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Aders’ duiker

Project overview

What? Aders’ duiker (Cephalophus adersi)

Why? Aders’ duiker was known as Africa’s rarest antelope, assessed as critically endangered until 2017

How? Monitoring populations to help support their survival

Where? Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Kenya

When? 2012–2023

Aders Duiker

Encouraging signs

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.

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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.