Duma Team Chyulu Update: 01 November 2007

Duma Team Chyulu Update: 01 November 2007

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Participants:

James Mbuthia – team leader Julius Kyalo David Wambua Isaiah Ndei

Area of operation:

During the month of November the Chyulu team patrolled the following areas: the Mukurulo base, KARI, Kaunguni, Kenze, Kenzili, Bonham and Umani Springs.

ARRESTS 2 SNARES 62

FINDINGS

Due to the beginning of the rainy season it was a rather wet month. A total of 62 snares were lifted during the course of our desnaring activities.

We attribute this to the fact that people are busy in their farms, planting and preparing the land which has caused a decline in the number of people entering the park to carry out illegal activities. As the bushes continue to thicken and grow with the rains the animal tracks will become smaller and close making snaring difficult.

There were only a few sings of snaring taking place at KARI on the lower end of Mukurulo. 43 snares were lifted targeting both bushbucks and dikdiks. No animals were found dead even though the snares that we lifted were fresh and active. Bicycle tracks were seen in the area and one person was intercepted and arrested as he headed to check his snares in a known poaching hotspot. The perpetrator was booked at the Makindu police station. Furthermore we discovered 3 poachers’ hideouts in the area none of which had been used recently.

Once we finished patrolling the KARI area we relocated to Kaunguni where the human wildlife conflict is common. We lifted 29 snares in the area.

There is a high elephant presence in Kaunguni which means that we needed to keep an eye on their movements to prevent them being harmed or poached.

The Chyulu team leader, James Mbuthia, is making a concentrated effort to maintain a good rapport with the community in order to minimize any tension associated with the human wildlife conflict. Unfortunately 2 people were killed by elephants at different times in the month making it harder to deal with the ongoing human wildlife conflict.

Despite our efforts to lessen thee prevalence of Charcoal burning it is still taking place, especially in Kenze and Kenzili.

The demand for charcoal in Nairobi and its environs has triggered an increase in the amount of charcoal burning taking place. The offenders are becoming more elusive choosing to operate at night. We were however able to arrest one charcoal burner around Kenze who was booked at the Kibwezi police station.

ROADS The first phase of the road rehabilitation has been completed with approximated 17kms being repaired which will enable the team to successfully patrol the lower end of the Chyulu area. The team wishes to open more roads in the area to increase the road network thus making our patrols more effective.

Community awareness We have embarked on a serious education for the schools in the area with the aim of establishing wildlife clubs. Our major priority will be to establish tree nurseries to raise seedlings and distribute them to the schools in the community areas with a view to change the face of an already degenerated area.

Report by James Mbuthia