Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 July 2007

Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 July 2007

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ITHUMBA TEAM

De – Snaring Report for July 2007

Participants

Patrick Mutuku Mutua Koti Lemanten Lambarakwe James Lodungokiyok Musau Kitulya Rajab Hamisi 2 KWS Rangers

Areas Covered

During the course of this month the areas covered were: Kalovoto, power line, Kanziko, Macho-kobo, Sheldrick-blind, and Nthalakana Airstrip, General area of Yatta, Kiasa, Kyamanayenze, and Mathae.

TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 182

Findings

We began our month’s patrols along the Kasaala fence-line where we often find signs of poaching. Last month we faced severe poaching problems particularly around water point for wildlife. We tackled these high levels of poaching and where glad to notice that last months efforts paid off as we found no snares in these areas that had previously been so heavily poached. The few snares we lifted in this area were old and inactive. The team camped along the Tiva River at Macho-kobo area. This area gave the team easier access to the Yatta plateau were poachers like hiding because they know that this area is less patrolled due to its terrain. We found signs of human presence, some fresh footprints. The team moved on to Nthalakana Airstrip and on to Sheldrick-blind were we found a lot of footprints and signs of poaching. It was there that our vehicle’s front springs broke which hindered our ability to work, forcing us to retreat to Ithumba for repairs. On the third week of July we concentrated our patrols around the Park Headquarters. Just a few Kilometers from the mudbath were we take the orphans to wallow we found a lot of snares. Last year in July we also lifted a lot of snares from this area.

The poacher had taken his game meat to the markets and left all his snares inactive but intact in their positions. We also found his poachers hideout.
In general the poachers stay in one place for a very short time to avoid being caught by us. This makes it very hard for us to catch and arrest the poachers. The following day we came across fresh footprints that lead us to newly laid snares. This was just 3 kilometers from the staff housing. We carried out an ambush for the poachers for the entire day with no luck. We destroyed their hideout and lifted 43 snares targeting medium sized game in the surrounding area. The next day we arrested 4 poachers in Umbi just as they entered the park and began to set up camp and cut timber. They were in possession of 2 leopard traps, 2 knives, one panga, and one saw. We arrested them and booked them at Mutomo police station.
The poachers are now hunting at night and leaving the park before dawn to avoid being caught. We need to change out tactics to night operations in order to catch the poachers.

COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

We made several visits to newly fenced areas to ensure all is ok. Everything is working and the community is glad to be separated from the park which allows them to live with les human wildlife conflict.

Report by Patrick Mutuku