Monkey Business: Soysambu Conservancy Reintroduce Colobus Monkey

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Soysambu Conservancy is a tourist’s hotspot for many reasons; the conservancy hosts Lake Elmenteita, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for the numerous Lesser Flamingos that feed on algae in the water and Great White Pelicans that breeds on the alkaline waters of the lake. Grey Crowned Cranes, Secretary Birds, Yellow-Billed Stork are among the over 400 bird species that call this destination home, making it a bird watcher’s haven. Additionally, there is abundant wildlife in the conservancy giving visitors a chance to site game including endangered species like the Rothschild Giraffe, Buffaloes, Water Bucks, Lions and if you are really lucky, leoaprds. But Now guests can look forward to some monkey busisness with the newly introduced Colobus Monkeys!

Colobus Monkeys were first introduced to Soysambu in 1999 from private farms in Kipiriri as a result of increased poaching and human-colobus conflict. However, the slow pace with which the population has been growing required additional individuals being added into the population.

Under the guidance of Kenya wildlife Society, Institute of Primate Research and the National Primate Task Force, The Soysambu Conservancy will do the translocation in various phases. The first phase, completed in July saw 14 Colobus Monkeys moved to the conservancy and an additional 40 are expected to be moved by end of September. The translocation is aimed at improving and increasing the population of Colobus monkeys in the conservancy. Increased population will boost primate education and sensitization among tourists visiting Soysambu as well as improve on existing colobus-research opportunities.

The Sosyambu Conservancy was selected as a natural and safe habitat for these arboreal primates as the surrounding vegetation provides nutritious food sources for feeding and is secure from illegal human activities. Colobus monkeys bring aesthetics value to the environment as well as help regenerate the tree cover of their habitat. This significantly improves the environment as these folivorous species are seed dispersers.

The Kenya Wildlife Services and Institute of Primate Research undertook expert opinion in planning the translocation as it is a delicate exercise that requires careful planning, long-term financial consideration to ensure its compliance with International Union for Conservation (IUCN) primate translocation guidelines. The team at Soysambu Conservancy met these guidelines and the success of the project is being measured through post-release monitoring and evaluation.

Serena Hotels is pleased to be part of this process by extending financial support towards the project. This is in line with its sustainability programs and initiatives that are aligned to Sustainable Development Goals. And the translocation process supports SDG 15 (life on land) and SDG 17 (partnerships for goals) that have since seen Colobus monkeys moved to a safe haven.

Guests visiting Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp, can now enjoy more biodiversity this destination has to offer. While sighting vulnerable species in the natural habitat is rare, through bird and nature walks, guests can spot the beautiful birds, wildlife and the Colobus monkeys. Nature and animal lovers alike can interact with these primates, learn more about their habitat and even take photographs that will serve as a memory of treasured moments.

 

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