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University expert probes loss of flamingos

A scientist based at the University of Leicester has been awarded a Government grant totalling £175,791 - to fund a study into the unexplained deaths of hundreds of flamingos in Kenya.

The project forms part of biodiversity grants programme the Darwin Initiative, run and funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). This year 34 new projects will receive a total of £1.9million.

The partnership between the Earthwatch Institute, Dr David Harper at the University of Leicester, University of Nairobi, National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Service and Lake Bogoria National Reserve will use the UK scientific expertise to produce data and explain the reasons for high flamingo deaths in recent years.

The three year project uses community involvement with the local people at Lake Bogoria as well as a team of specialists based at the University of Leicester.

Nature Protection Minister Elliot Morley said:

"The Darwin Initiative is part of Defra’s commitment to tackling biodiversity problems at an international level. We are supporting these important projects aimed at saving species and ecosystems by putting in even more money. This year we will be spending £4million, up from £3 million last year, on Darwin projects, both new and existing."

Julian Laird, Earthwatch Acting Chief Executive, said:

"Earthwatch is absolutely delighted to receive Darwin Initiative funding for this study of flamingo populations at Lake Bogoria, Kenya. This project is an excellent example of British and Kenyan organisations, and local people working together to enable informed conservation and community benefits.

"The project will build on the success of Dr. David Harperıs work with Earthwatch volunteer teams, and play a central role in the process of developing an effective and well-informed management plan for Lake Bogoria."

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Last updated: 11 April 2003 10:55
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