Flora

As a result of past and present illegal logging, self-subsistent agriculture and shifting cultivation the forested areas rich in indigenous plant life are struggling to restore their natural balance. It is essential that logging and unsustainable agricultural practices are brought to a complete halt and that regeneration of the forest, and particularly the indigenous trees, is facilitated.

Some forested areas within the district are now mainly comprised of secondary growth, bushes and palms with patches of old indigenous forest with tall trees of many different species still existing. Some of these species, including Manilkara sulcuta and Afzelia quanzensis are important forage trees for various wildlife species as well as for local medicine.

Nine threatened plant species including the critically endangered Euphorbia tanaensis also occur within the Greater Lamu Eco-region.

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The prolonged drought in Lamu is threatening the survival of many wild species including hippos, buffalo and lions. Wild animals have been forced to drink saline water from the Indian Ocean as natural watering holes rapidly dry out.

The rich fauna of the Lamu Archipelago has been under threat in recent months due to a prolonged dry spell across much of Kenya. The drought hit the region’s wildlife hard with animals suffering from severe thirst and starvation, but thankfully Lamu’s diverse species are making a come back.

As a solitary animal, it was extra special to capture these fantastic images taken from the Lamu Conservation Trust camera trap showing two cheetahs feeding on a topi. Cheetah mothers are known to bring back small, live antelopes back to her cubs to teach them how to chase, catch and kill. However, it seems this family is relatively experienced in capturing their prey.

The Lamu District was once home to the densest population of wildlife in Kenya and in 1972 boasted the second largest elephant population in Kenya estimated at over 21,000. Yet today the elephant population has plummeted catastrophically to perhaps numbering less than 100 individuals.