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A Letter from the Field

Robert Kiprotich, who is a Guide, birder and the Angama Foundation’s champion for the Mara Raptor Project, shares an update from his friends in the Project
Above: A juvenile martial eagle flies safely overhead

It’s been a while since we last had an update from the Mara Raptor Project, but we have always been keeping in contact. My name is Robert Kiprotich, and I am an Angama Guide and the champion of the Mara Raptor Project (MRP) for the Angama Foundation. The people of the MRP have been very busy, and we have been excited to hear they are focusing more attention on our home turf, the Mara Triangle. Stratton Hatfield, who is the founder of MRP and a big friend of Angama’s, wrote to me earlier this week with an update on what they’ve been up to.

Robert is always quick with a smile, but often quicker with his binoculars

He writes, 'Hello Robert, Dennis Kipelian has officially joined the Mara Raptor Project team thanks to the generous support from the Angama Foundation. Dennis is from Kawai, which, as you know, is just a few kilometres from Angama Mara. If you see him around, please give him a wave and introduce yourself.

I wish we could say his time with us started off in a flurry of data collection, but the mechanics of setting up a new team member with the technology and knowledge involved in monitoring raptor nests is complicated! Nonetheless, I’m happy to tell you that Phase One of training has been a great success. Dennis is in experienced hands with MRP manager Lemein Par, whom the Angama Foundation previously supported, and database coordinator Rebekah Karimi is leading the way.  

The Angama team all welcome Dennis Kipelian to the Mara
A big thumbs up — we like him already

With their guidance, Dennis is learning how to find and ethically monitor nests. How to record, store, and share data, and potentially the most challenging, how to navigate an extremely wet and flooded Mara Triangle. The good news is that Dennis absorbs information (and not water) like a sponge and is thriving in his new role. Almost daily we receive reports from him from the field. Some of the highlights so far include him finding a new bateleur nest, confirming that one of our martial eagle nests has an egg, and recently sighting an uncommon lesser spotted eagle.

A tagged martial eagle identified as 'N9' — the Inselberg female (estimated to be about 13 years old)

Dennis will work closely with the Mara Conservancy to ensure these nest sites remain protected and free from disturbance. Very little is also known about the size of raptor populations in the region, and we will continue to track the population health of some of these critically endangered species. I’m sure Dennis would appreciate any news of raptor activity you and the rest of the Angama Guiding team have noticed from the previous few months.

Thanks again for the support of the Angama Foundation — I look forward to updating you all on Dennis’ progress in the future.'

The Mara Raptor Project soaring high in the Mara Triangle

As the Angama Foundation’s champion of the Mara Raptor Project, it’s my job to make sure my new friend Dennis has the support we can give him to do his job well. I chose to be the champion of this cause because I love birds; they are a very important part of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. Through this research, I will have the privilege of creating awareness among our guests and the greater community (especially schools) about the raptors, which will hopefully positively impact these special birds.

Filed under: Stories From The Mara

Tagged with:

Birding , Birdlife , Maasai Mara

About: Robert Kiprotich

Robert has been part of the Angama family from the very beginning. First hired as a general cleaner, he quickly advanced to tent steward, then to the front of house as a butler — all the while training to become a guide. Now, as a member of the guiding team, he spreads joy with his infectious smile, passion for wildlife and the connections he makes with guests.

Browse all articles by Robert Kiprotich Meet the angama team

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