Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 August 2006

Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 August 2006

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Participants

Patrick Mutuku Lemanten Lambarakwe James Lodungokiyok Mutua Koti Musau Kitulya Rajab Hamisi 2 KWS Rangers – Stephen Lewangat & Patrick Musya

Areas Covered

During the course of this month the area covered were: Kanziku, Kalovoto, the Powerline, Kyamanyenze, the Yatta-Tiva river section, Tundani, Machokobo, Umaumaa, and the Kasaala fence line

TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 452

Findings

The month’s operations were concentrated around water points. As we are in the dry season the animals are converging in these areas which make them vulnerable to the poachers who have erected shooting platforms. A large number of snares have also been seen in these areas. A total of 452 snares were collected this month compromised of 425 small snares and 27 medium to large snares.

Our de-snaring activities were carried out during the last two weeks of the month. We lifted 53 snares in the Kanziku area and on our first day, upon following some poacher’s footprints, we found two dead snared Dikdiks.

The gate attendants are being very helpful by aiding us in locating the entry points that the poachers use as well as finding out the times that they enter the park. On our second say in Kanziku the gate attendants spotted poachers entering the park and immediately called our team. We moved in immediately but unfortunately the poachers sensed our presence and quickly left the area. On the same day we were able to lift 56 snares from the power line that belonged to the poachers.

During the last week of the month we moved our operations to the Yatta-Tiva stretch. At Tundani there is a Lagga which has become a snaring hotspot. We lifted 83 snares from there. We then moved our camp along the river so that we could have easier access to the edge of the Yatta. Here were lifted a total of 155 snares. This is due to the fact that the area is rather inaccessible and for this reason is a favorite among the poachers. On top of the Yatta we came across two poachers cutting down trees. Unfortunately they were able to escape arrest.

We have noticed lately that in an effort to evade arrest the poachers no longer stay in camps choosing to constantly be on the move.

At Macho Kobo, in contrast to the previous months, there were very few snares. The same was noticed at Umaumaa. Along the Tundani area we saw a pack of hunting dogs, another pack that come to drink at the stockades was seen around the Ithumba camp. During the last day of our operations we set up an ambush along the Kasaala fence line as two poachers had been spotted by the gate attendants. Unfortunately no arrests were made.

An emaciated buffalo accompanied by its young one were spotted at the Tiva River. A snare was seen around the young buffalo’s neck.

The case was reported to the vet and after some deliberation it was decided that due to the thickness of the bush and the risks involved from other buffalos in the area the buffalo would have to be put down.

Community Awareness

During the month of August most of the schools are closed due to the holidays. However the youth still had to be kept busy; therefore with the collaboration and co-ordination of the local leaders, we organized a football competition involving the Kasaala location.

Due to the large numbers of people that turned up for the even we also carried out a very vigorous anti-poaching campaign.
We also found a youth group who are interest in making a tree nursery for the heavily harvested Mellia Vonkensii.

Report by Patrick Mutuku