Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 November 2005

Chui Team Mtito Update: 01 November 2005

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Participants

James Mbuthia Feisal Muteti Francis Chege Masaku Mbanga 4KWS Rangers – Joel Anyim, Epae, Lerapo Tuken, Kaimenyi Marete

Areas Covered

The areas that we visited this month were The Triangle, The Mtito river stretch, the Athi River stretch up to a distance of 40km from the camp, the Tsavo West boundary from Mtito town to the Chulusand lava flows to the Chula gate.

243 SNARES COLLECTED

Findings

Over the past few months we have noticed that the amount of snaring has declined sharply due a number of reasons such as the regular patrol of all old and new hotspots and the constant educating of the communities about conservation. An important reason for this decline could also be the arrest and rehabilitation of a poacher who has now become a de-snarer, thus exposing his colleagues who have chosen to either stop poaching or have changed the areas of operation.

A total of 243 snares

were lifted and two loggers were arrested in the triangle. The presence of people in the triangle has declined sharply unlike Tsavo west were livestock grazing and charcoal burning continues to be rampant. We lifted 64 snares from around the Chulu pump with a further 128 snares being lifted in Matangini, making a total of 192 snares being lifted in Tsavo west alone. We have observed that often poachers will try to disguise themselves as cattle grazers in order to avoid being detected by the de-snaring team. One elephant was found poached next to the Mtito River at Kamunyu.
The elephant is believed to have come from the Northern area as it was one of the elephants that had been translocated there from Shimba Hills. The elephant had a tag on the tail and the translocation number 87 on its side.
We arrived at the scene before the poachers could remove the tusks. Together with the de-snaring team rangers we surrendered the tusks to KWS.
As the elephant population increases in the north it is important to carry out more patrols in the area to keep poachers at bay. The majority of the snares that we found were rusty and had been covered by the overgrown vegetation. Furthermore we have noticed that since the inception of the Mtito de-snaring team, the animal populations found in the triangle have increased.

Our patrols also took us along the Athi River, visiting an Asian farm in the area. We believe that the poachers work closely with the workers from this farm. We found a dead sun grouse and squirrel in this area.

We presume that with the onset of the rains the poaching levels will decrease due to the fact that people will be tending their farms. We will be vigilant about patrolling the water holes and other water reservoirs, which will attract both animals and poachers.

BEE KEEPING PROJECT.

In order to try and raise the standard of living of the people neighboring the park the trust is embarking on a plan to start a bee keeping project which will be both environmentally friendly and beneficial to the communities who will harvest the honey to sell it to an already available market.

Report by James Mbuthia