Last November, we received an invitation to participate in the 2018 Great Grevy’s Rally. Our initial thoughts were that the organisers had learnt of some of our members’ competence behind the wheel, but what got us the invite was our visual story telling capabilities.
The GGR is a national census of Grevy’s zebra. The rally brings together scientists, landowners, conservancies and members of the public in driving through designated areas and photographing the right side of each individual Grevy’s zebra observed with a provided GPS enabled digital camera. Each Grevy’s zebra has a unique stripe pattern, which allows us to identify each individual. The photographs will then be processed by the Image Based Ecological Information System (IBEIS), which will identify the individual and its age and sex, and will record the observational time and location. The IBEIS results will estimate the size of the Grevy’s zebra population throughout Kenya. You can find out more here.
Fast forward to January 26th 2018 and we arrived at Nanyuki Sports Club, where five of us were embedded with teams from American zoos who had flown in specifically for the rally.
From Nanyuki, we drove further north into Marsabit County, as our rally area was Laisamis and Logo Logo.
After two days of driving and counting, we counted less than 10 Grevy’s zebras, in an area where hundreds roamed before. Environmental degradation has sent Grevy’s away from their natural habitat, to corners of Isiolo, Samburu and Laikipia Counties, which is where many more were spotted.
Rally results will be announced later in the year.
Here are some of the images we captured.
On the way back, we stopped at Kisima and captured the beauty of canola growing in plantations.