Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba Parks are situated just north of the frontier town Isiolo within Kenya’s hot and arid northern region. The three reserves are separated by the Ewaso Ng’iro River which acts as a life giver in this semi-desert region. Around the edges of the river, acacia and doum palms dominate, being replaced by dusty scrubland outside the flood plain.
This dry, inhospitable environment hosts several bird and mammal species which are restricted to this habitat, notably the Grevy’s Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Long necked Gerenuk and Beisa Oryx. This macro-environmental transition marks a speciation boundary with several bird species only occurring or being replaced, namely the Somali Ostrich replacing the Common Ostrich and Taita Fiscal replacing Common Fiscal.
Bird assemblage here includes; White-headed Buffalo-Weaver, African Orange-bellied Parrot, White-bellied Bustard, Buff-crested Bustard, Pink-breasted Lark, Taita Fiscal, Red-billed Hornbill, Yellow-billed Hornbill, Bristle-crowned Starling, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Fawn-coloured Lark, Black-cheeked Waxbill, Somali Ostrich, Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Rosy-patched Bush-Shrike, Banded Parisoma, Black-capped Social Weaver, Lappet-faced Vulture, Fischer’s Starling, Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Pygmy Falcon, Bateleur, Somali Bee-eater, White Backed Vulture and Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow weaver.