodiversity across a range of diverse East African habitats. Two features separate this field school from any other, in Africa or the rest of the world:

The objectives of the course are:

1. To gain an understanding of principles of animal behaviour by using primates as a model
2. To appreciate the great variation in the ecology and behavior of African mammals, and primates specifically, in a variety of habitats.

In addition to the scientific component, student will also be exposed to specific conservation problems, current debates, and emerging innovative solutions that are contextually and culturally different than any they will find elsewhere.

The academic profile of the PWEC Field School is guaranteed by qualified and committed instructors. Last year’s additions to the teaching staff expand the range of expertise we offer and strengthen the theoretical component. The logistical coordination is assured by a core of highly experienced staff from Rutgers University and from the Conservation Biology Department at the Institute of Primate Research-National Museums of Kenya. The field school syllabus is linked to Rutgers University academic programme whereby the course offers a total of 6 hours credits for university students from different undergraduate students from the United States. Please see link below for course details offered in the Anthropology Department at Rutgers University, USA. http://anthro.rutgers.edu/undergrad-program/field-schools/407-field-school-in-wildlife-conservation-and-primate-ecology

The itinerary is designed around a set of preparatory readings, lectures, and practical activities will optimize the learning experience. Building on the past curricula, and adding recent literature, novel field methodologies and theoretical frameworks will ensure the high standards of this Field School.

For further information on registration for this summer course please see link below:
http://studyabroad.rutgers.edu/index.cfm?Program_Type_ID=1&Program_Name=primate+wildlife+ecology+&pt=%7F&pi=%7F&pc=%7F&pr=Africa%7F&FuseAction=Programs.SearchResults&SimpleSearch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students from the Rutgers – Primate, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Field School training on baboon behavioral ecological training at Prof Shirley Strum field Site at Il Polei, Laikipia County.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(a) Intense ecological field excursions along the Mathew Ranges offered as part of the curriculum (b) as well as cooling of later after a long hot field day in the clear ponds along the Ngare Narok River, 1.5 Kms from the research campsite in Mathew Ranges, Samburu County.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(a) Sharing of different cultural experiences with other students (b) and with local communities during the field school.

For more information please contact:
Associate Prof. Ryne Palombit, Director – Primate Wildlife Ecology & Conservation Field School, Dept. of Anthropology, Rutgers, rpalombit@anthropology.rutgers.edu
Dr. Nancy Moinde, Field Director – Primate Wildlife Ecology & Conservation Field School, Conservation Biology Dept, Institute of Primate Research, nmoinde@primateresearch.org
Kelly Andrande, Registration and Financial Controller, Global Studies Rutgers kandrade@global.rutgers.edu

 


3) National Primate Conservation Task Force (NPCTF)

Conservation Biology Department (CBD) at IPR is the NPCTF secretariat since its formation in 2013. The NPCTF members comprise of both national and international primatologists who work with different non-human primate species in various parts of the country (Figure 1). The NPCTF advises KWS (chair position) on primate conservation matters and priorities research on primates and advises KWS on of approval of environmental or ecologically sensitive wild primate experiments, field studies or conservation and management interventions like primate translocations or relocations. The decisions on such matters are reached at in a structured, consultative and participatory way.

The NPCTF’s mandate, amongst others, is to mobilize resources to develop policy options for conservation and management of primates nationally. This approach helps to facilitate the formulation of national primate conservation strategies and management guidelines and policy in accordance to the NPCTF. With this in mind, the NPCTF plays an important role in reviewing and advertising primate research activities and provides advice on research and monitoring programs. This includes collecting existing information to create databases on each primate species and develop policy options for conservation and management of primates. In doing so, the task force is better placed to steer the formulation of national conservation strategies and mobilize resources for national primate conservation strategies and management guidelines to ensure the long-term survival of healthy populations of primates and their habitats.

The NPCTF also plays a central role in raising the profile of primates through better awareness and public relations and help resolve conflicts and change people’s attitudes about primates. With the rising incidences of human-nonhuman primate interactions and conflict, it is evident that training in primate research is increasingly necessary. The task force also aims to enhance capacity building for primate conservation for Kenyans and by Kenyans. The NPCTF holds biannually meetings since 2013.

Members of the National Primate Task Force (NPCTF). From Left: Prof, Shirley Strum, Dr. Isaac Lekolool, Monica Chege, Lineaus Kariuki (Chair-KWS) and on the Right side: Pam Cunneyworth, Dr. Yvonne de Jong, Dr. Tom Butynski, Peter Fundi and Dr. Nancy Moinde (Taking picture) in the last NPCTF meeting held in the Kenya Wildlife Services headquarters in 29th February 2016. Peter Fundi and Dr. Nancy Moinde (both the Institute of Primate Research) represent the NPCTF secretariat.

 


4) Organizing Partner of the Iinternation Primatology Society meeting 2018, Kenya

The IPR – CBD is one of the organizing partners of the upcoming IPS meeting 2018 in Kenya, to be held at the UNEP premises in Gigiri Nairobi. In the effort to offer the best during this event IPR will host both pre and post training workshops at IPR, which include a visit to our primate facility and a memorable nature trail walk in the unique tropical forest remnant satisfying to scenic and plant adorers.

