Participants Isaac Maina Team leader Joseph Musembi Guide/informer Mutua Koti Tracker Jacob Dadi 2 KWS Rangers
The exercise was carried out around the area neighboring the National Park Boundary, around the base of Sagalla Hill. The neighboring communities are mainly Taitas, with some Giriama, both relying on subsistence farming, commercial charcoal burning, and illegal poaching.
The snares were installed in the bushes mainly where livestock are not taken for pasture, around cutline boundaries, and fence lines surrounding their farms. Farms are surrounded by mainly thorny acacia bush fences. Small gaps are left, where snares are carefully set in the hopes of catching any animal stealing through the gaps. Bird traps are also common, meant for guinea fowl.
Farms near the main roads and paths were free from snares whilst 50% of those away from roads were infested with snares. This is a clear indication that game meat is on the menu for the majority of residents. We collected between 3 and 11 snares per farm where there were snares. Another common method of hunting in the area is with catapults, which are used to kill birds and dikdik.
We managed to remove 833 snares, confiscate 7 catapults, rescue 1 dikdik from an agonizing death, and found a dikdik that had already surrendered to death..
We feel optimistic that snaring around homesteads will go to a minimum since whenever we passed a farm with snares the farm owners seemed terrified. The presence of armed rangers and a stiff warning drove them to panic with many volunteering to remove the snares from their compounds. Revisits showed no fresh activities for the time being.
Report by Isaac Maina