Good news travels fast. Humans far and wide get it by text message and phone call. Animals see it on the horizon and smell it on the wind. When the rains arrive, everyone starts moving.
So it was a couple of weeks back when storm clouds began to gather over the Chyulu Hills, a volcanic mountain range on the eastern side of Big Life’s operating area.
On top of the drought, fires had been raging through the Chyulus, and as the rain started to fall we felt an immense sense of relief. Over the course of several days, more fell and the fires were quelched. As if called, wildlife of all types began to head to for the hills and the promise of fresh grass.
But that’s where the good news ends for now. The rains have stayed mostly high up in the hills and hardly reached the open lowlands across the rest of the ecosystem.
So while the Chyulus have turned their famed green, the ecosystem is still very much in a drought. Complicating matters, news of rain in the Chyulus has attracted livestock from across the drought-stricken region, some as far as Nairobi. In combination with the high wildlife densities, there are too many mouths to feed, and the green won’t last long.
We hope to receive more rain over the next month. If we don’t, then the ecosystem will sink deeper into a drought crisis. For now, we will continue to do all we can to help wildlife and our partners communities through this difficult time.