Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 November 2008

Ndovu Team Ithumba Update: 01 November 2008

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Participants

Patrick Mutuku Mutua Koti Lemanten Lambarakwe James Lodungokiyok Musau Kitulya 2 KWS Rangers – Zachary Ngumi and Charles Mugambi

Areas Covered

During the course of this month the areas covered included Tundani, Kyaei rock, Kyamanyenze, the power line, Mathae, Kalovoto, Kanziko, Lagga kugu, and the general area around Gazi.

48 SNARES COLLECTED 1 ARREST

Findings During the month of November the Ithumba team lifted 48 snares 5 of which targeted large game with 43 targeting small game. The team was able to arrest a poacher operating in the Gazi area.

With the onset of the long rains most of the community members have been busy planting crops and tending to their farms, hence the sharp drop in the number of snares lifted. During the rains the area is lush with green vegetation and the wildlife is scattered, unlike the dry season when they congregate around water points. This makes it difficult for poachers who are not sure where to set their snares.

Tundani, Kyae rock, Kyamanyenze and the power line areas The team began its patrols in the first week of the month. We lifted 16 snares in the Tundani areas and came across a shooting platform at the Tiva River. The platform showed signs that it was being used at night by poachers who had set up a camp nearby.

At Kyamanyenze we came across fresh footprints which led us to an area where logging is taking place.
On our way back to our base we came across a poacher who was busy checking our vehicle tracks on the road. Unfortunately he saw us coming and was able to evade arrest.

Mathae, Kalovoto, Kanziko, Lagga-kuggu areas At Mathae there is open ground stretching up to a mudbath. This area is a snaring hotspot and the months patrols and not complete without carrying out patrols in the area to lift any snares that may have been set. The team as able to lift 24 inactive small snares. We also spotted some footprints which we found out belonged to a honey hunter. Another set of footprints led us to an area where building posts had been cut.

We have noticed that there has been a drop in the number of illegal activities taking place in these areas and have also noticed that there is an increase in the number of wild animals coming back to the Tsavo Northern Area which is a promising sign that things are improving and the animals don’t feel as threatened as they did in the past. There is a group of zebras and giraffes near the Ithumba orphan relocation site and near the Ithumba airstrip. The are not shy and do not run at the first sign of people which shows that they are not being harassed by poachers which shows that the work that we do is having positive effects in the area.

Gazi general area During the third week of the month we made a surprise visit to Mukua Nima where we found a lot of logging to be taking place.

We were able to arrest a poacher who was in possession of 8 small snares, some bird traps, a panga and honey hunting equipment.
Unfortunately his accomplice was able to evade arrest. The poacher was booked at Mutomo police station where he will remain until he is arraigned in court.

Community Awareness campaign Due to the ongoing heavy rains the two field trips that were scheduled to take place this month had to be cancelled. The schools were informed that the trips will be carried out in early January once the schools reopen after the Christmas holidays. The school trips into Tsavo National Park have had a positive impact on our conservation efforts with some notorious poachers being banished from their communities. The poachers have thus moved to the other side of the Kibwezi district and are now reported to be operating along the Athi River

Report by Patrick Mutuku