Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 December 2009

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 December 2009

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Participants

Alex Macharia James Nyumu Nterito Kapina Francis Chege Semeli Lolchuraki Peregrine team

Objectives To retrieve snares and reach out to the communities with the purpose of preserving and protecting wildlife and the environment. Patrol the community and private lands.

Areas Covered

During the course of this month the areas covered included Kilalinda, Mtito River along the triangle, community area and the Trust land

97 SNARES COLLECTED

INTRODUCTION With the onset of the heavy rains, the poaching activities are bound to change. This is due to the fact that some poachers take advantage of the rains to plant their crops and tend to their lands. Human wildlife conflict in terms of animals moving into community lands reduces as there is now enough food and water for them in the park. Vegetation becomes denser and snares are harder to see as they are covered by the new foliage.

Findings Community/private lands The most common illegal activity taking place in the Tsavo ecosystem is logging both in the park and in the surrounding community lands which both of which are habitats for wildlife.

The purpose of logging is commercial for charcoal burning, building materials or for sale as firewood in the Mtito center where it will be used in hotels or ferried to Nairobi or Mombasa. Evidence of charcoal burning is especially visible from high ground where smoke from the kilns can be easily seen.

In the future logging could cause the loss of certain species of trees especially the Mellia spp and the Acacia spp which are continually being cut down. It is worth noting that these tree species are an important part of the giraffe’s diet.

We were able to lift a total of 39 snares in these areas all of which were large in size targeting buffaloes and the larger antelopes.

Bicycle tracks are still evident in the triangle which is another sign of the ongoing logging and charcoal burning problem.

Triangle/Mtito River The carcasses of a buffalo and Elephant were spotted during our patrols in the area.

The elephant carcass had been covered by tree branches in an effort to keep it hidden from routine aerial patrols carried out by KWS.
The tusks had been removed and some of the flesh cut away both signs that the elephant had been poached.

Kilalinda and Trust land Few illegal activities were seen in these areas which is probably due to our persistent patrols over the past months. Very few snares were lifted which is a positive sign for us considering that in the past numerous snares used to be lifted in the Kilalinda area.

COMMUNITY AWARENESS During the course of the month a total of 450 tree seedlings were issued to individuals from the local communities.

Report by Alex Macharia