Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 May 2009

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 May 2009

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Participants

Alex Macharia – team leader Francis Chege Semeli Lolchuraki Nterito Kapina James Nuymu Vincent Mutua Bramwel Ireri from the Peregrine team Peter Mwangi from the Peregrine team

The month of May was different to the past months patrols as we were not able to conduct our patrols inside the park due to the fact that we were not assigned any rangers. All the teams’ findings were therefore taken from the community side of the park such as Kilalinda which is private land, Kalawa which is an area bordering Kambu along the Athi River and the community lands that act as buffer zones to the park and dispersal areas when the animals are grazing.

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.

101 SNARES COLLECTED (7 large snares, 28 medium snares, and 66 small snares)

Findings

The Mtito and Peregine desnaring teams joined hands this month and carried out all the patrols together. It is worth noting that in all the areas visited there are animals present especially the larger animals like elephants and buffaloes. This is due to the lack of grazing areas in the park due to the continued dry spell being experienced in the Tsavo ecosystem. Hippos along the Athi River have been affected by the continued drought and over the past weeks have been unable to come out and graze. The Trust has tried to alleviate the situation by providing hay to the affected hippos.

Judging by the size of the snares retrieved small wildlife like Dikdiks are the animals that are the most targeted by poachers at the moment in the community lands.

The situation in Kilalinda was different with most of the snares lifted targeting medium sized game. The carcasses of two buffaloes were seen, one of which had a snare around its neck.
The second carcass was seen along the Kambu River. Its flesh had been chopped off which is a definite indication that it had been poached. At Kalawa we received information that an elephant had been poachers. Sadly, however, due to unknown reasons, no one was willing to take us to the carcass and for that reason we were unable to verify the report. The carcass of a Dikdik was found as were the remains of a snared Dikdik.
Logging was seen to be taking place in the community lands.

A buffalo with two snares, one around its neck and a second around its leg, was seen at the Athi River dragging a log. We followed the buffalo for three days to the trust house where it hid in the reeds.

The vet was called to treat it but unfortunately was not able to do so as it was difficult to locate and dart the buffalo.

School trips Two schools benefited from field trips during this month. Miangeni and Muthingini primary schools were both taken for a field trip into Tsavo west national park. The areas visited by the students were Mzima Springs, Shetani lava, Chaimu hills, and Rhino valley.

The students saw a lot of wildlife including zebras, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, hippos and baboons among others.
The trips were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone involved.

Comments It is unfortunate that we were not able to conduct patrols in the park and save the wildlife that would have become victim to the snares that we were not able to lift. We hope to be assigned rangers next month so that we can continue our patrols as normal.

Report by Alex Macharia