Faru Team Burra Update: 01 August 2008

Faru Team Burra Update: 01 August 2008

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Participants:

Nicodemus Kivindyo – team leader Samuel Odero Peter Wambua John Malonza Samuel Masaku Rajab Fundi 2 KWS Rangers

Area of operation:

During the month of August, the Burra team covered the following areas: Sagala ranch and the Wasterman’s area, Mwatate, Mgeno ranch, the Ndii area, and Mbulia ranch.

313 SNARES RECOVERED

2 ARRESTS

FINDINGS. During the months operations the team lifted a total of 313 snares. Seventy one of the snares targeted large game with two hundred and forty two targeting small game.

The team arrested two poachers operating in the Ndii area as well as rescue a common duiker found alive in a snare.
Two bull elephants were found dead after having been hit by a cargo train in Ndii area and near Ngutuni ranch.
We also came across the carcasses of two Dikdiks at Sagala ranch and Mbulia ranch

Observable evidence: The month of August recorded an increase in the number of snares lifted with 313 being lifted, 105 snares more than last month.

This shows that poaching is on the increase especially in areas such as ranches, community sanctuaries and trust lands. These areas and their environs, inhabited by people from the surrounding communities, are experiencing a prolonged drought. Since this region is semi arid the communities to do not have an adequate supply of food in their granaries and thus engage in poaching as a means to sustain themselves.

Sagala ranch / Westerman area This ranch is very important as it is a migratory corridor for animals moving not only from Tsavo East to Tsavo west but also to Tanzania. For this reason the Burra desnaring team increased its patrols in the above areas. We were able to lift 60 snares, 10 of which targeted large game, with 50 targeting small and medium sized game.

During our patrols we came across the carcass of a Dikdik as well as a dead bull elephant at Ngutuni ranch.
The elephant had been hit and killed by a train as it attempted to cross the train tracks.

Mwatate This area is adjacent to the Mwatete sisal estate and has small and medium sized game on it. The team patrolled this area and was able to lift 5 snares which targeted small game. We also came across the carcass of a goat that died after it had become caught in a snare.

Mgeno ranch This ranch is rich in biodiversity and is home to several herds of elephants. The ranch has two water dams which are a constant year round supply of water to the elephants as well as other animals. We lifted 32 snares all of which targeted large game. This shows that in addition to logging poaching is now a problem in the area. The area will be patrolled again next month in order to monitor the situation.

Ndii The team patrolled the entire area, both inside and outside the park. The area has suffered from bush fires with large parts of the area inside the park being burnt by unknown culprits.

A large number of animals have been displaced as their habitat has been destroyed. This has led to small and medium sized game moving from the park to the community area. As they are small they are able to cross the electric fence without being hurt. A total of 117 snares were lifted 6 of which targeting large game. A common duiker was rescued from a snare in the community area.
The wound caused by the snare was treated by a vet and the duiker was released back into the park. Another elephant bull that had been hit and killed by a cargo train was also seen.
The bull had been hit as it crossed the railway lines which lie between the park and the ranch. The incident was reported to the KWS community department so that they could take the necessary action.

Mbulia ranch This ranch borders Tsavo East national park and is a vital migratory corridor as the Ndii electric fence ends near the ranch. It allows grazing and browsing mammals to cross from the park to the ranch. During our operations in this area we lifted 99 snares, 23 of which targeted large game with 76 targeting small game. The remains of a snared Dikdik were also found.

The ranch will be patrolled again next month, as a number of animals have moved into the ranch after the bush fires at Ndii.

Towards the end of the months desnaring operations the team came across an elephant that had gotten stuck in the mud along the Mzima Springs water pipeline. The water pipe had burst and the area had become water logged. The elephant got stuck in the mud when the herd passed by and stopped to have a drink. The Burra desnaring team worked together with the Tsavo vet team to dig the elephant out and free it.

Community work The team organized two conservation education initiatives carried out at Marungu and Kale. With the help of the provincial administration video shows were organized in both areas.

The communities in these areas have been found to be responsible for the logging and charcoal burning taking place at Sagala ranch which is home to a variety of different animals.
There is therefore a need to educate the communities about conservation and the need to protect their environment and their heritage.

Report by Nicodemus Kivindyo