Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 March 2006

Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 March 2006

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Participants

Isaac Maina – team leader Felix Micheni Abdi Adan Samuel Lolchuraki Nderitu Kapina James Lodungkiyok Lemanten Lambarakwe Julius Mumo Mutua Koti 4 KWS Rangers: Peter Kibue, Samuel Wandera, Peter Mwangi, Paul Odhiambo

Areas Covered

During the course of this month the Gazi and Ithumba team worked together and patrolled the following areas: Umbi, the Kasaala fence line, Kanziko, Kalovoto, Mathai, the Tiva-Mkwalima boundary, and the Gazi-Athi river section.

TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 188

ARRESTS 10

Once again all the Sheldrick de-snaring teams underwent a rigorous training session that took place over a 5 day period.

The training included, but was not limited to, map reading, patrolling, navigation, patrol formation and first aid.
The training was aimed at enhancing and strengthening discipline, intelligence and data collection and logging as well as better patrolling methods.

The training involved the sharing of experiences that had been had by both the teams and the training personnel.

Through communication and discussion the best results were experienced during the training period.

Findings

As the Ithumba and Gazi teams were working together this month the de-snaring operations took place in both areas. Despite the duration constraint, due to the area needing to be patrolled, a lot was achieved as 188 snares were lifted and 10 arrests were made.

Our patrols started in Ithumba along the Kasala-Umbi fence line. At Umbi 7 snares were recovered during our first patrol. A few days later poaching activities were reported by the fence attendants. Three Lesser Kudu were found massacred and 35 snares were lifted, nine of which targeted medium sized game.

The poacher was tracked by our team and was found slaughtering the third Lesser Kudu. We ambushed him but unfortunately he was able to escape.

The Kalavoto area yielded 30 snares. A set of well concealed footprints was found along the fence line. A poacher who was on his way to check his snares stepped on the footprint and hastily retreated once he saw us. A further 75 snares were recovered in Mathai, and another 3 sets of footprints were recorded, whose destination we were unable to determine.

Our operations then moved to Gazi. We began our patrols at the Tiva River. We then climbed through the Yatta via Mkwalima to the Athi River. A set of footprints, from a known poacher, was found at the top of the Yatta. There is a pressing need to carry out an ambush in this area so as to trap the poachers that are operating in the Yatta.

Ten charcoal burners were caught and arrested along the Athi River.

Unfortunately, even though one of the charcoal burners was seen in possession of snares, the charges could not be brought against him as he through them away before he was apprehended which meant that we did not have enough evidence to arrest him for poaching. Eight of the charcoal burners were booked at Kibwezi, with the remainder being booked at Mtito Andei police station.
A further eight were able to evade arrest, with three of them swimming across the swollen river.

The clearing of the access road along the river up to the park boundary will greatly reduce the poaching activities in this area which are rampant due to the inaccessibility of the area.

Two vervet monkeys were spotted with snares while patrolling the Cottars Area. We were able to successfully trap them and remover the wire snares. A buffalo was also found with a snare. The incident was reported to the vet unit who unfortunately were unable to find it due to the thickness of the bush in the area.

COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN This month a film was screened at Mkwalima center with the aim of sensitizing the neighboring community about conservation and the importance of wildlife Report by Isaac Maina and Felix Micheni