With the rains coming to an end and vegetation drying out during December, there was a slight increase in illegal activity compared to the previous month. The Mtito and Chyulu teams had the busiest months in terms of arrests with 28 arrests made between them. Various forms of wood utilisation accounted for the majority of arrests including 5 charcoal burners, 6 woodcarvers and 3 loggers. The Chyulu team also arrested 7 offenders for grazing livestock illegally and 3 for harvesting miraa, whilst the Ziwani team apprehended 3 minors herding livestock, 3 charcoal burners and 2 bush-meat poachers
Other notable arrests during the month were made by the Mtito team who arrested 1 bushmeat poacher and 1 bushmeat trader in addition to destroying 9 charcoal kilns and recovering close to 1000 wood carvings.
The teams recovered 118 snares in total, down from 193 last month. Snaring activity is expected to increase again in January and February as waterholes dry up and animal movements become more predictable to the poachers setting snares. Knowing these trends in poaching and snaring activities the DSWT/KWS Anti-Poaching Units are deployed to the most sensitive areas operating jointly with the Aerial Surveillance Unit in providing a solid security presence over the Tsavo Conservation Area.
You can read more about each of the Anti-poaching Unit's activities during December here: