DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT ASSOCIATION OF SOMALI OSTRICH IN SAMBURU, KENYAJournal: International Journal of Advanced Research (Vol.10, No. 12)
Publication Date: 2022-12-20
Authors : Mariciano Iguna Mutiga; Paul Kimata Muoria;
Page : 521-529
Keywords : Struthiomolybdophanes Samburu Distribution Habitat NDVI;
Somali ostrich has recently been published as distinct species. The bird is undergoing a drastic decline in population and thus classified as Vulnerable by IUCN. Its conservation demands an urgent understanding of the scope and the severity of the prevailing threats. The decline in range is an important threat to survival and propagation of wild populations in Samburu landscape. We aimed at identifying critical ranges and habitats utilized by the species by investigating its distribution and habitat association within Meibei and West Gate Conservancies, and Samburu National Reserve. Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates and habitats types were recorded for all ostrich sightings during surveys conducted along predetermined routes in the study area. The Normalized difference vegetation Index (NDVI) at ostrich sighting points were obtained and regressed with the frequency of ostrich observations and the resultant regression models used to generate a spatial distribution model map. Somali ostriches were found to prefer bushy areas to open grasslands. However, they avoided think vegetation probably for predator avoidance. Majority of ostrich coexist with Samburu pastoralists and their livestock. This overlap suggests that any meaningful Somali ostrich conservation planning should focus on the involvement of the Samburu pastoral communities in land use planning.
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