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Africa
30 Jul 2015

Nature Kenya launches appeal to save the Taita Apalis from extinction

Taita Apalis (Apalis fuscigularis) ©Peter Steward
By Obaka Torto

The future of Taita Apalis is in your hands! 

Taita Apalis (Apalis fuscigularis) is one of the rarest birds in the world, living only in the forest fragments at the tops of the Taita Hills in southeastern Kenya. It is considered Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List because it has a tiny occupied range of 500 hectares. The very small population of the Taita Apalis has been fragmented into extremely small sub-populations and may consist of only 100-150 individuals. The future of the Taita Apalis depends on how quickly the current habitat can be restored, expanded and protected. Actions include land purchase or lease, active restoration of degraded areas and engaging local people in protecting this unique species.

Nature Kenya (BirdLife Partner in Kenya) has leased Msidunyi forest, a 6.28 ha private forest fragment located on the western side of Vuria peak of the Taita Hills. This small forest fragment will secure 6% of the world’s Taita Apalis population. Funding for the lease was secured from the World Land Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and African Bird Club.

In addition, Nature Kenya, working with local communities, plans to restore 115 ha of degraded Vuria Community Forest, which is contiguous to Msidunyi and is held in trust for the local people by the Taita-Taveta County Government. Nature Kenya is also looking for more private land to buy or lease to secure the Taita Apalis habitat for perpetual survival.

The amount that needs to be raised is Ksh 10,000,000; USD 111,000; GBP 70,000. It’s a large sum, but if everyone donates as much as they can afford, it will help reach their goal.

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At Nature Kenya, they are doing all they can to ensure the Taita Apalis is not the first endemic species Kenya loses, but they need your help to do it – so please donate now and help towards the targets of buying or leasing land, restoring degraded habitats and empowering local people.

There are various ways to make a Donation. Visit www.naturekenya.org/content/help_save_taita_apalis for more information.