World's rarest antelope GPS collared for first time in Kenya28/01/2013 16:36:22 Hirola can now be monitored in an attempt to save this critically endangered species.
January 2013. A first ever attempt to GPS collar wild hirola in their native range has been hailed a success by conservationists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
Boni Forest and Tana River
90% decline in population
"As the sole representative of its group, the loss of the hirola would be the first extinction of a mammalian genus on mainland Africa in more than 100 years," Cath added.
4-500 alive today
ZSL's EDGE Fellow and University of Wyoming doctoral student Abdullahi Hussein Ali says: "GPS radio-collars record one location every three hours throughout the year, and provide us with vital information on movement patterns which we wouldn't otherwise get.
"Because of the elusive nature of the hirola, identifying different herds for collaring was not an easy task. This particular habitat had also recently been hit by drought, so it made our job harder as it caused the hirola to disperse further in search of greener pastures," Ali added.
The GPS collars will drop off remotely in June 2014. Results from this study will provide much-needed information on the basic ecology and natural history of the hirola. This will form the basis of developing conservation efforts and monitoring of this rare and beautiful antelope in north-eastern Kenya.