Discoveries From Two Years With Kenya’s Warthogs

Tom Butynski inspecting a dry river bed in Turkana for warthog footprints. Photograph by Yvonne de Jong.

In December, 2012, we began our quest to better understand one of Africa’s least-known large mammals: the desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus).

Over the following two years we shared the findings from our project here on the Explorers Journal blog, revealing observations not only of warthogs, but also of several other species. This project has now come to an end, so we present a brief overview of what we discovered on our “Quest for Kenya’s Desert Warthog.

Tom Butynski inspecting a dry river bed in Turkana for warthog footprints (Photo by Yvonne de Jong)

The Lay of the Land

Together, northern and central Kenya support vast areas of desert, savannah, lava rock plain, sparsely wooded grassland, shrubland, and patches of mid-altitude forest and montane forest. In the area covered by this survey (no less than 128,000 sq. km), all of these ecosystems are represented. The altitude ranges from 260 m above sea level (Kora National Park, Tana River County) to 3,060 m asl (Cherangani Hills, Trans Nzoia County). Due to security issues in northern Kenya, few ground surveys of the larger mammals have been conducted in the past. For this same reason, we were somewhat restricted in our movements through the region —> Read More Here


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