Nature Kenya has successfully secured a lease of Msidunyi forest in an effort to protect 6 percent of the world’s remaining population of Taita Apalis (Apalis fuscigularis). The lease was funded by World Land Trust (WLT), RSPB and African Bird Club.
Measuring 15.5 acres (6.28 hectares), Msidunyi is an area of forest in private ownership on the western side of Vuria peak in the Taita Hills of south eastern Kenya. The forest is home to Taita Apalis, one of the world’s rarest birds.
Severely threatened by habitat loss, Taita Apalis survives only in isolated forest fragments and occupies a tiny range of 1,235 acres (500 hectares). Classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Species, the entire population of Taita Apalis may number as few as 150 individuals.
The immediate future of the Taita Apalis is dependent on the effective conservation of the forest fragments that provide its natural habitat. The Msidunyi lease is an important first step towards securing the future of this species, and in the longer term the aim is to restore and protect the habitat found between these forest fragments.
“I am delighted that WLT, RPSB and African Bird Club have been able to support Nature Kenya to manage Msidunyi forest for the conservation of the Taita Apalis,” said David Wright, WLT’s Head of Programmes.
WLT supports Nature Kenya through the Keepers of the Wild programme.
WLT has recently launched Keepers of the Wild 2020, an appeal to raise £750,000 to guarantee WLT’s ranger support programme until 2020.