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Kenya: Farmer Unlocks Potential for Dry-Land Farming

Kenya: Farmer Unlocks Potential for Dry-Land Farming

By Wagema Mwangi, Kenya News Agency The breathtaking beauty of sprawling Talio Nyika lowlands of Sagalla hills in Voi sub-county can be overwhelming to a first-time visitor.  The mirages dancing dreamily on top of thickets and the idyllic feel of laid-back huts tucked snugly inside the brooding bushes makes a veritable muse for bards and dreamers. However, locals rarely savor this beauty because underneath it all lies hope and despair.  Characterized by dense vegetation stretching from the foot of Sagalla hills to the border of Tsavo East National Park, this land hides deep aches...

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Elephants have more facial neurons than any other land mammal

Elephants have more facial neurons than any other land mammal

By LIZABETH PENNISI - Science Pachyderms sport more brain cells for their ears alone than humans have for their whole face. No wonder pachyderms have some of the most expressive trunks and ears on the planet. African elephants (pictured) and Asian elephants have about 63,000 and 54,000 nerve cells, respectively, in their facial nucleus—a grape-size brain region that transmits neural signals to and from the face, controlling its muscles, researchers report today in Science Advances. Even taking into account the elephant’s large size, that’s about five times more than any other...

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Tracking Social Media to Uncover Ivory Trafficking in Rwanda

Tracking Social Media to Uncover Ivory Trafficking in Rwanda

By Aimable Twahirwa, IPS / Africa.com Every morning, Valerie Mukamazimpaka, a businesswoman selling various food products from Rubavu, a district in Northwestern Rwanda, wakes up early morning to cross “Petite Barrière,” one of the busiest border crossings with the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The mother of three takes advantage of the ‘Jeton,’ a daily authorization paper allowing individuals to move within the municipal limits of the border towns of Rubavu, Rwanda, and the frenetic city of Goma from North Kivu Province in the eastern part of DRC. All day long, a constant...

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Ivory seized decades ago still turning up in raids

Ivory seized decades ago still turning up in raids

By Matt McGrath - BBC News Confiscated ivory from elephants killed more than 30 years ago has turned up in recent raids, say scientists. The tusks were once part of a stockpile seized from poachers and held in sealed containers by the government of Burundi. In this study, researchers used DNA and carbon dating techniques to show that some of that stored material is now in the hands of smugglers. The government of Burundi has not responded to a BBC request for comment. The authors say seizures should be destroyed and not stored. Between 2007 and 2016 some 100,000 elephants were killed...

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