Fisheries officers are planning to raid a remote island in the far north of Kenya's Lake Turkana to save a unique wildlife paradise.
AERIAL VIEW Lake Turkana, Kenya
GV Local fishermen in boat rowing along island
SV Scared Ibises, carrion-eating birds
SV Fishermen on beach covered with lava and fishermen's huts
CU Man carrying fish
GV ZOOM INTO CU Of fish being dried on grass
GV Herpetologist Alex Mackay walking along side of Lake Turkana
CU Mackay clutching baby crocodile
SV Mackay and Anthony Wambuia, Kamba Skinner, working on specimens
CU Mackay taking toad specimens from jar
CU ZOOM OUT FROM Dead rodent specimen TO Wambuia working on specimen
SV Ornithological expert Chum von Someren catching an African bee in net and placing the rare specimen into jar (2 shots)
CU Zimbabwean Army officer, Captain Deborah King, stalks with net and catches insect, accompanied by assistant Elizabeth Wangare, a Kenyan bank worker, taking specimen butterfly from net and placing in jar
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Background: Fisheries officers are planning to raid a remote island in the far north of Kenya's Lake Turkana to save a unique wildlife paradise. It's name is Central Island and it lies in the centre of the 185-mile (nearly 300 kilometres) long Lake Turkana. Scientists attached to Kenya's National Museum say that itinerant fishermen, who camp in the region for long periods, have been killing everything in sight -- crocodiles, birds and other wildlife.
SYNOPSIS: Visnews cameraman Mohamed amin flew to Lake Turkana last week (24 September) to record some of the research carried out by the museum staff and by a team of young explorers. The latter are members of Britain's "Operation Drake", an international adventure organisation Eight of them have been working in this remote area of Kenya for the last two months.
Central Island is a major junction for millions of migrating Arctic birds, which rest overnight on its volcanic shores feeding off the fruits of a rare green bush. The island is the main breeding ground of Lake Turkana's resident population of 12,000 Nile crocodiles. But the crocodiles and the island's bird population have been the victims of indiscriminate slaughter by nomadic tribesmen. Kenyan Fisheries' officers say they've had endless trouble with these roving bands of fishermen. They send in boats to drive them away, but they soon return to continue their destruction of wildlife.
A specialist on reptiles, Alex Mackay of Kenya's National Museum, and other experts, have been collecting marine, botanical, insect and bird samples. This surviving baby crocodile is only two months old. The samples they collect will help to form a picture of the fascinating ecological structure of East Africa's fourth largest lake. It will also help the Kenyan government to make development plans. Before landing on Central Island, the Operation Drake team and the museum staff had been sailing over the often choppy waters of Lake Turkana. They've anchored at night in coves, bays and islands, inaccessible except by sea, to collect hundreds of samples. The purpose of Operation Drake is to provide young explores from all over the world with challenges that will test their courage under all conditions.
Mr Chum von Someren of Kenya Museum catches an African bee of a species he has not seen before. This 70-year old ornithologist said the problem of Central Island was not just to do with the disappearance of crocodiles. They had other places to go. He described the island as a major stopover for birds travelling from the north and the south which come to feed on the fruits of the salvadora bush. But Mr von Someren said the fishermen were just cutting away the bush and burning it.
On this volcanic island steam vents were active as the team carried out their research. Ten years ago, it was virtually impossible to walk along the beach without treading on crocodiles. The team is camped just by the water's edge but they say there's not been a crocodile in sight.