New hope for endangered antelopeZSL discovers rare antelope at new site in Kenya
Monday 17 May 2004
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has made the first ever documented sighting of the endangered Aders' duiker in the Dodori Forest National Reserve, Kenya. This species of duiker is usually found only in the coastal forest of Zanzibar Island in Tanzania and in the Sokoke Forest, near Malindi in Kenya
ZSL's sighting of this species is a very significant discovery, as it shows a previously undocumented extension of the animal's range. This raises hope that more Aders' duikers may be found, and that the animal may be saved from extinction.
Population estimates show that in the last 20 years the number of Aders' duikers has fallen by around 80% from 5000 individuals to around 1000, too few to be sure of the continued survival of this species. The Aders' Duiker is endangered due to loss of habitat and hunting; as the numbers have declined the habitat has also fragmented into isolated patches, further increasing the risk of extinction.
"The Aders' duiker is a conservation priority in Kenya and ZSL is supporting the work of the Kenya Wildlife Service to protect this highly endangered animal," commented Tim Wacher, ZSL Wildlife Biologist. "It is always exciting to discover an extension to the known range of an animal that is as threatened as the Aders' duiker."
The Aders' duiker is a small antelope, when fully grown it is about the size of a domestic cat, and can be recognised by its unique white 'wrap-around' band on the lower thigh, the rich mahogany chestnut tone on the upper back and a speckled pattern on its legs. It was these unusual markings that enabled our experts to identify the animal and document its new location.
ZSL is active in Kenya, working to protect wild populations of hirola antelope, black rhino, black and white colobus monkeys and a variety of other native species.
For further information and images, please contact:
Nathalie Golden, ZSL Senior PR Officer
Tel: 0207 449 6280
Notes to editors:
*The sighting of the Aders' duiker was made by Tim Wacher, ZSL and Sam Ndanje of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)
*The ZSL/KWS wildlife survey was funded by the Finnish Government and EU, with the Kipini Wildlife and Botanical Conservancy
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