Saving threatened habitats worldwide

WLT’s first land purchase in Africa

7 October, 2010 - 11:50 -- World Land Trust

World Land Trust’s (WLT) African partner Nature Kenya has completed the purchase of 51 acres of threatened grassland on the Kinangop Plateau, Kenya, with funds provided by WLT. This is an important milestone for WLT as it represents the first reserve funded by WLT in Africa.  The new reserve is of vital importance being situated in one of the 61 areas in Kenya recognised as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International.

WLT's first funded reserve in Africa

A 51 acre area in the Kinangop Grasslands is the first reserve funded by WLT in Africa © Nature Kenya.

Nature Kenya is committed to purchasing further acres within Kinangop, and has set a goal of protecting 500 acres. This target has been established to secure sufficient habitat to maintain a viable population of the Sharpe’s Longclaw, an Endangered bird species endemic to Kenya. Nature Kenya is establishing reserves in different locations of the Kinangop Plateau, which in addition to protecting wildlife, are used as demonstration areas on how the land can be farmed in an ecologically sustainable way. Although the threat to grasslands does not get as much publicity as the loss of rainforests, they are critically threatened. WLT aims to raise funds for purchase and protection of these threatened grasslands, which are home not only to the Sharpe’s Longclaw but also Jackson’s Widowbird and endemic species of amphibian.

Sharpe's Longclaw

The new land purchase will permanently secure habitat for the endangered Sharpes Longclaw © C. Moores

 More Information

Read more about this threatened habitat on the Kenyan Grasslands Project page. Support the Kenyan Grasslands Appeal


Submitted by Bakari Samuel on

We as the members of the kinangop community are very grateful to the WLT for the efforts that they have put to help conserve the Highland Grasslands. The grassland offer very important ecoligical services to the people in the Plateau and across the world. Just like noted,Threatened Grasslands does not get much publicity as forest while they are equally important in carbon taking and habitat for thraened biodiversity.
We support the idea of buying reserves across the entire Kinangop. This is critical since having the reserves close to each other leaves out some population. While the ecology is not clearly understood especially in terms of inbreeding, it is important to have reserves in various corners such that when intervention is necessary the individuals can be relocated. Initial Research in the Kinangop population shows very poor breeding success in Sharpe’s Lonclaw as compared to other grassland birds who are not very much restricted to particular areas. Sharpe’s Longclaw is not known to be a long distance flier and popilutions remain in a fragment throughout their lives. It is therefore very important to put into considerations the ecology of this Bird.
In the meantime, being a member of the Friends of Kinangop Plateau, and having a fisrt hand experience with trends of the habitat and the populations, am very much greatful to the WLT and evrybody who have played a role in cash and kind towards the purchase of the reserves.I believe this is the one of the only few ways that can have save this habitat.

Submitted by Charlotte Beckham on

Bakari, thank you very much for your lovely comment and the additional information about the Sharpe’s Longclaw population. The valuable work of FoKP will also be featured in an upcomming story this month.

Charlotte Beckham
Web Content and Information Officer

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