The driving vision behind Nick's conservation work is to enable valuable conservation ideas to move from design to reality. The success of Nick's work relies heavily on strong teamwork and dedicated people who have an authentic commitment to Kenya’s wild spaces and the communities around them. His conservation and development career spans over 30 years during which he has acquired invaluable experience working with the Kenya Wildlife Service, conservation partners and private partners. His work is multi-faceted and includes community engagement, habitat conservation, endangered wildlife protection, aerial surveys, programme design and implementation. As Executive Director, Nick oversees the Trust's operations; donor reporting, financial management, policies, communications, and oversight along with field-based action. Nick relishes hands-on coordination, team capacity building, community engagement and practical field work, with regular exposure to national policy, planning and regulatory conservation processes. Nick is committed to forward-thinking raptor conservation and is always open to collaboration with partners.
Executive Director Kenya Bird of Prey trust
Director Soysambu Raptor Centre and Soysambu Raptor Project
Simon Thomsett has been handling raptors since he was six years old. As a teenager, he assisted the late Dr, Leslie Brown in the 1970s. In 1976, Rosy, a male Crowned Eagle was rescued in the Aberdares and Simon dedicated his life to his care to over three thousand injured, orphaned, poisoned and sick raptors. In 1991 Simon began the Peregrine Fund raptor conservation and research work in Kenya. He has travelled to Madagascar, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Cape Verde Islands, India and Nepal, supporting and training dozens of academic students in raptor conservation, encouraging the rehabilitation of raptors including the art and science of falconry, and improving raptor veterinary practices. Simon has appeared in several BBC and National Geographic documentaries. Having constructed 5 centres in protected areas in Kenya, Simon built a remote raptor centre on Soysambu Conservancy in 2014 where he now lives. In 2015, along with Shiv Kapila and Sarah Higgins, he co-founded the Kenya Bird of Prey Trust as a means to not only conduct practical raptor conservation but also to ensure that the injured birds that will never be releasable are secure for their lifetime, which in the case of Rosy was 42 years.
Working with many of Africa’s foremost experts in the raptor field, Shiv has developed a keen interest in the conservation of Africa’s birds and a great love for raptors in particular. With a Masters in Conservation from University College London, Shiv has worked on a variety of research projects in Kenya: studying the Sharpe’s Longclaw in central Kenya; Colobus monkeys on the Kenyan coast; Martial Eagles on the Athi Plains; owls along the Kenyan coast; vultures and their catastrophic decline in Africa and India. Shiv is has also studied the African Fish Eagle. Shiv is a talented wildlife photographer. His photographs have appeared in many Kenyan publications, among them Swara Magazine, Africa Geographic and Kenya Birding, as well as newspaper articles, both local and abroad. Shiv manages the Naivasha Raptor Centre, on the south shore of Lake Naivasha. He is a co-founder of the Kenya Bird of Prey Trust which he established with Simon and Sarah Higgins in 2015. Shiv's prime motivation is to work hands-on with raptors large and small. He is particularly connected to the growing collection of non-releasable vultures at the Naivasha Raptor Centre and invites all to visit the Centre where he will happily show you around and introduce you to the birds.
Director Naivasha Raptor Centre and Naivasha Raptor Project
At the age of seven Stratton’s life-long obsession with birds began. It started with identifying barbets and turacos in his parent’s garden and has culminated in his current pursuit of a PhD at Wageningen University studying Martial Eagle ecology in the Maasai Mara. Stratton has 10 years of experience working in the Mara and currently manages KBoPT’s programs in this world-renowned ecosystem. One of his priorities is capacity building and investment in passionate individuals from local communities as they are the future of conservation in Kenya. He hopes to build a talented and dedicated team in the Mara that puts KBoPT’s mission in action daily. Stratton is committed to using science to drive conservation action and believes strongly that long-term population monitoring is critical for measuring conservation success and holding organizations like KBoPT accountable. If you are in the Mara and spot a green Land Rover roaming the grasslands, feel free to pull Stratton over and engage him in conversation. He is always excited to learn from and share his birding and conservation knowledge with others.
Director Mara Raptor Centre and Mara Raptor Project
Lemein Par is from Orkoroi in Narok County. He is a project coordinator and a research assistant with Kenya Bird of Prey Trust. He manages relationships with stakeholders and guests in the Mara. In the field, he monitors raptor breeding sites and locates prey remains to ground-truth transmitter data.
Project Coordinator Mara Raptor Project
Mwanzia has been working with raptors since 1996, is now one of a handful of Kenya’s most experienced trainer/handlers of raptors. He has worked with at least 30 species including all the large eagles, large falcons and most vulture species including the Lammergeyer. Mwanzia is instrumental in caring for the raptors as well as playing a key role in show casing the birds to the Kenya public, particularly school children who come to see the birds on school outings.
Mwapa has worked with raptors since 2000 and came to join us in 2014, extending his capacity to working with injured and debilitated raptors. He is particularly skilled in training raptors and together with Mwanzia he has coached several students, including volunteers, in raptor management and husbandry.
