De – Snaring Report for April 2005
Wambua Kikwatha Paul Kasau Philip Koril Adan Abdi Samuel Lolchuraki Julius Mumo Ekai Patrick KWS rangers W13 Operation rangers
The areas patrolled during this month were the Kyamanyenze and Tiva River areas, The Yatta and Kasaala Boundary, along the power line, the Kimweli park boundary, Mathae area, Kimathenye, Umauma, Tundai, Manzui, Kanziko boundary, Kalovoto and the general Ithumba hill area.
119 SNARES RECOVERED
The above mentioned areas were a revisit of the areas that were patrolled last month. Nevertheless we carried out a thorough patrol of all the major snaring hot spots. We were able to lift a total of 119 snares, 25 of which targeted large game. This is a drastic decline in the number of snares especially when the number is compared to January and March, which yielded a total number of 354 snares and 413 snares respectively. There could be various reasons for this decline, the most important being the major bush meat operation that was mounted during April. This operation targeted the Northern Area boundaries as well as the parks outskirts, and comprised of the two northern de-snaring teams, a platoon from the Northern Area and a KWS investigation unit. In addition the de-snaring team has been persistently combing these areas during their daily patrols. It must however be mentioned that this decline could also be due to the shifting of Poachers to the Gazi area, which recently has not been patrolled as often.
It is very important that these joint operations be undertaken from time to time as the teams on the ground are reinforced and the poachers are given an indication that security in the area is very tight.
Community conservation awareness and education took place alongside the de-snaring operations. By joining the Gazi and Ithumba de-snaring teams, one of the team leaders was available to participate in the elephant translocation sensitization exercise. This took place over a three week period from the 13th to the 30th of April. Fifteen sub locations within the Kitui district together with three sub locations from the Tana River district were visited. The communities that attended the sensitization exercise helped our teams to clear the area for the second phase of the fence project.
This exercise was a golden opportunity as it enabled us to sensitize the neighboring communities regarding the implications of bush meat consumption, specifically the issue of commercial bush meat. It was clearly pointed out to them that bush meat utilization is not a sustainable option as it would contribute towards the communities’ underdevelopment. Some of the issues addressed were the dangers of bush meat consumption together with the ecological and biodiversity implications as well as the socio-economic threat that is posed by bush meat exploitation.
Report by Paul Kasau – Gazi team leader