Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 May 2006

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 May 2006

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Participants

Alex Macharia – team leader Feisal Muteti Francis Chege Mwoni Ikutha Kathuki Ngongo James Nyumu 4KWS Rangers

Areas Covered

During the course of the month of April the following areas were visited: Magerete, Ngurumo, the Mtito River, Nguulia, Kanga, the pipeline, Wiyini, Kenani, and the Ngurumo area.

37 SNARES COLLECTED

3 ARRESTS

Findings

The month started with Royal marine training. All the de-snaring teams met at Mtito to undergo the training.

All the members were enthusiastic and optimistic about the next training phase.
We were taught map reading and navigation skills, first aid, team work, casualty evacuation, poacher apprehension, and physical training.
The skills taught to us will be a great help in the field.

By the 16th of the month the Mtito de-snaring team began its field operations at Mangarete. This area happens to be a hot spot for charcoal burners and illegal grazers.

No snares were found which can be attributed to the fact that the illegal activities that take place in the area do not co-exist with snaring as the snares are also a threat to the grazers livestock. It has been noticed that logging is taking place in the park, evidenced by the fact that the vegetation has been cleared on the inside of the park.

On the 23rd of the month we were able to arrest a man inside the park, at Ngurumo, who was in possession of charcoal.

Another two charcoal burners were arrested the following day at Wiyini.

After the short rains the vegetation in the area has thrived and grown becoming a dense canopy. This has hindered snare recovery, but has encouraged wildlife to return to the area which was reinforced by the fact that while on patrol we saw lots of wild animals.

We then visited the Ngulia are which has been known in the past to harbor elephant poachers. The vegetation in the area was very dense. However we were able to get through it and we visited the areas that the poachers use. These areas looked dormant and serve as an indication that the 5 poachers arrested last month where the ones who frequented the area.

Most of the areas visited had few snares. The evidence of poaching that we observed were footprints, snares and flesh cuttings that were found at the Mtito River and Wiyini.

Along the Mtito River a poacher escaped an ambush that we had set up. He left behind poisoned arrows, a bow and a knife which were confiscated by us.
Due to the fact that he was in possession of poisoned arrows we suspect that he was targeting elephants. No animals were found dead or rescued from snares.

Community Awareness Campaign A school trip was taken to Tsavo west National Park and the students from Iviani were the ones who were taken on the trip. The students got to see Mzima springs, Shetani lava and Ngulia sceneries.

At every stop we took the time to explain to the teachers and students the behavior of the animals seen and the need for conserving wildlife.

Iviani primary school was the one that went on the trip as the WCK club in the school is very active. Every tree seedling that has been given to the school is well looked after and watered by the students and is thus thriving.

We issued more tree seedlings to Iviani, and the Ngiluni community members.

Some gifts from Nairobi were issued to the schools for their ongoing conservation activities.

Report by Alex Macharia