Faru Team Burra Update: 01 June 2008

Faru Team Burra Update: 01 June 2008

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Participants:

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

Area of operation:

During the month of June, the Burra team covered the following areas: Mbulia ranch, Ngutuni ranch, Ndii and Irima areas, Manyani, Ndokota ranch and the Maktau area in Tsavo West National Park

241 SNARES RECOVERED 1 ARREST

FINDINGS. During the months operations the team lifted a total of 241 snares. Twenty three of the snares targeted large game, with the majority of the recovered snares, 281, targeting small game.

The team was able to arrest a poacher at Mbulia ranch and also found the carcasses of an Impala and a Dikdik in Mbulia ranch and the Maktau area respectively.

Observable evidence: This month recorded an increase in the number of snares lifted in all the areas patrolled. This is due to the fact that there are no rains in these areas and the communities surrounding the park are no longer busy tending to their farms and are instead keeping busy carrying out illegal activities such as snaring and poaching for the commercial purposes as well as for their own subsistence.

Mbulia Ranch This ranch is adjacent to the park and is a very important corridor for animals moving from Tsavo East to Tsavo West as it offers the wildlife food and water. The team lifted a total of one hundred and seventy seven snares. 5 of the snares lifted targeted large game with the rest targeting small game.

The carcass of a snared Dikdik was found which is an indicator that poaching is taking place in the ranch and a poacher was arrested.

Ngutuni ranch This ranch is another vital area for animals from the Tsavo East ecosystem, especially when the park is in periods of drought and there is little water and vegetation. Due to the patrols we carried out in this area last month we see that there is a decrease in the number of snares being set. The team lifted 2 snares for small game and big game respectively.

Ndii/Irima areas Despite the fact that these two areas are fenced in an effort to reduce human wildlife conflict we have found that the communities living in these areas continue to cross the fence to practice poaching in the form of snaring as well logging, a fact proven by the 33 snares lifted in the two areas during our patrols.

Manyani area A total of eight snares were lifted two of which targeted big game. All of the snares had been recently set which shows that poaching has started in this area. In an effort to curb this problem the team will increase its foot patrols in the Manyani area.

Ndakota Ranch Due to the patrols carried out at the adjacent Taita ranch last month, any snares set in this area had been removed by the owners which resulted in the team lifting 6 small snares during its patrols.

Maktau area This area lies under the jurisdiction of the Ziwani team who are on their annual leave during the month of June. For this reason the Burra desnaring team patrolled the area and were able to lift 15 snares, fourteen of which targeting large game. The team also came across the remains of a snared Impala.

Mining activities were also seen to be taking place a few meters from where the snares had been lifted which is a positive indicator that the individuals who practice mining are also snaring inside the park.

Community work The team organized two ecological trips to Tsavo East National park. The schools that benefited from the field trips were Ngami Secondary school, on the 17th of June, and Mwatate High school, on the 18th of June.

The two schools were selected after consultation with the KWS education department in an effort to give the field trips to the more needy schools. Since neither of the two schools had ever visited the park before it was a great surprise. The students who went on the trip were selected on merit, with the top five students from each class being chosen.

This method will make other students work harder in an effort to be chosen should another field trip be given to the school. This will improve the schools overall academic performance. All the students had a lovely time and got to see the big five among other wildlife.

The students visited popular tourist features such as Mudada rock and Aruba dam which are educational as well as entertaining.

The Burra desnaring team also participated in the celebration of the year’s world environment day on the 5th of June. The event was held at Kalela primary school in Voi and trees were planted on behalf of the trust.

The team also presented a video show to Mwangea Secondary school in an effort to promote environmental awareness.

Report by Nicodemus Kivindyo