Welcoming Message: IPR in collaboration with GRASP and other organizing stakeholders welcomes you to Kenya for the IPS 2018 in Nairobi Kenya. It is our great pleasure to host you and learn from each other the great scientific value of our closest cousin and how to help them to overcome the global survival challenges they face. “Karibu Kenya, Karibu Nyumbani, Mujifunze mengi ya Nugu”.

“Don’t fail to experience our Rich Biodiversity!!! CBD offers a unique opportunity to experience:

1) our field site in Mathew’s range to see the rare de Brazza’s monkeys, enjoy the rich Samburu cultures, encounter the Samburu five (Grevy’s zebras, Gerunuk, Somali Ostrich, African Lion & African Elephant) in Samburu & Buffalo springs game reserves, and culminate with Chimps home away from home at Sweetwaters in Olpejata Conservancy.

2) Visit the masai mara game reserve one oft he world wonders, the living birds Muesums at Lake Bogoria and encountering the flamingo paradise in Lake Nakuru in the great Rift- valley.
“It’s a life time event don’t miss it courtesy of IPR”

 


Team Members

Nancy Nthenya Moinde, PhD
Nancy Moinde is a behavioral ecologist and the Department Head of Conservation Biology at the Institute of Primate Research. Nancy has an academic background in Conservation Biology (M.Sc., University of Cape Town, South Africa) and Physical Anthropology ((MA, PhD, Rutgers University, USA). Nancy’s research aims to better understand evolutionary adaptive behavior to environmental changes. Her current research interest focus on the influence of human modified ecologies on human-wildlife interactions; community based conservation as socio-ecological adaptive strategy to environmental variations; human and ecological vulnerabilities and resilience to climate-land use changes as well as rural sustainable development initiatives targeting areas of rich biodiversity in Kenya. Nancy is also the Field Director of the Primate Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Field School; which is a collaborative initiative between Rutgers University and the Institute of Primate Research-National Museums of Kenya.


Stanislaus Kivai, PhD
Stanislaus (Stan) is a behavioral ecologist and conservation biologist in the department of Conservation Biology at the Institute of Primate Research, National Museums of Kenya. Stan’s academic background is in Natural Resources Management (BSc.), Biodiversity Conservation (MSc), and in Primatology (PhD). Stan obtained his BSc. at Egerton University, Kenya, MSc. at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, MA and PhD at Rutgers University, USA. His research interests are in Environment, Natural Resources & Climate change, Biodiversity Conservation (with focus on endangered species and their habitats), Primate Behavior and Nutrition Ecology. His research aims are two folds (i) understanding the drivers of the environment and natural resources and resilience to climate change as well as understanding the biodiversity components and what shapes their distribution, and (ii) understanding primate general and feeding behavior and the role of food nutrition and mechanics in driving dietary adaptation and conservation of primates. His current research focuses on: conservation, behavioral, and population monitoring of the endangered Tana River primates (Tana River mangabeys Cercocebus galeritus & Tana River red colobus – Piliocolobus rufomitratus) and the Mathew’s range primates (de Brazza’s monkey – Cercopithecus neglectus). Stan is involved in other conservation activities such as: Colobus guereza spp. Kikuyuensis translocation from Kipipiri to Karura and running of the Primate Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Field School; which is a collaborative initiative between Rutgers University and the Institute of Primate Research-National Museums of Kenya, and helping communities in Chyulu hills ecosystem through green forest fighters to adapt and build resilience to climate change.


Nashaat Mazrui, Ph.D.

Nashaat Mazrui is an environmental chemist at the Institute of Primate Research, National Museums of Kenya. She holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Connecticut in the US, a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from Yale University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Nairobi. Her past research focused on the biogeochemistry of the toxic metal, mercury. Specifically, she studied the interactions of mercury and sulfur in aquatic systems and implications of these to the formation and degradation of the more toxic methylmercury. Her current research interests are centered around the protection and conservation of a clean and healthy environment for humans and animals alike. She’s interested in studying the transformation and fate of pollutants (heavy metals and organic contaminants) in the environment and studying how anthropogenic activities related to the extraction of natural resources, their use and eventual disposal of final products and by-products impacts the environment.

Mwangi Danson Kareri
Danson is currently a PhD student at the Department of Anthropology, Durham University. His study focuses on zoonotic disease risks among Kenyan communities living at the borderlands of Tsavo and Chyulu National parks in Kenya. He holds a MA in Health Social Science from Mahidol University, Thailand and a BSc in Environmental Health (Kenyatta University). His research interests lie in the following areas:

 

 

 

1. Wildlife conservation in general and primates in particular with specific interests in human-wildlife interactions and conflict.
2. Social, ecological and cultural determinants of health and environmental conservation.
3. One Health and its application in Kenya.
4. Investigation of zoonotic diseases of public health importance.
5. Community sensitization and mobilization on matters relating to environmental conservation and public health.

Other interests: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Audit (Registered Lead Associate)

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February 15, 2018