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A Guide to the Alistair Graham Papers

Finding aid created by Dan Reboussin with Janna Royal

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections

June 2017



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Graham, A. D. (Alistair D.)
Title: Alistair Graham Papers
Dates: 1964-1998
Bulk dates: 1965-1979
Abstract: Alistair D. Graham, a Kenyan wildlife conservation biologist specializing in crocodiles, co-founded Wildlife Services, Ltd. in 1964. Included here are original field data sheets recording morphometric measurements of Nile crocodile populations at Lake Turkana, maps of crocodile nesting sites in the Okavango Delta, and original data from other sites such as Kabalega Falls National Park (Uganda) and Nechisar National Park (Ethiopia). The collection documents professional wildlife conservation and management practices in East and Southern Africa during the second half of the 20th century. Several of the surveys were the first time their subject populations were mapped, so they may serve as baseline references for future research.
Extent: 1.28 Linear feet. 3 Boxes and 1 map roll.
Identification: MSS 0393
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Alistair D. Graham (b. October 25, 1938) was born in Kisumu, Kenya. He graduated from Rhodes University, South Africa, with a Zoology degree and earned a Masters in Ecology from the University of East Africa. His first job was as a game warden with the Kenya Game Department starting in 1961. Graham co-founded with Ian Parker East Africa's first wildlife consultancy firm, Wildlife Services, Ltd. in 1964. In 1974 he moved to Botswana to survey crocodiles in the Okavango River area and large mammals in the Kalahari Desert. After working on a crocodile project in New Guinea in 1979, he moved in 1981 to Darwin, Australia, and founded Janamba Croc Farm, one of Australia's first commercial crocodile farms. He continued consulting on wildlife projects in Africa until 2003, when he became Conservator for the Australian National Parks of the Indian Ocean, Christmas Island. Later, he worked for the Department of Parks and Wildlife in Western Australia. Graham has published: The Lake Rudolf crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus Laurenti) population (Wildlife Services, Ltd., 1969), The gardeners of Eden (Allen and Unwin, 1973), Eyelids of Morning (New York Graphic Society, 1973), as well as many reports and articles. He lives in Western Australia with his wife Jane, two daughters, and three grandchildren.


Scope and Content

The Alistair Graham Papers house the papers of Alistair D. Graham, a Kenyan wildlife conservation biologist specializing in crocodiles and their habitats, and an expert in aerial surveys of wildlife populations. The collection documents his work with Wildlife Services, Ltd. (East Africa's first wildlife consultancy firm), co-founded by Graham and Ian Parker in 1964, and Graham's subsequent consulting and research. Contents date from 1964 to 1998, consisting of original field data sheets, aerial and other photographs, data tabulations, analysis, maps, reports, and articles related to Graham's work in Kenya, Botswana, Uganda, and Ethiopia. The collection is organized in a single series, organized chronologically to reflect project groupings named by the creator as follows:

Lake Rudolf: Data were collected between July 1965 and September 1966 from quasi-random shot sample surveys of natural Nile crocodile populations at Lake Turkana (formerly Lake Rudolf) in northern Kenya. Approximately 550 original field data sheets recording 15,000 morphometric measurements are included, along with photographs of the natural habitat. Graham's 1968 M.Sc. thesis included here in typescript was a partial analysis of this research. Wildlife Services, Ltd. also published a version in 1969, available in Marston Science Library circulating collections and online.

Murchison Falls: Surveys of nesting site numbers and distribution at Kabalega Falls National Park (formerly Murchison Falls), Uganda allow the documentation of changes in these crocodile populations. Materials include field data and notes from 1967 and 1969, maps of nests plotted onto 1:50,000 scale maps, and a draft typescript report to the Director of Uganda National Parks (1986).

Aberdare National Park: Field notes with tables of dimensional data, a map, and photos from a 1970 and 1973 study of 38 natural dam waterholes at Aberdare National Park, Kenya are included. Such details were not published in Graham's 1979 Azania journal article co-authored with F. W. Woodley, making these data useful for future research assessing change over time.

