Mara Elephant Project has partnered with Seedballs Kenya to help reforest Kenya in some of the areas devastated by illegal charcoal production and logging (read more here). Four generous donors recently gave MEP a total of 65 kg of seedballs to distribute via the Karen Blixen Camp Ree Park Safari helicopter and send along with MEP ranger units to use while out on patrol.
One of the MEP patrol vehicles getting loaded up with seed balls from Seedballs Kenya for distribution.
One area of particular concern for MEP C.E.O. Marc Goss was community land bordering Mara North Conservancy. Up in the hills Marc and MEP rangers were seeing a lot of illegal charcoal production taking place that was devastating the forest.
You can see the charcoal production spots indicated by the dark brown coloring of the ground. Additionally, see the illegal logs stacked up ready to be made into charcoal.
A closer look at a charcoal production site.
So, on October 12, MEP conducted a successful reforestation project using indigenous seed balls in this hard-hit area. This operation was somewhat of an experiment for MEP too see what the best way to distribute seedballs is. Using the helicopter we tried two methods: one was via a reusable bag which allowed more seedballs to distribute quicker; the second was with a recycled water jug which allowed for slower distribution. We found that both worked really well but for quicker distribution, the bag was the best option.
MEP C.E.O. Marc Goss along with a ranger distributing seed balls from the helicopter.
Along with distributing the seedballs from the helicopter, we also had rangers on the ground walking and distributing the seedballs in the hardest hit areas in these hills.
MEP rangers distributing seed balls while out on patrol.
MEP C.E.O. Marc Goss spreading seed balls on the charcoal production location.
MEP plans to come back to this spot regularly to check up on its progress and ensure any illegal logging or charcoal production sites are shutdown.
You can see the seeds up close here all wrapped in charcoal and ready for the next rain.
Thank you to the four donors for supporting both Seedballs Kenya and MEP in an effort to keep Kenya forests protected!