Let’s Go to the Kingwal Swamp

Let’s Go to the Kingwal Swamp

Let’s go to the Kingwal Swamp. I have been thinking about it for some time and I think it’s time I seriously squeeze it into my next adventures. Stay tuned, I will share how it will unfold. For now, let us get to know a little about this swamp.

Where is Kingwal Swamp found?

It is a wetland located in Nandi County off the Eldoret-Kisumu highway. Covers approximately 10,000 hectares that includes some part of the land donated by the community to the wildlife.

It is a home for the rare and endangered semi-aquatic antelope species, Sitatunga. As well as different species of birds and reptiles.

It’s main source of water is the river Keses.

It’s uniqueness

It is believed to have the largest population of the endangered Sitatunga in the world.

Therefore a very important home for these disappearing antelopes.

The communities and involved bodies are working together to ensure these species don’t get extinct.

What can we enjoy at the Kingwal Swamp

Enjoy viewing and spotting wildlife. The swamp hosts a wide variety of wildlife. Although for the Sitatungas, you may miss them as they are very shy and secretive.

Being a wetland, birds can be easily found in the areas. Hence one of the best spot for bird watchers.

Hiking. It has several trails that you can take long nature walks.

Its located within the Nandi community allowing you a chance to enjoy their cultures.

What do you think?

Read the full article here.

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Do you believe in Scientists?

Do you believe in Scientists?

Do you believe in Scientists? Or you see them as different people who scare us with possibilities?

Some time back some people thought scientist was against religion and hence distanced themselves from them. They saw them as obstacles to believing in the higher believe.

But instead, they help us understand things in our planet. We get to understand different cells in our bodies and their functions. We broaden our knowledge on the chemical properties surrounding us. As well as get to have a deeper understanding on all biological structures and effects on us.

Through science, life became bearable and easy to live. We were able to get medicines and stopped dying from diseases that were curable. It also provided means to understand our interconnection relationships better.

Science provides answers with evidence attached. No guesswork allowed and research is done several times to confirm.

Who is a scientist?

Read the full article here.

Do you have butterflies in your stomach?

Do you have butterflies in your stomach?

Do you have butterflies in your stomach? You will have a reason to have them after reading this.

Butterfly

Butterflies are amazing insects that have four stages in their life cycle. That is, egg – larvae – pupa – butterfly.

The larvae which is also known as caterpillar, does a lot of eating to ensure that the metamorphosis (process involved during these stages of its life cycle ) is a success. A group of caterpillars is known as an army.

The pupa stage is a stagnant one. Nothing happens from outside but a lot happens within. This is the stage that our butterfly transforms. A group of butterflies is known as either a kaleidoscope or warm.

Butterflies have been used in idoms , sayings, just to show how close they are to us.

They play a very important role in pollination hence making our food production possible. This is because they feed on the nectar from flowers. In the process pollens get stuck to their wings. As they fly from one flower to another, they transport thses pollens to these flowers.

They are approximately over 18500 species of butterflies in our planet.

What does butterflies symbolise in our society?

  • Endurance
  • Change
  • Hope
  • Life

Did you know?

Butterflies are found everywhere in the world except in Antarctica.

Conservation status

  • In the U.S.A, there are more than 20 butterflies and moths listed as endangered.
  • Queen Alexandra’s birdwing is the largest butterfly in the world. The species is endangered and listed on Appendix I of CITES, making international trade illegal.
  • Black grass-dart butterfly is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae. It is endemic to New South Wales. It has a very limited distribution in the Boambee area
  • The monarch butterflies are declining in population too.

Causes to their extinct

Read the full article here.

Understanding Planet as an Ecosystem

Understanding Planet as an Ecosystem.

Understanding Planet as an Ecosystem. Earth is an ecosystem as a larger scale.

What is an ecosystem?

Ecosystem refers to an interconnected system.

It’s a biological community that involves interactions between the organisms and their physical environment.

These organisms include humans, animals, micro-organisms, etc. Anything that qualifies to be a living organism.

There are various types of ecosystems. Namely:

  • Forest Ecosystems
  • Grassland Ecosystems
  • Desert Ecosystems
  • Tundra Ecosystems
  • Freshwater Ecosystems
  • Marine Ecosystems

These ecosystems have been classified as per their vegetation types and nature, climatic conditions as well as water type.

