The elephants are back in large numbers and a week ago a group of them charged through our camel herd dispersing the camels in every direction. Then the rain came and our rangers couldn’t track them. They recovered half the herd but the other half ended up spending the night out. The next day all were recovered except one, a lttle brown one. Unfortunately, little brown has gone to heaven and the local lion pride is feeling very satisfied with themselves.
I found Oxpeckers nesting in one of our Fence Posts the other day. Oxpeckers are not as common here as they are in other parts of Kenya. People speculate that their scarcity is due to Dip Medicine and the control of ticks.
We found this Rhino Beetle the other day and as we were examining him we noticed several Whip Scorpions attached to the back of his abdomen. I remember in EO Wilsons book “The Diversity of Life” a description of another Whip Scorpion parasite on another beetle. Interesting, I wonder if this species is described.
– Also see other smaller egg type things near the Whip Scorpion. I don’t know if these are eggs or another parasite.
David Mech, the American Wolf Biologist once suggested that allowing ranchers to shoot and kill the occasional wolf predating their livestock would allow ranchers recourse to fix their own problems without resorting to poisoning, the more deadly and indiscriminate killer of predators as well as scavengers. I wonder if the same theory could apply to Lions. As social predators Lions might behave in some of the same ways as a wolf pack. Mr Mech has suggested that you can typically kill a couple wolves from a pack but quite quickly the remainder become very shy and refrain from the activities that brought on the trouble in the first place. I would imagine that Lions would behave in the same way.
I bring up this point simply as something to think about and discuss. We live in a part of the world where a large number of pastoral people must coexist with predators that routinely eat their livelyhood. Poisoning, a far more terrifying solution has been widely used in Kenya to Kill predators in the past. Through poisoning alone the American government was able to nearly eliminate the wolf population from the lower 48 and Mr. Mech has suggested that this would never have been possible if those predator control agents were only given guns. Have authors made similar suggestions when it comes to large predator control in Africa?