Duma Team Chyulu Update: 01 August 2006

Duma Team Chyulu Update: 01 August 2006

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Participants:

James Mbuthia – team leader Julius Kyalo Nasarwa Esimegele David Wambua Isaiah Ndei Njafi Kinyaga KWS ranger Ali Shafi

Area of operation:

During the month of August the Chyulu team patrolled the following areas: Kimakiu, Mukurulo, Kithasyo, Kikunduku, Staellite, Jalai, Chyulu2 and Mwailu.

46 SNARES COLLECTED 12 ARRESTS

FINDINGS.

46 snares were lifted during the course of the month the majority of which targeted large game. The wildlife seems to have returned to the Chyulus from the plains as the drought in those areas continues. The livestock that are also brought into these areas to graze has also contributed to this move as it causes an increase in competition for the grazing areas. There were a total of 12 arrests this month for various offences.

3 people from Kasayani and Mitaba were arrested for bushmeat poaching within the park boundary and were in possession of 2 bows, 6 arrows, snares and a dead Dikdik.
The use of poisoned arrows is the poaching method most used in the Chyulus and thus our de-snaring team stays close to the herds in order to deter the poachers.

The Chyulu team intercepted several groups of people who were heading into the park. It has been observed that poachers are starting fires in order to attract the wildlife areas where there is new grass shoots, thus making them vulnerable to the poachers.

Large herds of Kongonis, Elands, Zebras and Giraffes have been noticed by the team after the setting of fires within the parks boundaries.
Due to the constant pressure that the team exerts on the poaching hotspots there has been a decline in the amount of poaching taking place.

A bhang peddler was arrested in the satellite area. Upon interrogation he revealed that there is a bhang plantation in the forest.

Bhang harvesting is common in the Chyulus and finding the plantations is a challenge, but when they are found it is a huge success for the team.

We patrolled the Jalai and Kimana areas to see if there is any lamping taking place but no arrests were made. Swamps will always attract large herds of wildlife, making them poaching hotspots as the wildlife is extremely susceptible to the poachers.

Charcoal burning is another common problem in the Chyulus and is a threat to the entire ecosystem.

The Chyulu de-snaring team has been successful in reducing this problem by constantly arresting the perpetrators and frustrating the burners.
Many kilns have been destroyed and several people arrested in the Kikunduku area which is a charcoal burning hotspot.

ELEPHANT RESCUE

During the month’s patrols the team came across an abandoned baby elephant that had become stuck in the mud of a waterhole. We think that the calf’s mother was probably poached.

The waterhole is near Kithasyo and is the last one in the area to dry thus attracting elephants and other wildlife and making it a poaching hotspot. The calf was taken to the Voi stockades and was later airlifted to the Trust’s Nursery in Nairobi. The calf was called Chyulu as it is the first rescue to take place since the team began operating in the park.

Report by James Mbuthia