Aerial Surveillance Report for January 2019

Published on the 5th of February, 2019

January was surprisingly quiet for illegal activities. Routine aerial patrols across much of the Park turned up no fresh illegal activities at all.

Only one incident of logging was noted in the northern extremity of Tsavo East during a helicopter patrol, which ground teams responded to the following day. The Aerial Unit did however discover a large livestock incursion towards the Northeast side of the Park along the Tiva River. KWS was swift to act on this incursion and with several flights from both fixed wing aircraft and the helicopter, over the next two weeks all of the livestock was successfully removed from the Park.

This month, the streak of no illegal activities also continued in the Chyulu Hills National Park (CHNP). Since the completion of the last phase of the electric fence along the Eastern Boundary of the Park, not a single illegal incident has been observed.

As crops neared harvesting in bordering community lands, human-wildlife conflict did increase in January. Our helicopter on one occasion, pushed around 400 elephants away from community farms and into a local wildlife conservancy. To the north of Kibwezi, several cases were also attended to with smaller groups of 7-15 elephants being either pushed away from farms and into adjacent protected areas or through the fence and back into the CHNP.

As earlier mentioned, signs of poaching were minimal, with only 2 old harbours being discovered on helicopter patrols by the Canine Unit. Two poisoned arrows were recovered from one of the harbours. On the same patrol an extinguished fire left behind by a honey harvester was also sighted.