Okavango Delta: Research in Botswana's Okavango River floodplain (Bot/71/506) employed five aerial surveys conducted from 1973 to 1987 documenting crocodile nesting sites unreachable by boat. Black and white photographic prints of the nests are included. Nest sites identified by surveys were plotted onto 1:12,000 scale dyeline print enlargements on AK polygraph paper from the original 1:70,000 scale aerial photographs taken at 7,010 meters (Source contract 1/74D; September 1974). While some large pieces of the 1987 prints were torn off, all plotted data remain. Plots represent all nest sites observed to 1987, and were transferred to a composite 1:50,000 scale topographical map also included here. Methods and results were reported in the included unpublished 1988 draft manuscript co-authored with Ian Games, "Monitoring an exploited Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus Laurenti) population on the Okavango River, Botswana." An unrelated, unattributed 2 page typescript story relating to Paga (Ghana) crocodile superstitions is included in a folder with Graham's 1979 response to K. L. Tinley, who in 1978 critiqued his FAO report of the Okavango research.

Kalahari, Botswana: Four aerial surveys 1978-1979 created the first record of the number and distribution of large herbivores in a 240,000 km2 area of the Kalahari along with an extensive range assessment. The included 1980 report Botswana Countrywide Animal and Range Assessment project (7 volumes) did not publish the supporting maps included here, one of which documents flight lines undertaken for these surveys.

Ethiopia: An aerial survey in 1998 at Ch'amo Hâyk' and Âbaya Hâyk' (Lakes Chamo and Abaya) in the Ethiopian Rift Valley produced the first known survey data relating to crocodiles, hippopotamus, and fishing boats in these two lakes, which support Ethiopia's largest crocodile populations. Original maps and census data, with additional data on the pattern of crocodile nesting on Lake Chamo, are included. The field map from an aerial survey of Nechisar National Park (adjoining the two lakes) may be the first available.

The collection overall offers insight into the development of professional wildlife conservation and management practices in East and Southern African during the second half of the 20th century. Maps and other data in the collection were the first time that their subject animal populations or features were systematically mapped, so they constitute unique baseline references for future research. The data on crocodile morphology, population demographics, and locations of nesting sites are of particular interest for further research.


Arrangement

The collection consists of a single series, arranged chronologically.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.


Related or Separated Material

The following are significantly related: Bob Campbell Papers, Graham and Brian Child African Wildlife and Range Management Collection, Records of the East African Professional Hunters Association, Larry D. Harris Papers, and the Ian Parker Collection Relating to East African Wildlife Conservation.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Alistair Graham Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated by Alistair Graham in September, 2014.

Processing Notes

Most published materials, including monographs and some reports, were retained but located in circulating collections. The Ugandan Annual Report of the Game Department (1925-1949; with scattered missing issues) and Annual Report of the Game and Fisheries Department (1951-1969; also incomplete) include issues held only in a few US libraries.


