Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 May 2003

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 May 2003

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Area covered

This month we focused all our attention on Ziwani

Participants

James Mbuthia- Team leader David Njoroge – Assistant Team Leader John Malonza - Tracker Julius Mwania – Security Masaku Mbanga – In camp Abdullahi– KWS Chora– KWS

Findings

A total of 456 snares were collected during the May operation, all of the snares were made for larger animals. During the patrols horrific scenes of snared animals were found, mainly zebra carcasses. At Ziwani farm a lot of snaring is going on probably due to the large amount of animals as well as a large population of people, there are over 1000 people living no less than 2 km from the park boundary and so will always have an opportunity to poach. We did report to the management and they did say that they would monitor it more carefully in the future. Many poachers are known to carry large rolls of wire specifically for snaring, this wire is said to be bought from Tanzania. The bush meat trade is still rampant in these areas, people are accustomed to bush meat as a source of income as well as food and so in order to change this attitude we will need the co-operation of two countries. We patrolled along the park boundary and major snaring hotspots inside the park and the neighboring ranch. Ziwani river boundary, Losoito plains, Murka Monyuni and Ziwani farm were checked. We also patrolled from Maktau to Salai as well as long the railway line but we did not complete our operation. It seems that we have the same problem as the Burra team in that there are snares now being used from the railway line, possibly by railway workers themselves. They are also using the abandoned telephone cables. Makatau town is a commercial center for game meat although it is being done secretly. Information gathered from informers reveal that poachers get in and out of the park from dusk until dawn. The meat is sold in the towns and the homesteads early in the morning. Poaching involves lamping and slashing the animal with a panga and is proving to be very successful. Poachers are very difficult to catch and so ambushes are necessary, which will be what we do next month when we revisit the area.

Community awareness

VIDEO SHOWS Kamunyu and Ngiluni primary schools benefited from wildlife videos this month. Other schools that were visited included Iviani and Mangelete primary school, their wildlife clubs are doing very well indeed.

WORKSHOP Between 16th and 18th of May the team leaders of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust along with Wildlife Clubs of Kenya and the KWS organized a workshop. It was held at Joana Chase secondary school. All in the entire workshop was a success, all sorts of issues were discussed and we feel more positive about the future of Tsavos wildlife now.

JAMBO PROJECT On the 14th of May Jambo project was introduced to 3 different schools, Ngiluni, Iviani and Mangalete. The project is aimed at introducing children from the States to children here, through this they will each learn about cultures and wildlife.

SPORTS Almost every weekend there is a sports event, more and more people are now joining sports clubs which is very positive.

FIELD TRIP TSAVO NATIONAL PARK On 24th of May Ngiluni primary school wildlife members benefited with a field trip into Tsavo West. Community representatives joined the pupils for the trip. This was there first trip ever and they were extremely happy, again most of these children had never seen some of the game that we saw. I believe that these trips are underestimated in their value to the lives of these children. On a field trip these children learn how nature works and how delicate the balance is, most of these children leave having a favorite animal and a different attitude to animal’s altogether.

Other things to report are that the seedlings that have been distributed to various schools are doing very well; the people are taking good care of them.

Report by James Mbuthia