Mathew Kiura – team leader
Area of operation:
During the month of June, the Burra team’s activities were concentrated in the private ranches and the parks catchment areas. We also carried out activities in the surrounding communities.
The Burra team was not accompanied by KWS rangers during the course of the month, due to the parks invasion of rhino poachers, therefore the KWS rangers were all mobilized to deal with this problem. For this reason our activities were limited to the removal of snares from the following areas: Ndii/ Irima Road and rail reserve, Taita sisal estate, Mbirikani/Mabomani, Mbulia, Ngutuni, Sagalla ranch and the Kajire/Maungu power line.
312 SNARES RECOVERED
Out of a total of 312 snares which were retrieved during the month, one targeted big game such as buffalo, 5 targeted medium game such as gazelles
and 306 were for the poaching of small game, such as Dikdik.
When looking at the number of snares collected during the course of the month it is evident that small snares far outnumber medium and large snares.
This leads us to conclude that poachers are now targeting small game such as Dikdik as opposed to large game. The meat is thought to be mainly for subsistence purposes and partially for commercial purposes. It is however increasingly obvious that there is a lot of poaching taking place in the ranches and on the parks boundaries.
At Taita Sisal Estate we cam across a dead Dikdik and a dead camel both of which had fallen victim to snares.
At Sagalla ranch we found a dead baboon that was strung up in a tree.
Its lower body parts had been chopped off and it had been sliced across the head by the poachers. We found footprints at the site, which led us to a poacher’s hideout,
where we found a man, named Karisa who was in possession of a horn and torch that are used for night poaching.
Unfortunately due to the fact that we were not accompanied by KWS rangers we were not able to arrest him.
At the Kajire/Maungu power line we observed that there was a large amount of vegetation destruction and charcoal burning taking place.
At Mbulia we came across piles of wood that had been collected from the western part of Tsavo National Park. We also came across fresh blood from a Dikdik that had been slaughtered by poachers.
In the same area we found drift fences and barriers, whose purpose is to lead the animals to the snares which are strategically placed on the drift fence.
This month the Burra team visited Mwabiti and Coast high schools with the purpose of enhancing conservation education.
The students were very interested about wildlife and the need to conserve it.
During the month of June the Burra team carried out a park clean up exercise.
A total of nine water bottles, eight beer cans and a number of polyethylene bags were collected along the Ndii/Irima circuit.
This kind of garbage is found all over the park and is a danger to our wildlife.
Report by Mathew Kiura