They can be subdivided into various other groups when being very specific of an ecosystem in a particular area.

What connects living organisms and their physical environment ?

They are connected by the nutrients cycles and energy flows.

Everything in our planet depend on another thing for basic needs such as food, habitat, reproduction, dispersal, etc.

What happens to this ecosystem when one species is destroyed or goes extinct?

As we have seen we are a connected system. So our survival and quality of life relies on the connections among us. So when one thing is removed, we will surely feel the inbalance.

Food chain vs Food Web in the ecosystem

Foodchain is a linear sequence of organisms which starts from producer organisms and ends with decomposer species. While foodweb is a connection of multiple food chains and follows different lines.

Food web helps understands representation of the energy flow through different organisms in an ecosystem.

In both food chains and food webs, we have producers, consumers and decomposers.

If producers reduced, consumers will have nothing to consume and decomposers will have alot to decompose due to high rates of death as a result of hunger.

The producers need help from insects and other animals so as to disperse, fertilise and reproduce. If these organisms are not present to aid in this process. Producers will eventually die. So there will be no production of food. And the effects will be felt along the chain and web.

Are humans affected directly by the extinction of species in our ecosystem ?

Read the full article here.

Nature and Wildlife are the beauty of our planet

Nature and Wildlife are the beauty of our planet

Nature and Wildlife are the beauty of our planet. From the colorful colors and unique shapes. Have you ever seen an “ugly’ tree, flower or even wildlife.

Everything in the natural world is beautiful due to the beauty added by wildlife and flora.

Their beauty have inspired our fashion

Most of the fabrics resemble patterns of both flora and fauna (plants and animals).

Who doesn’t love animal prints. From the amazing stripes resembling zebras, the unique dots inspired by cheetahs, leopards, just to name a few.

This is also one of the threat facing wildlife. Because we not only copy their style, but end up killing them for it. To get a snake skinned bag, or a pouch made of girraffe hide, mats and coats from wildlife fur.

We are allowed to copy cat their style but not kill them. Fur, hide and skin belongs to them. And not to be used for our shoes, bags, coats, etc.

Their beauty offer the best interior and exterior designs

Have you ever visited a place whose decorations and design has been inspired by nature or wildlife. From the furniture, walls, roofing and simply everything in them.

There’s this place where the owner ha constructed an artificial waterfall. He has all kind of colorful birds which have roofless houses. Hence can be able to fly away when they want. An aquarium and all the furniture are from trees at their raw state. No smoothing has been done .

Spending a weekend there is the best idea you can ever have. Allows you to experience nature at a whole other new level.

Gone are the days when we had the boring walls painted of one color. Nowadays, we are not afraid to add more color.

We are also introducing live plants into our living rooms, hotels and any places we spend time at.

Just to confirm how nature brings more than colour into our lives.

They offer companion and more

Read the full article here.

Ways My Pets have been awesome to me

Ways My Pets have been awesome to me

Yes, there are various ways my pets have been awesome to me. They have been literally my life guardian angel ever since I was a small kid.

Being the shortest, shy and fat kid, you become the easiest target for bullies. They will also pick on you, as they make your life at school miserable and kinda a hell on earth.

I was quite bullied at school and due to my introvert nature. I rarely shared with anyone , except my pets. My bullies upgraded their technique each passing day and they seem to enjoy this hellish ride.

Back at home, it was different. My parents tried their best to create us a paradise. They offered what they could and help us understand why they were unable to provide some of things we may have requested. They encouraged open communication but there was a little problem.

They both worked in our shop which happened to be the same place where we lived. So they work up ver early to open the shop, and closing time was pretty late. So if you needed to tell them something or have a talk with them about anything. It would have to happen at the shop. So somehow, it was not an easy place to go and tell mama about the bullying stuff there.

I feared the customers hearing of my problems and the interruptions as they come to buy stuff. So as much as mum encouraged us to tell her anything bothering our little souls. Her schedule was pretty occupied.

And this where my pets came in handy. Luckily dad introduced me to pets very early . My first pets were a cat and two squarrels. They were my world and everyone in the house respected their existence . Even if they did like the company as I did.

My pets listened to me

Read the full article here.

Charity begins at home

Charity begins at home

Indeed, charity begins at home. Same applies to flora and fauna (plants and animals). They will both excel in their native places of origin. That’s where we got to get terms such such indigenous, exotic as well as invasive.

