Tagging of Endemic and Rare Flora at City Park

All-focus

Did you know City Park is home to 16 rare plant species, 7 of which are endemic to Kenya and 9 of regional distribution? Among these is the Croton alienus (pictured above) found in all sites of the park. Other known populations across the country are small, highly vulnerable or may have been lost. (Source: City Park Plant Diversity Assessment, National Museums of Kenya, 2018)

Fig. Plots previously used in the Plant Diversity Assessment were also used to guide the tagging exercise. Plots 2 and 3 were targeted for this exercise [Photo: NMK]

Part of the ongoing restoration works by Kenya Forest Service involve opening up paths and sections of the park that have been covered by bushes. Teams working under the recently launched Kazi Mtaani Program are currently carrying out the clearing of bushes under the supervision of the Forest Manager.

Fig. Tagging team before the exercise. L-R, Mr. Wambugu (NMK), Mr. Koros (FoCP), Mr. Ouko (KFS), Dr. Kirika (NMK) and Mr. Kimeu (KFS) [Photo:FoCP]

To ensure protection of rare plant species, saplings, indigenous shrubs and other important flora, a tagging exercise was necessary. Dr. Paul Kirika, a botanist from National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and one of the researchers behind City Park’s Plant Diversity Survey (2010, 2018), led this exercise. Also present during the July 28th exercise was the Forest Manager and representatives from NMK and FoCP.

Fig. Red tags were used to indicate plant species that should be left untouched during the ongoing clearing [Photo: FoCP]

Some of the important species identified and tagged included Synadenium compactum, Afrocanthium keniensis and Vitex strickeri. Sansevieria parva and Chaetachme aristata were noted as indigenous species that can be propagated within the Park nurseries and used for landscaping and as hedge-plants.

Fig. Yellow ribbons were used to indicate sections of the forest that should be left untouched [Photo: FoCP]
Fig. Invasive creepers that cover large sections of forest undergrowth [Photo: FoCP]

-by Benard Koros

One Response to “Tagging of Endemic and Rare Flora at City Park”

  1. Dr Baldip Khan05/08/2020 at 9:05 pm #

    Tagging is an excellent idea! While it is good to remove the invasive species, we need to not only identify the rare ones but also nurture them.

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