Category Archives: Nyuli Community Conservation Group

Karibu Tena (Welcome Again!)

Jambo!

I’d like to start by saying I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and a merry new year!  I know we did; many of the GVI team were in Kenya over the holiday period, enjoying the festivities under the warm African sun, whilst others jetted off back home to see family and friends to slightly cooler parts of the world such as Englnd, Scotland and Portugal. 

We are all back together again however, and raring to get back out on the boat, into the forest and continue our work with the communities.  January marks the start of our first 3 month research period for 2010, and we have a rather large, brand new team of dedicated volunteers from all over the world to help us achieve the aims and objectives for this year.

2009 was an excellent year for us here on the south coast of Kenya.  Firstly, it’s always a good feeling to get another full years worth of marine and terrestrial research added to the databases.  We now have a solid 3 years of data establishing and monitoring the bottlenose and humpback dolphin populations in and around the Kisitie-Mpunguti Marine Protected Area, as well as 3 years establishing and monitoring the population of the rare subspecies of the Angolan black and white colobus monkey that is found in Shimoni’s coastal forests. 

gvi-staff-volunteers-and-funzi-turtle-club-members.jpg 

 GVI staff, volunteers, and members of the Funzi Turtle Club 

In addition to that, we’ve got some great data recording some amazing sightings, including humpback whales with their calves (15 sightings!), rays, nesting turtles, elephant shrews and endangered birds such as the southern banded snake eagle.  And that is naming a mere handful!  If you want to have a look back at some of the blogs we’ve written about these amazing experiences, feel free to search for them in the categories section.

green-turtle.jpg 

 Green turtle spotted in the Marine Park

2009 also saw some amazing achievements for us and the people we work with.  Just a couple of examples would include the Permanent Secretary to the Minister for Forests and Wildlife coming down to speak to the secretary of Friends of Shimoni Forest about the destruction in the forest.  Or the amazing donations made by you all on www.justgiving.co.uk/shimoni which has allowed the launch of the Friends of Shimoni Forest Scholarship Fund which will pay for local children to go to secondary school, and get them and their families involved in local conservation. 

angola-blog-1.jpg 

 East African subspecies of the Angolan black and white colobus

On the marine side of things some highlights would include providing environmental education courses, one to the Funzi Turtle Conservation Group and one to the Nyuli Committee, training local guides and rangers on sea turtle biology and conservation, with over 30 people taking exams and gaining certificates.  GVI had its first ever sighting of the Pantropical spotted dolphins, and also became a member of East African Whale Watching which tracks whales travelling up and down the east African coast.  

spotted-dolphin-2.jpg

One of the pantropical spotted dolphins

Despite all of the great things that happened last year, there is still plenty of work to do.  This stunning area and its amazing people still face many problems, some of which we aim to try and help with over the coming year.  For many of us here the start of 2010 saw the one and a half year mark since we first arrived in Shimoni and Mkwiro, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say it has been our home since we arrived, one which has won a special place in our hearts.  Personally I feel extremely lucky and privileged to step into a new decade here, and I am so excited at the thought of what can be achieved this year.

I look forward to keeping you updated on progress as things move forward, and please feel free to contact us and leave comments and messages.  We love hearing your thoughts and ideas!

Happy 2010

Best wishes

GVI Team, Kenya

Nyuli Conservation Group Training

Nyuli Community Conservation Group is a new group of villagers from Mkwiro village, who are interested to establishing a community marine protected area off Nyuli Reef, which is close to Wasini Island. They are going to have 10 rangers, who are going to be patrolling the area to stop illegal fishing (mainly ring nets and spear gun-fishing) and 22 tour guides, who will take tourist to snorkel on the pristine coral reef of Nyuli or on dolphin-watching tours to see the different species of dolphins and whales.

amber-and-cody-during-the-interacting-with-tourists-lecture.jpg 

 Amber and Cody during the “interacting with tourists” lecture
GVI met with the group to know how we could help them and they asked GVI to educate them on the importance of conservation and also to train them on working with tourists. And last Friday GVI volunteers and staff gave lectures on marine conservation as a whole, whales and dolphins (their behavior, morphology and diversity), as well as mangroves.  We were very happy to see their high level of enthusiasm and interest. The main message we tried to get across was for them not to overfish or use illegal fishing techniques, and I am pleased to say they understand the importance of these issues and how they relate to conservation.

ebrahim-acting-as-a-tour-guide-and-cody-as-a-tourist.jpg 

 Ebrahim acting as a tour guide, and Cody as a tourist
 

On Monday we gave lectures on sea turtles and reef fish which I think was quite intense, so when a lecture on “Interacting with tourists” followed the class got involved and they were laughing at each other role playing at being tour guides. Other than being entertaining, I honestly believe that they will make brilliant tour guides. At the end of the week they will have an exam on what we taught them so fingers crossed!!!

sarah-watson-explaining-the-diferent-families-of-reef-fish.jpg
Sarah Watson explaining the different families of reef fish