  • Indigenous species : applies to species that occur in a given places naturally with no human intervention.
  • Exotic species : applies species that have been introduced by humans knowingly or accidentally.
  • Invasive species: applies to species that go beyond their introduction after being introduced y humans.

Why do we move species around away from their original home?

Humans are known of taking ownership of things they love or attracted to . Whatever brings profit or anything positive. They will try to exploit it more.

  • Science and technology has brought a lot of developments in our world. Hence the need to learn more and engage in a wide variety of experiments. We experiment on animals to judge if it will be safe for humans. In the process move species away from their native places. We do so without putting species concern in considerations.
  • Love for petting different species. Unlike old days where dogs and cats were the only animals considered for petting. Nowadays, that’s not the case. You can almost pet every species. from the tiniest ones, to the beasts. And this has made us to move animals from far places. Even different continents. Either legally or illegally. But do we consider side effects of such movements?
  • The need to bring wildlife close to us. This has been the motivate behind any creation of zoos, orphanages, sanctuary or any man-made structures housing wildlife. As we settled into different places, we displaced wildlife and some ended up extinct. We tried to save them through such places. We also like having things as we want them. So we go different places, and bring wildlife from those areas back to our man-made structures.
  • Again, we rarely consider impact on these animals. That’s why you will find a number of species that are endangered but still present in several zoos and orphanages. Not to reintroduce their population back to the wild again, but to trap them till their days fades away.
  • Fortunately , some of these facilities try to do good for wildlife. But they are very few.
  • Grass is greener on the other side. By default, we tend to love whats on the other side or what we don’t have. That’s why we are attracted to rare and indigenous species. And have nothing much for the other ones. That’s why these poor species will be poached and killed mercilessly. Just for some class status or false believes.

Why do we value foreign and neglect our own at home?

We should learn from our bodies. A body will need a very closely related body part or else reject it. Our bodies can help us understand importance of not moving stuff around anyhowly.

We are prone to be attracted and care much for a species out of our range.but t care less of what we have. Hence neglecting them and eventually losing them for good.

Do you treat your visitors/guest same as you do your family at home. Do you cook special meals for both ? Offer the long beautiful smiles just to bring happiness on the table. I rarely think so, after all most drama is related to family stuff. That’s why most will easily mix and help strangers than they wil do their own families.

With that in mind, what will happen to the species that surrounds us. We will bypass them and love those we can’t have.

What’s my point?

Read the full article here.

What is the state of wetlands?

What is the state of wetlands?

Wetlands will be celebrated on second of February during the World Wetlands day. We will have an opportunity to appreciate important roles played by them. It’s also a time to reflect on the damages, losses and wetland conservation necessities.

In Kenya, our theme will be “Wetlands and Climate Change”. Several organisations will be able to help public understand important facts about our disappearing wetlands. And it will be happening at the Rumuruti in Ewaso Narok located in Laikipia County. We will be campaigning for a healthy wetlands hence healthy communities. Get to know how climate change has affected wetlands.

What are wetlands?

They are characterized as having a water table that stands at or near the land surface for a long enough period each year to support aquatic plants.

They include areas such as the marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres.

They may incorporate riparian and coastal zones adjacent to the wetlands, and islands or bodies of marine water deeper than six metres at low tide lying within the wetlands.

This is per the Ramsar international wetland conservation treaty.

You can recognize them from other land forms or water bodies primarily by the vegetation that has adapted to wet soil.

Wetlands are as a result of flooding from either rains or groundwater. There are also constructed wetlands that are used to treat water from the sewage, capture excess water form storm water runoff.

Important roles played by wetlands

  • Wetlands are very vital in our environments. They help balance several factors that contributes to a healthy environment.
  • Constructed wetlands helps to purity waste water /recycle used water. They are used for water treatment. Also accommodate the excess water runoff from events such as the storm water.
  • Wetlands are important mitigation tool for climate change. According to the Ramsar Convention. The economic worth of the ecosystem services provided to society by intact, naturally functioning wetlands is frequently much greater than the perceived benefits of converting them to ‘more valuable’ intensive land use – particularly as the profits from unsustainable use often go to relatively few individuals or corporations, rather than being shared by society as a whole.
  • They are able to sink carbon, convert greenhouse gases through photosynthesis as well as regulate and store water.
  • They purify water through their cycle of sediments and nutrients. Hence balancing terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
  • They are a home to wide biodiversity. This is because of their high number of species present , their small global geographic area,number of species which are endemic to wetlands and their high productivity.
  • They provide resources to both humans and animals. As well as offer habitat to a wide variety of living organisms.
  • They can act as fire breaks for minor wildfires within their locations.

