Duma Team Chyulu Update: 01 June 2008

Duma Team Chyulu Update: 01 June 2008

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Participants:

James Mbuthia – team leader Sylvester Matheka Julius Kyalo David Wambua Isaiah Ndei Daniel Lekoiten 2 KWS rangers

Area of operation:

During the month of June the Chyulu team patrolled the following areas: Utu/Nooka, Mbondeni, Mubkoni, Kisyula, and the Satellite areas.

ARRESTS 14

69 SNARES COLLECTED

FINDINGS

Man is a social carnivore and understanding the evolution and nature of societies of other predators, one can better know the sense of territoriality, the need for identity as part of a group and aggressive tendencies as competitors particularly in a fragile eco-system like the Chyulus. The hills act as a sponge when it rains, siphoning all the rain water and letting it percolate at Mzima, Kiboko and Umani springs, nurturing the livelihoods of the neighboring communities and downstream from these areas.

UTU / NOOKA The team started its operations at the Utu area. The whole area was traversed by ground patrol carried out on foot. The team was able to lift 34 snares. Most of the snares collected targeted large animals such as Kongonis and Hartebeests. Bush fires have started to occur.

This a common scenario in the Chyulus especially at the beginning of the poaching season. The team visited all the hotspots and was able to arrest one person.

MBUKONI The area around Mbukoni was patrolled and 4 charcoal burners were arrested during an ambush that we carried out making our patrols in this area successful.

Many bicycle tracks leading to the hotspots were seen. The team also came across donkeys which are used to carry bushmeat and charcoal out of the area.

MBONDENI The Mbondeni area was extensively patrolled and five charcoal burners were seen.

Unfortunately 3 of the culprits managed to escape but the team was able to arrest the other two.
The culprits have greatly decimated the indigenous trees found in the area such as the Newtonia hildebradtii, the Acacia Terminails and to some degree the Eucalyptus Camaldulensis.
Cattle incursion into the park was also rampant and the team spent some time chasing the herds out of the park.

KISYULA / SATELLITE AREAS While based at Kithasyo the team members were able to lift 35 large snares targeting big animals such as Buffaloes and Elands. The team has been busy gathering information on poachers operating in the area in an effort to find out how far they travel and what they use as boundaries. The team was able to arrest 2 wood carvers after following their footprints to their hideout.

The carvers were ambushed and arrested. We were also able to arrest two miraa pickers operating in the Satellite area.

ANIMAL SIGHTINGS. During the course of the teams operations we came across herds of Duikers, Elands, Kongoni as well as some game birds such as helmeted and blue crested guinea fowls. This is an indication that the animals have moved into the ranches, leaving the dense thickets of the chyulus for the open plains of the surrounding ranches.

COMMUNITY AWARENESS This month two schools benefited from the donation of Sports equipment. The two schools were Nguluni Primary School and Kitheini Primary School. The communities welcomed the donations which were a big boos to the schools sporting activities.

VIDEO SHOWS Using the mobile cinema unit that was given to us the Chyulu team showed video shows at Utu town.

The event was attended by many people all of whom enjoyed themselves. After the showing the team leader emphasized the importance of environmental conservation.

Report by James Mbuthia