Aerial Surveillance Report for November 2018

Published on the 19th of December, 2018

With the short rains finally arriving towards the latter part of the month both the southern and eastern areas of Tsavo East have enjoyed heavy downpours replenishing waterholes and seasonal streams, but the air wing has remained vigilant and busy throughout despite the more favorable conditions.

With what is becoming a welcomed trend, charcoal burning cases are still down in all hotspots. Multiple aerial patrols throughout the Chyulu National Park are still reporting back without any sightings at all. This is unprecedented and is because of the 73km 14-strand un-shortable electrical fence the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has funded along the boundary abutting community lands.

The battle with livestock incursions is ongoing mainly in Tsavo West, whilst the situation in Tsavo East is much improved during recent months. The southern end of Tsavo West remains a challenge with several thousand head of cattle entering from the western boundary and Tanzania with a large portion of them staying inside the park in bomas. Our air wing assisted KWS operations on two occasions in a coordinated effort to push some of these herds back out of the park with the helicopter flying for roughly 11 hours over the course of both operations.

Aerial patrols uncovered five elephant carcasses this month, two of them confirmed victims of poaching with their tusks having been cut out by poachers, the other three were found with their tusks intact, which were retrieved by KWS, however the cause of death could not be confirmed. The helicopter was also involved in three elephant treatments this month.