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


Welcome news on the BirdLife Community website that international attention is again being focussed on the Sharpe’s Longclaw and the vanishing grasslands of the Kinangop Plateau (just an hour’s drive from Nairobi), this time with the added bonus of Nature Kenya winning 30,000 Euros to fund conservation work there:


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 left and 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.

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About the author

Passionate about animal welfare and conservation, veggie and dairy-free, I live in the Wiltshire (UK) countryside. I co-founded Birders Against Wildlife Crime and Birds Korea. Trustee of the League against Cruel Sports On Twitter @charliemoores


  1. Kinangop Plateau is composed of privately owned parcels of land, which are the stronghold of Sharpe’s Longclaw and the grasslands are disappearing at an alarming late due to small scale farming. Buying of pieces of land as bird reserves is the only lasting solution. So winning this amount ‘ll for sure go a long way in helping to conserve this unique bird species not forgetting the Toads and the snakes etc all on the same line of disappearing.

    Please let’s all vote for this noble idea.

  2. Charlie says:

    Thanks James. Yes, this is a noble idea and it takes just a few seconds to vote for – so come on folks, please vote.

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