The Darwin Initiative at Lake Bogoria:

The Darwin Bogoria-Flamingo Project is akin to a termite colony, whose mounds form major structures in this beautiful, arid landscape. Both are structured and integrated at all levels. We network with the local communities; producing and sharing scientific understanding to help underpin their move tosustainable livelihoods.

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Scientific research

Local communities


Educational work

Scientific research has met four objectives        
1. Seven adult male lesser flamingos satellite tracked, yielding new data about their use of lakes and frequency of movements
2. The three key Kenyan flamingo lakes - Bogoria, Elmenteita and Nakuru - intensively monitored over three years to provide new insights into their limnological stability and flamingo use of them.
3. Causes of past flamingo mass-mortality events investigated through post-mortems; flamingo health through morphometric analysis and blood sampling. Preliminary conclusions are that mortalities are not caused by direct pollution, as had been feared.
4. The biodiversity of Lake Bogoria National Reserve quantified for dragonflies & damselflies, moths, birds, beetles, flowering plants and grasses


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The local communities have been assisted in four ways
1. Three short films in Swahili made with local farmers, for them, about sustainable farming
2. Local people trained in ecotourism skills
3. Langstroth bee hives made and the benefits of their use disseminated.
4. One new laboratory brought to Koibatek with enough equipment to rehabilitate existing labs at three other Rift Valley lakes.

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Capacity-building has been at four levels amongst project partners

1. Two postgraduates trained (1 Darwin Fellow, other M.Sc.)    
2. Eight undergraduates trained (2 f-t in Nairobi & Mweka; 6 Leicester D-L)    
3. Over twenty attended intensive 2-week
training as part of Earthwatch field research
camps at two soda lakes
4. Over 100 young professionals from 3 East African countries
trained on 1-week field workshops in conservation issues -
“ Ecosystem Health” “Taxonomy for Biodiversity Conservation”
and “Ramsar Management Plans”.


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Educational work has reached over 2000 local children in nursery (2), primary (9) and secondary (2) schools


1. All schools adopted an animal Logo, incorporated into headed notepaper. Wall maps also given to all, to promote
local identity.
2. Secondary schools were given microscopes and computers. Top pupils visited each research camp.
Earthwatch Teacher Fellows took classes.
3. Primary schools were given wall posters and work books.
4. Story books were written and produced to bring flamingo biology and conservation into pupils lives
5. Films made with them, for them, singing songs and reciting poems about conservation and water


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