April 2016 Aerial Surveillance Unit Report

Published on the 13th of May, 2016

Flying one hundred hours and covering nearly 15,000 kilometers the DSWT’s Aerial Surveillance Unit has had another successful month patrolling in the greater Tsavo Conservation Area

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Flying one hundred hours and covering nearly 15,000 kilometers the DSWT’s Aerial Surveillance Unit has had another successful month patrolling in the greater Tsavo Conservation Area.  The rains came mid-month, although they were patchy, turning some parts of Tsavo green and leaving others dry. The rivers however were flowing in full force as there had been heavy rain falling around Mount Kilimanjaro and Nairobi, which feed the rivers that run through Tsavo.

Two sets of elephant tusks were spotted from the air and reported and retrieved this month.   One pair was sighted from the DSWT Cessna 185, in an open area. The helicopter was thankfully nearby at the time and was able to collect the tusks, delivering them safely to KWS.  The second pair of tusks were sighted from the helicopter, which landed nearby in a clearing while rangers walked into the thicket to locate and retrieve them. This Ivory too was delivered to the KWS Tsavo HQ.

Three elephant treatments took place using the DSWT helicopter and the Super Cub during the month, whilst on three occasions the pilots were called to assist with elephants in community areas. Illegal activities sighted in April were thankfully very few including one old shooting blind, one set of fresh bicycle tracks and related fresh logging.  Cattle numbers inside Tsavo East were significantly reduced, while cattle numbers in Tsavo West in the southern sector remained high.

You can read about these stories and more in our monthly Aerial Report:

https://issuu.com/davidsheldrickwildlifetrust/docs/asu_apr16

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