Contents List

Box Folder
11 Reprints unavailable in searched databases, eg. Wermuth morphometrics with notes. 1964, 1987, undated
12 Lake Turkana, Kenya - Original field data sheets: Lake Rudolf crocodile data. 1965-1966
13 Lake Turkana, Kenya - Original field data sheets: Lake Rudolf crocodile data. 1965-1966
14 Lake Turkana, Kenya - Original field data sheets: Lake Rudolf crocodile data. 1965-1966
15 Lake Turkana, Kenya - Lake Rudolf: project notes and data analysis. circa 1966
16 Correspondence and tabulations relating to the sale of crocodile skins. 1966, undated
17 Uganda - Field notes, data, and maps for crocodile nest survey at Murchison Nile. circa 1966
18 Uganda - Map; "Further observations on the status and biology of the Nile Crocodile below Murchison Falls -". 1967, 1969
19 Botswana - Research papers, maps, reprints, and correspondence. 1967-1988
110 Lake Turkana, Kenya - Graham thesis with negatives of plates and figures. 1968
111 Correspondence with The Royal Society and The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. 1969, 1986, 1998
112 Kenya - Field notes, tabulated data, map, and photos of Aberdare National Park waterhole study. 1970, 1973
113 Botswana - Aerial black and white photographic prints of crocodiles and nests. circa 1973-1987
21 Botswana - Research notes, tables and analysis, maps, field data. 1975-1979
22 Botswana - Okavango crocodile raw data and analysis, tabulations. 1975-1987
23 Botswana - Photographs: 35mm film negatives, prints of Okavango crocodile nest sites. 1976
24 Botswana - Map of the Okavango Delta: water resources development proposals. 1977
25 Botswana - Maps of Botswana for "countywide animal and range assessment project". 1978, 1979
26 Botswana - Correspondence, Paga crocodile superstition, reprint of "comments on the UNCP/FAO 1977 report on the Okavango Delta with recommendations regarding the wildlife resource". 1978, 1979, undated
27 Botswana - Maps of Botswana for "countywide animal and range assessment project". 1978, 1979, undated
28 Botswana - Maps of Botswana for "countywide animal and range assessment project". 1978, 1979, undated
29 Botswana - Countrywide animal and range assessment project volumes I-IV. 1980 January
210 Botswana - Countywide animal and range assessment project volumes V-VII. 1980 January
211 Botswana, Uganda - Report on number and distribution of crocodile nests on the Murchison Nile, Uganda (draft report to director Uganda National Parks, 1986); Monitoring an exploited Nile crocodile population on the Okavango River, Botswana (draft by Graham and Ian Games, 1988). 1986, 1988
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D; 35" x 35". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D: Shakawe; 38" x 37". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D: Shakawe fishing camp, Kgaola-Thogo, Ngaru; 38" x 38". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D: Ngaru, Kgaola-Thogo; 39" x 38". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D: Matswabe island; 38" x 37". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D: Matswabe island; 38" x 38". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D; 38" x 38". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D; 35" x 35". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D: Namaseri, E - Channel; 38" x 38". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D: Eastern Channel; 38" x 38". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D: Namaseri; 38" x 38". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D; 35" x 35". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D; 38" x 38". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D: Sepopa; 37" x 38". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Okavango Area Block D: Karamoko; 38" x 38". circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Fragment of map 12. circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Fragment of map 13. circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Additional fragments. circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Composite map 1:50,000-scale of Okavango River floodplain with position of all 594 nest locations to 1987. circa 1987
MapRoll Botswana - Fragment of map: legend, identification, and sheet index for published map. circa 1987
31 Botswana - Okavango River floodplain map showing location of photomaps used for crocodile monitoring, numbered; 13 -5" x 13". circa 1987
31 Botswana - Okavango River floodplain map showing location of photomaps used for crocodile monitoring, on mylar; 14 -25" x 14 -5". circa 1987
31 Botswana - Okavango River floodplain map; 16 -5" x 12". circa 1987
32 Ethiopia - Photocopied map with handwritten notes and results of a wild and domestic animal survey of Nechisar National Park; 23" x 28". 1998 February
32 Ethiopia - Photocopied map with handwritten notes and results of crocodile count along littoral of Lake Abaya; 22" x 16". 1998 February
32 Ethiopia - Photocopied map with handwritten notes and results of crocodile count along littoral of Lake Chamo, Belte nest site; 24 -5" x 19". 1998 February
212 Ethiopia. Notes and figures regarding the crocodile count on Lake Chamo, Ethiopia. 1998

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Âbaya Hâyk'
Africa--Kalahari Desert
Botswana--Okavango River Delta
Ch'amo Hâyk'
Conservation of natural resources
Crocodiles
Ethiopia--Nechsar National Park
Kenya--Aberdare National Park
Nile crocodile
Uganda--Kabalega National Park




For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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