The DSWT’s Aerial Surveillance Unit has been fully active during the month of June, operating throughout the Tsavo Conservation Area, whilst responding to any emergency reports or incidences in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service. The majority of patrols were conducted over the northern area of Tsavo East NP as well as the southern area of Tsavo West, which has experienced a rise in poaching incidents recently. The Cessna 185 visited the DSWT’s Amu and Witu projects in Lamu County twice this month to assist with aerial patrols, whilst Amu is still flooded after heavy rains and experiencing a huge influx of cattle. The Chyulu Hills were also patrolled revealing a rise in logging incidences and charcoal burning, which was followed up by the DSWT’s ground teams.
Eight elephant carcasses were sighted from the air during the course of the month with six carcasses discovered in Tsavo East NP whilst two were found in Tsavo West NP. Of the eight elephants, tusks were intact on four, which were immediately recovered. Six of the cases were confirmed poaching victims, yet the other two are uncertain. Despite these losses the aerial unit, in conjunction with the anti-poaching ground teams, veterinary unit and the KWS, is extending a greater presence over the Tsavo Conservation Area and in doing so is actively preventing further poaching activities and habitat destruction whilst helping to save many wild lives that if not discovered would have died from injuries associated predominantly with poaching.
Here you can read June’s report from the Aerial Surveillance Unit: