Faru Team Burra Update: 01 April 2006
Mathew Kiura – team leader Boro Gitau Peter Wambua John Malonza Samuel Odero Samuel Msaku 2 KWS Rangers
During the month of April the Burra team patrolled and conducted ambushes along the Mombasa Nairobi highway from Manyani to Ngutuni as well as in and around the adjacent community ranches. The aim of the patrols and ambushes was to collect information that would lead to the arrest of poachers and the lifting of snares. The areas covered were Ngutuni, Ndii and Irima, Manga Hills, Manyani, Mbulia, Sagala, Kajire and the general Voi area.
265 SNARES RECOVERED
A total of 265 snares were retrieved, 65 of which targeted large game such as buffalo, 43 were medium sized targeting gazelles, 143 were small snares set to trap dikdiks and other small wildlife, with 14 of the snares targeted birds, mainly guinea fowl. No arrests were made but we were able to collect a wealth of information about the routes used by poachers which will help us in the future with our ambushes.
Observable evidence. During the months operations we observed various things. At Ngutuni we found 2 Lesser Kudu skins and the lower parts of the animals limbs all had cut marks. We also found an Impalas head and lower limbs which also had cut marks on them. This shows that there is active poaching taking place in the area.
At Ndii and Irima we uncovered 3 routes that are being used by poachers to gain access to the park. Bicycle trails were evident along the routes leading to the park which shows that individuals in the area are involved in poaching activities. At Mbulia we lifted several snares along various foot paths. Although this area consists of community ranches presence of snares along the foot paths shows that poaching is taking place.
During our patrols in Voi we came across an Impala trapped in a snare. We alerted the vet unit who organized to come to its rescue in order to free it from the snare and treat any wounds it may have sustained.
At Sagala ranch we came across drift fences that had snares placed at strategic points. The drift fences act as barriers which force the animals to pass via the snare trapping them. Thankfully we did not find any snared animals along the drift line and were able to lift all the snares.
Community The Burra team visited Kajire, Mwabiti, Kilubi and Kalela primary and secondary schools in order to monitor the development of a tree project that had been initiated in 2005. The schools demonstrated an immense effort in the care of the trees most of which were above knee height. Barriers had been built around the trees to keep the animals away and to ensure that they remained green and healthy. Plans to supply more trees to the schools are underway.
Report by Mathew Kiura