Mutua has worked with raptors since 2014 and helped construct the Soysambu Raptor Centre. Mutua participates in all lecture tours especially with local Kenyan children and teachers, thus extending the programmes sometimes in local vernacular to a wider audience.
Leah is the most recent addition to the Trust team. She grew up on Soysambu Conservancy and has been around wild animals all her life. Leah attended the Continental Institute of Computer and Business studies where she successfully completed a course in Tour Guiding and Travel Operation Management as well as a certificate in Computer Science. Leah worked as an intern at Lake Elementaita Serena Camp in the Nature and Front office Department. Leah helps Simon run the Soysambu Raptor Centre, keeping accounts, assisting with reporting, housekeeping, guest services and working closely with the Raptor Handlers, assisting them in emergency treatments of injured birds and general care of the birds.
Visitor Hospitality and Technician (trainee)
Jonathan was born and raised on the northern side of Lake Naivasha at a ranch where his father worked as a wildlife ranger. His love for wildlife started when I was young and he loved to accompany his dad during his patrols from Loldia all the way up to Eburru Forest.
At school he attended sessions from the Elsamere's environmental awareness team and learnt about the importance of the environment and the challenges and threats facing our environment.
Jonathan joined the Kenya Bird of Prey trust early 2018 and works as a technician.
Visitor Hospitality and Technician
Dr. Irene Amoke (Chair) is the Executive Director, Kenya Wildlife Trust. A landscape ecologist with over fifteen years’ experience in field ecology, GIS and project management, Dr. Amoke has worked in academia, government and the private sector both within and outside Kenya. She has worked with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) on human wildlife co-existence projects, ground and aerial surveys and managed a national elephant mortality database. She led field surveys in private game reserves in South Africa and managed several environmental and sustainability projects under the Department of Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Oxford Brookes University, both in the United Kingdom. Dr. Amoke graduated with a BSc in Zoology from University of Eastern Africa, Baraton, and Kenya holds an MSc in Environmental Assessment & Management, and PhD in Landscape Ecology, both from Oxford Brookes University (UK). She is interested in the interface between wildlife and emerging land uses with the aim of formulating policies as well as practical and sustainable ways to mitigate adverse impacts, particularly in fragile ecosystems across developing countries. She sits on the Boards and Advisory Councils of several local and international conservation organisations.
Moses Kamau (Secretary) is the Executive Director and a founding member of Uvumbuzi Africa- a conservation NGO. His passion for conservation was sparked at an early age by a father who loved nature. He possesses a wide range of experience at a non-governmental organization, governance and legal level. He has worked on fair trade, conservation and human rights initiatives over the past 20 years and has also worked on media advocacy for the Constitution of Kenya 2010. He has an intrinsic understanding of the governance issues affecting Kenya and the African continent and applies this to the conservation sector. His love for nature and the nurturing, protection and conservation of natural habitats are a passion initiative for him. Moses has worked in various capacities with BBC radio, Kenya National Commission of Human Rights, Cooperative Group UK and is an advocate of the high court of Kenya.
Peter Njoroge (Treasurer) is a Senior Research Scientist and Head, of the Ornithology Section at the National Museums of Kenya (NMK). He completed his PhD studies at the University of Reading (UK) and Post-doc Research fellowship at the University of Copenhagen. His research interests encompass diverse topics such as conservation of threatened species, species distributions, eco-agriculture and ecosystem services as incentives for conservation in Kenya. As well as running a portfolio of ornithological research projects, Njoroge is the curator of the national ornithological collection at the NMK and also mentors young and upcoming ornithologists through internship programs at NMK and supervision of graduate students.
Frank van Langevelde is professor and chair of the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Group at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He did his PhD research on the effects of habitat connectivity on local populations of the European nuthatch, a songbird living in patches of forest in The Netherlands. Since his PhD research, Frank developed his research about ecological and evolutionary adaptations of animals to stress (e.g. diseases, poor food quality, predators, high temperatures, humans). Environmental stresses can constrain movement and searching for habitat and food, such as the presence of predators and exposure to extreme ambient temperatures or periods of drought. He coordinates/d several projects about wildlife in tropical savannas. Currently, he is member of the board of the graduate school WIAS in The Netherlands.
Peter Hetz is an ardent raptor enthusiast. His career began in Kenya in 1977 with the Wildlife Conservation and Management Department and Wildlife Clubs of Kenya. His Eastern Africa work has included long-standing engagements in Tanzania (TANAPA), Rwanda (Parc des Volcans), and Uganda National Parks (UWA) among others. He has worked internationally in other African countries, Asia and Eastern Europe on matters related to teaching and consulting on protected area establishment and planning, natural resources conservation, ecotourism and land tenure. He returned to Kenya in 2015 and is presently the Executive Director of the Laikipia (Wildlife) Forum, a 20,000 strong membership organization focused on natural resources conservation in the Greater Laikipia Landscape.