Category Archives: Ecology

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

A Most Interesting Parasitic Flower

On a recent backpacking trip through the Mathew’s Range we ran into a few examples of this most stunning plant.  A bit of research suggested that it could possibly be Hydnora africana, a parasitic of Euphorbia.  The description that we found online though shows a Euphorbia very different from the ones that we have in the Mathews and we wondered if  this Hydnora could possibly be a different species.

…Interesting.  Anyone have a clue?

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First Desert Rose Found on Tumaren

We find Desert Roses downstream on the Ewaso Nyiro River and east of us at lower altitudes .Yesterday though, Kitilla, one of our rangers came to us to say he had found an unidentified plant along our eastern boundary. We were shocked to find that it was a Desert Rose.  These incredible flowering bushes, despite a poisonous sap is a popular ornamental plant that makes its way to nurseries all over the world. The sap is also used by some African tribes as a pois0n to tip their arrowheads. This individual is the only Desert Rose that we have seen in our area. How it was dispersed so far from his friends in the lower hotter country is a mystery. Anyone know if birds eat Desert Rose seeds?

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