Duma Team Chyulu Update: 01 October 2006

Duma Team Chyulu Update: 01 October 2006

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Participants:

James Mbuthia – team leader Nasarwa Esimegele Kathuki Ngongo David Wambua Isaiah Ndei 4 KWS rangers

Area of operation:

During the month of October the Chyulu team patrolled the following areas: Mukurulo, KARI, Kaunguni, Kenze, Kenzili, Kasayani, Umani and the Satellite areas.

11 ARRESTS

FINDINGS.

The snaring patterns changed during the month of October due to the beginning of the rains. The animals have begun to move out of the park to the ranches. Our intelligence sources reveal that the bushmeat poachers, especially those who practice lamping, are also moving to the ranches.

At the beginning of the month the team was base at the Mukurulo and KARI area while conducting general patrols in the region. No snares were recovered and some wildlife, namely zebra, giraffes, gnus and kudus, were spotted.

The team then moved their camp to Kaunguni which is a poaching hotspot. Our objective in this area was to flush out any charcoal burners, wood carvers and bushmeat poachers who operate in the area. Using Kaunguni as a base the team also carried out patrols at Kenze, Kenzili, Umani and Kasayani.
2 wood carvers and 9 charcoal burners were arrested during our patrols at Kenze and Kenzili.

During our patrols we came across two tracks frequently used by poachers, one at Kenze and the other at Kenzili. We plan to lay ambushes at both tracks next month. Unfortunately our ambushes and operations will be hindered due to the fact that the tracks are not easily accessible. There is an ever increasing need to open a patrol road in the area, as the poachers constantly change their routes and tracks once they feel their old ones have been found. We feel that Umani needs to become a priority for the team as it is a hotspot for elephant poaching due to the springs that originate in the area.

The team’s last operations of the month took place at the Satellite area, which is another poaching hotspot. The team was able to flush out several illegal Maasai herdsmen who were found within the parks boundaries. The herders hinder our operations by leaving behind footprints that are difficult to read as it is hard to distinguish between poacher’s footprints and those of a herder.

The beginning of the rains will make our operations harder to the inaccessibility of the area. We will however need to keep up our patrols in the area to prevent any illegal activities from taking place and deter the poachers. An operation needs to be carried out to open the roads in the area thus allowing us to be more effective in our operations.

Report by James Mbuthia