Faru Team Burra Update: 01 July 2010

Faru Team Burra Update: 01 July 2010

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PARTICIPANTS

Henry Lekochere

John Malonza

Pilas Lekeele

Peter Kariuki

Samuel Masaku

Two KWS rangers

AREAS COVERED

The Burra team conducted its desnaring activities in the following areas; Sagalla ranch, Irima / Ndii, Manyani and Mbuli ranch park boundary.

Total Snares Collected- 171

FINDINGS

During the month’s operations, the team lifted a total of one hundred and seventy one snares in all the areas patrolled. Fifty six snares were targeting big game and one hundred and fifteen snares were set to trap small game. The team found one dikdik carcass caught in a snare at the Mbulia park boundary.

OBSERVABLE EVIDENCE

Most of the areas patrolled recorded a drop in the number of snares retrieved compared to last month. This can be attributed to poachers changed poaching tactics, opting to operate at night using the lamping method rather than setting snares which can be retrieved all the time by KWS rangers and our desnaring teams.

LUALENYI RANCH

On the 2nd of March, the Team received information from a regular informant regarding snaring activity is taking place in the Ranch. The remains of a snared domestic cow carcass were found, the meat had been stripped from the animal leaving only the head and skin. The poachers in this area don’t target domestic cows however due to the nature of snares and how they work they trap & kill any animal unfortunate enough to pass by. The killing of domestic livestock is taken seriously by those rearing them & making a living off them. Hence the Team is welcomed and assisted by Herdsmen in the area. A buffalo carcass was also found, and is believed to have died of natural circumstances. The team lifted fifty three big snares during its patrols.

SAGALLA RANCH

We visited Sagalla ranch as a follow up to last months visit to the area and lifted twenty three big snares.

The number indicated a decline in the snaring activity in the area which has been dominating in the past.  This decline could be due to the arrest of a notorious poacher during last month’s operation.  Illegal charcoal burning and logging is another major problem taking place at the ranch.

IRIMA AN NDII

The Irima and Ndii area is a stretch of about twenty kilometers along the Nairobi-Mombasa road which has been identified as a notorious snaring zone. 

This month sixty five snares were lifted in these areas. Thirty three snares were targeting small game and the rest were set to trap big mammals.  It is worth mentioning the nature of the snares activeness whereby more than eighty five percent were neatly laid while ten percent looked disoriented either by animals which escaped the loop miraculously or by other factors like strong wind. The team will visit the area again next month to monitor the situation on the ground.

MANYANI AREA

The exercise was carried out around the area between the KWS training college and the Manyani GK prison. The team managed to retrieve thirty three small snares which were very active and were set to trap dikdiks which are common in that area. The team believed that the snares were being laid by the prisoners who were working in the nearby stone quarry.

MBULIA PARK BOUNDARY

Mbulia ranch which borders Tsavo West National Park and Tsavo East National Park is a very vital animal migratory corridor since the Ndii electric fence ends near the ranch and this gives grazing mammals an opportunity to cross easily from both sides of the park to the ranch. The team lifted fifty snares which were targeting small game. One dikdik carcass was also found snared and the team will visit the area next again month as several poachers footprints were seen crossing through the area moving deeper inside the Tsavo West National Park.

ARUBA, NDARA AND DIDA HAREA

The Burra team together with the Bob Harries Engineering employees worked exhaustively for ten consecutive days to repair the Aruba, Ndara and Dida Harea windmill pump. Both the windmills are quietly pumping out life-giving water day and night in a thirsty savanna grass land. Animals can now drink water without fear of becoming bogged in the mud of the silted Aruba Dam which is the other alternative water source in these areas during the dry season.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Besides our desnaring work, the team organized educational trips to Tsavo National Park for Sowa primary school and Kajire primary school.  Both schools had never visited the Tsavo East National Park before and the community which the pupils come from is the ones who are responsible for the massive charcoal burning as well as the poaching at Sagalla ranch which is a home to many wildlife species. The pupils learnt a lot of environment conservation through the field trip. Both schools also visited the Voi orphans stockade where they got the opportunity to feed and interact with the baby elephants. The pupils were very excited and they appreciated the trip.

Report by Henry Lekochere