Products that can be extracted from them

  • Food
  • Fuelwood
  • Salt (produced by evaporating seawater)
  • Animal fodder
  • Traditional medicines (e.g. from mangrove bark)
  • Fibers for textiles
  • Dyes and tannins
  • Food converted to sweeteners and carbohydrates

Threats facing them

Read the full article here.

Conservation is a Serious Affair

Conservation is a Serious Affair.

Conservation is a Serious Affair. This includes conservation education and awareness. Let’s stop taking them for granted or as jokes.

Misconceptions contributing to conservation woes hence ignored as a serious affair:

  • Why should I care for nature an wildlife, yet we have organisations or governments tasked to do exactly that?

Some people think that conserving our environment is a responsibility for a particular group of people. They don’t see any importance of their participation.

These are people who will litter the streets comfortably knowing that some worker some where is being paid to collect such trash.

They will will leave a lost or injured animals helpless on the road , because to them, that’s not their business.

Such people will not even bother to have flowers or pets. They see such as waste of time and disturbance. And in the long run, they miss what nature can offer them if they were to change their thinking.

I tend to think that all public resources belong to the public. Hence by default, it’s our duty to ensure they are in good condition. That effective laws are passed to protect them and their management by the set organisations is carried out well.

We are supposed to know and ensure that the natural resources are not abused or mishandled by anyone.

As much as we may have different bodies tasked to ensure our environment and species are okay. We have to be actively involved.

  • What do I gain from conserving or spreading conservation education and awareness?

Get the full article here.

What do you need to have unforgettable trip in the wild?

What do you need to have unforgettable trip in the wild?

Everyone looks forward to having an epic time out there during their trip. To create unforgettable moments and memories. To have one of a lifetime trips/weekend/safaris, etc.

It’s a time to shake up the usual, let go the burden and stress of life as well as allowing our soul time to heal and rejuvenate. So it has to be one of a kind.

Everything that gives best results includes proper prior arrangements and preparations. You can’t just go blindly hoping that things will sort themselves out. You may end up not enjoying your time in the wild.

Nature is full of surprises, both bad and good. The plan may change but it was better to have had a plan anyway. Because it helps to smoothen the surprises .

So what are the basics for such trips?

  • Knowledge about the place you are planning to visit

It’s very important to do a research about the place you are planning to visit. This is irregardless of whether you will have a local guide or not.

The research will help you know what to expect. From the local community and their cultures. You don’t want to find yourself in trouble for offending any of that. Or not being able to mingle well with the locals. To really enjoy some where new, locals offer the best intel.

Research helps you know about the weather patterns and geographical structures. You will know what animals to look for, plants native to that area, and many more.

Ideally, the research gives you a preview of your trip. An angle to ensure that you fully exploit that place.

  • Documents

Ensure to carry with you all the needed documents to avoid any inconveniences.

  • Budgeting

Money is very vital. You have to know how much you need to be able to enjoy your trip. And always carry more than you expect to use. Know how much stuff cost in your area of interest, exchange rate if need be and pricing of different things.

Write down all the activities that will need you to pay for. Research will offer you this information.

  • Map of the area or a GPS and a guide book

Technology has made it easier not to get lost in new places as well as offering directions to various points. So having a GPS device with you is vital.

Map is also very important if you want to explore all the hidden nature treasure. The map will help you find the caves, waterfalls, parks, and many others. Basically, map is your google in the wild.

If you don’t want to miss all the fun spots, carry a map plus a compass with you. These two tools make explorations one amazing adventure.

Guide books helps in a wide variety of tasks. From helping you in understanding the local language, giving you directions to places such as hostels/restaurants/ATMs/public transport/etc. You don’t have to risk be lied to by the ”unwilling” strangers.

It’s an evil world and not everyone will treat you well all the time. It’s good to have some basic knowledge to stay safe.

  • Understand seasons and consider your timings

Read the full article here.