6 Apr 2011

Help win €30,000 to protect the Kinangop grasslands in Kenya

By NatureKenya
NatureKenya (BirdLife Partner) is looking for funds to help save the Kinangop grassland. This habitat is vital for the Endangered Sharpe’s Longclaw Macronyx sharpei. It is endemic to Kenya and can only survive in this rapidly diminishing habitat, which is being destroyed to make way for agriculture and urban development. The Kinangop grasslands are also a crucial habitat for hundreds of thousands of European birds that migrate to Africa every winter – from Barn Swallows, Common Swifts and House Martins, to Northern Wheatears, Common Quails and Pallid Harriers. The disappearance of this habitat could have a devastating impact on the birds that Europeans consider to be ‘our’ summer birds. Largely unprotected, the remaining 77,000 hectares (190,200 acres) of tussock grassland is vanishing fast. NatureKenya is doing all it can to protect what is leftand has already turned 28 ha (146 acres) into a wildlife reserve that is protected forever – but this is just a tiny haven for Sharpe’s Longclaw. It is now vital that we extend the reserve, safeguarding more of this threatened habitat. Voting takes place between the 25 March and 20 April on the website of National Geographic Germany. The €30,000 funding is donated by the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), a group of 66 outdoor businesses who raise funds to support conservation projects across the world. The EOCA has shortlisted 19 conservation projects and are asking the public to choose the one they want supported during 2011/12. The Kinangop grasslands project was kindly nominated by outdoor clothing company Nikwax. Four national magazines are supporting the campaign – National Geographic Germany, Trail in the UK, Alpin in Germany, and LIFTBIKE & TrekkingSport Partner in the Netherlands. The magazines will feature a selection of different projects, asking their readers to vote on their favourite. The Kinangop grasslands project will feature in the April issue of National Geographic Germany (out on 25 March) and you can vote on their website from 25 March to 20 April. This is a crucial project for NatureKenya as we are working tirelessly to protect this threatened land and we would be really grateful for your support.