Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 February 2009

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 February 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 February the following areas were patrolled by the Mtito de-snaring team: Kaluku, Kilaguni, Gazi, Komboyo, Mangerete and the area around the Chullu gate.

337 SNARES COLLECTED 4 ARRESTS

Goals and Objectives 1. Wildlife conservation and to promote the co-existence of people and wildlife 2. Make people understand the benefits of wildlife as well as capacity building and development

Findings

Gazi We began the month’s patrols by carrying out a combined patrol with the Chullu desnaring team. Following information provided by an informer we crossed the Athi River to Gazi in search of poachers who have been entering the park by passing through the Athi River. We patrolled the area for a week and were able to arrest two poachers in possession of snares.

One of the poachers was also a logger, something that has been seen in many of the teams past arrests.
Cases of cattle grazing were also seen together with fishing and charcoal burning which continues to be a major problem in many areas.

Komboyo / Mangerete Due to these areas proximity to Tsavo West National Park they receive the highest illegal human activities of all the areas visited. Logging, charcoal burning, snaring and cattle grazing are all common occurrences and the team usually makes arrests during their patrols.

This month the team was able to arrest a man for cattle grazing. He was also in possession of snares targeting small animals such as Dikdiks. Sadly the team also came across an elephant carcass during our patrols.
We also gave a warning to some cattle grazers found grazing their cattle along the park boundary.

A second individual was arrested at Mangerete. The culprit was a logger come poacher and was found in possession of 11 small snares, which had been placed near his charcoal kiln.

Due to the dry conditions in the area, the Masai community has been moving its cattle into the park to graze. A poached buffalo had been butchered and the meat removed from the carcass.
The carcass of a second buffalo, killed by a speeding vehicle, was seen along the highway.
The team also came across the carcass of a dead giraffe.

Kilaguni / Chullu gate The team came across several snares that had been set in the bushes along the lava flow line.

Most of the snares found targeted the hundreds of zebra that come to graze on the lava. Sadly it is not possible to see any footprints on the lava, which makes it impossible for us to track and apprehend the person responsible for setting the snares.
We therefore laid an ambush for two nights, unfortunately no one was seen in the area and no arrests were made.

Community activities This month we were able to take two schools on wildlife trips into Tsavo West National Park. Matulani primary and Ivingoni Secondary were the schools to benefit from the trip.

Both groups of students visited Mzima Springs, Shetani lava, Rhino valley, Rhino Sanctuary and the Chaimu volcanic hill.
Various animals were seen during the field trips including elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, as well as various antelope species.

The team also issued 30 desks to Matulani primary school. The school was very grateful for the donation as the desks were desperately needed. We intend to issue desk to Nzayo and Ngiluni primary school over the coming months.

Report by Alex Macharia