The distinctive Aders’ duiker has a very small distribution. Confined to East Africa’s coastal forests, the species was thought to be extinct everywhere except the island of Zanzibar and the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest in Kenya. In fact, Wild Planet Trust, in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service, obtained the first ever camera-trap photos of Aders’ duiker in Kenya.
However, there was no evidence for the species in any other Kenyan forests until a sighting near the Dodori National Reserve, in northern coastal Kenya, in 2004.
A fruitful expedition
The security situation, along with poor accessibility, prevents regular travel to the region, but in 2008 and 2010 we helped to support expeditions to the Boni-Dodori forests. These were led by the Kenya Wildlife Service, along with scientists from National Museums Kenya, Wild Planet Trust and the Zoological Society of London.
The successful confirmation of a new and large Aders’ duiker population together with a host of other rare and threatened species resulted in a long-term programme of camera-trap surveys in Kenya’s coastal forests to document the tremendous biodiversity value of some previously poorly known areas.
As a result, Aders’ duiker was subsequently downlisted from critically endangered to vulnerable on the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Red List, although many populations remain highly threatened.