Aerial Support


The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Aerial Unit consist of five aircraft: a Piper PA Supercub, a Piper Family Cruiser, a Topcub, a Cessna 185 and a Cessna 206, complemented by both a Hughs MD 500 Helicopter and an Airbus AS350 Helicopter. All these aircraft are ideally suited for low-level aerial monitoring and surveillance. Based from the Trust's Kaluku Field Headquarters adjacent to Tsavo National Park, these aircraft fly primarily throughout the Tsavo Conservation Area in support of The Kenya Wildlife Service and DSWT anti-poaching and veterinary ground teams.

Countless hours are flown covering Tsavo East and West National Parks including the Chyulu Hills and Amboseli National Park, the Kibwezi Forest Reserve and the many bordering group ranches. The Lamu District along Kenya’s north-east coast where the DSWT’s Project Amu is located, also benefits from regular aerial surveillance from the DSWT aircraft, with all sightings and incidents reported to the Trust’s Lamu-based headquarters for immediate action in the field.

Aerial surveillance is needed now more than ever in an effort to curb elephant and rhino poaching and the threat to wildlife and wild habitats as a whole. It is a vital tool in the effective prevention of illegal activities, whilst increasing security and providing essential data needed to protect such a vast landscape.

In partnership with KWS regional authorities ambushes are laid at strategic locations identified from the air to combat persistent poaching activities, following which many arrests have been made by KWS, whilst poacher’s hideouts, snare lines and shooting platforms erected over waterholes are sighted and also destroyed as are charcoal kilns. Other illegal activities identified from the air include the illegal intrusion of livestock within the Protected Areas, which poses a great threat to the TCA and the future of the environment. Alongside the KWS/DSWT Tsavo and Amboseli Mobile Veterinary Units the Aerial Surveillance Unit is also a vital tool in sighting and monitoring and assisting in the treatment of injured elephants.

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The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust   P.O. Box 15555 Nairobi Kenya

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