Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 April 2009

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 April 2009

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Participants

Alex Macharia – team leader Francis Chege Semeli Lolchuraki Nterito Kapina James Nuymu Vincent Mutua 4 KWS rangers

Areas Covered

During the course of the month of April the following areas were patrolled by the Mtito de-snaring team: The Triangle, the area around the Chullu gate, Kilaguni, Mangerete, Kenani, and Kanga.

469 SNARES COLLECTED (37 large snares, 78 medium snares, and 354 small snares) 3 ARRESTS

Findings

The Triangle area We began the month’s patrols in the Tsavo Triangle. There has been an increase in the incidences of livestock grazing and charcoal burning which could be attributed to the ongoing drought being experienced throughout the country. Large herds of cattle have been seen alone deep within the park which has made it difficult for us to arrest and herders. Small snares targeting small game were lifted during our patrols. The team also came across a dead snared Waterbuck.

Kenani / Kanga We saw several sets of clear footprints near often used tracks. The footprints mainly led us to charcoal kilns.

Logging was also seen to be taking place in both areas. The team was able to arrest a poacher setting snares in the kanga area. Over 72 snares targeting small game were lifted during our patrols in the Kenani and Kanga areas.
This area continues to be a poaching hotspot due to its proximity to the Nairobi – Mombasa highway as well as the railway line. Both are used by poachers to gain easy access to the park and as quick escape routes as well as means to transport the bushmeat to market.

Kilaguni This area has a large population of wildlife which can be attributed to the artificial water point provided by the hotel’s management. For this reason Kilaguni is a poaching hotspot. We removed a substantial number of snares during our patrols and tried to capture a snared zebra that unfortunately died before we were able to rescue it.

The team also came across a buffalo carcass.
We were not able to establish the cause of death, but think that there was some sort of human involvement as some meat had been carefully removed from the carcass. We also found several shooting platforms which shows that poachers are using several poaching methods when operating in the area.

Chullu gate The Chullu gate is found close to Kilaguni, thus poaching in this area is often seen by the team. We came face to face with 4 poachers who were unfortunately able to evade arrest. The poachers were carrying arrows, which were most probably poisoned, leading us to believe that they were elephant poachers. We were able to lift over 45 snares along the lava ledges, most of which targeted large and medium sized game.

The team came across a hippo carcass. Death is thought to be from natural causes as the carcass was intact.

Mangerete During our patrols in this area we were able to arrest two loggers whom we believe to also be poachers as they were in possession of 157 small snares and 21 medium to large snares.

One of the loggers was with his wife who was near the charcoal burning kiln.
Cattle grazing has become very common in the area with cows, goats and donkeys often being seen. Bicycle tracks were seen by the team who were able to rescue a Dikdik from a snare.

Community work Due to the high level of poaching, cattle grazing and vegetation destruction seen, in conjunction with KWS, we organized a community baraza at Mangerete which in recent years has been affected by logging and poaching. We addressed both problems with the community members who were then also treated to a video show about wildlife. The wildlife film was also shown to the students at Matangini primary school.

Report by Alex Macharia