Trees Being felled like mad in Karisia Hills

All these trees were cut in the karisia hills in order to extract honey.  it is a virgin forest and these podocarpus trees would be worth  a great deal if harvested for timber. instead they rot.  Does this make sense? No. What a sad state Kenya’s forests are in. Can someone not get Wangari Mathai on this??????

DSC_3853DSC_3860DSC_3861On the lower slopes hundreds of women are taking out cedar posts that they are selling in the local markets. the forestry department is obviously doing nothing to prevent this and is said by the locals to be in on the sale of the wood. DSC_3886

Why does Wildlifedirect give me this error?

I get the following error every time i try to post a comment on another Wildlifedirect blog. My browser is set to accept cookies and i have no problem commenting on wordpress blogs elsewhere. What is the deal? Why does wildlifedirect discourage conversation about issues by making everything complicated? Before i had this problem I would comment on other’s blogs and I would never be notified of additional comments. This successfully killed any and all conversations that I would try to engage in. I wonder if there are others who have run into this problem and if there is a solution.
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Is this a pygmy toad ?

Found this toad the other night and it just seems different than the others. It lies flat to the ground and takes a different posture than the more upright “typical” toads. I put quotes around typical because i have trouble using the book to Id even our most common toad.pygmy

Exploiting African Sandlewood

Here is a link to a very interesting article on the exploitation of African Sandlewood (Osyris lanceolata). In our area smuggling Sandlewood has become a big business with many chiefs other politicians involved. In the article you can find a hotline which can be used to report incidents of theft of this rapidly dwindling resource.
Here is a photo of a plant i encountered on a recent walking safari:

Mantis With some nice Camouflage

Found this guy recently in Nairobi on a trip back from a safari in the Mara.

Karisia Walking Safaris

Interesting Nocturnal Spider

We have run into this species only three times while on safari. They seem to only spin their webs at night and retreat and hide during the day. I wonder if anyone else has run into this spider or something like it before…
Here he is as he hides during the day:
Here his legs are exposed during the day only because he was trying to belay himself away from my hands:

Chiri Chiri, the smartest dog in Africa Taken by Leopard

Our dear friend Chiri Chiri was sadly killed last week defending his boma from an attacking Leopard. The cat took 13 goats that night and brave Chiri went in to protect his flock. With one strike the Leopard put poor old Chiri down. To his yelps came another dog from the neighboring manyatta and that dog too was killed by the cat.
We always spoke about Chiri as the smartest dog in Africa because he would cross through miles and miles of lion and leopard country alone to come and see us. We would feed him a bit and give him any vet care should he need then he would say goodbye and return to a myriad of girlfriends back on the group ranch.
Chiri was a real hero and when Pirjo Itkonen, a reader of wildlifedirect came out to visit us Chiri stood guard outside her tent when lions were roaring close by. Pirjo was kind enough to leave Chiri with a food allowance when she left.
Anyway, Chiri we will miss you. rest in peace old friend. Below is a picture of Chiri and below that a picture of the Leopard that most likely got him ( we took it only day later not far from where Chriri was killed).


Help with Treefrog

Anyone know who this guy is?
Karisia Walking Safaris

De Braza Monkeys Images from Mathew’s Range

De Braza Monkeys were thought to only exist west of the Rift Valley till Helen Dufresne discovered them living in the Mathew’s Range. Overnight the population of this Endangered Primate quadrupled within Kenya (or something thereabouts – i can’t remember exactly the numbers). Check out these pictures from our last walking safari there:

New Aardvaark Pictures

We got the following pictures last night on our camera trap that we set up on one of our Walking Safaris ( ). Thrilling each time we get an Aardvark.