Nyati Team Tiva Update: 01 January 2006

Nyati Team Tiva Update: 01 January 2006

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Participants

Isaac Maina – team leader Abdi Adan Samuel Lolchuraki Nderitu Kapina Kyusia Mulu 2 KWS Rangers: Peter Mwangi, Peter Gicheha

Areas Covered

During the course of this month the Gazi team patrolled the following areas: Gazi, the Yatta - Athi river section from Cottars and upstream and the general area in and around Athi.

TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 472

Findings

In pursuance to the British army training that we received in December we organized a two day surveillance activity along the Kasala-Kyamathenya fence line by setting up an observation post. The objective of this was to practice how to manage an observation post in order to observe an area over a period of several days and to enable us to identify the poacher’s entry points and operational patterns. During this time one person was sighted exiting the park through the fence line. Our efforts to track him were not successful and it appeared that the individual was an expert at concealing his footprints which is why he could not be tracked.

The Gazi area was not visiting in December as the de-snaring team were on their annual leave we therefore expected to find a lot of poaching activities upon our return. The area neighboring Cottars showed no illegal activity. However once we went upstream we found sets of footprints entering and leaving the park. The footprints led us to the base of the Yatta where we found a snared jackal.

We also located a poacher’s hideout, found under an acacia tree, which had been vacated.
Two poachers were sighted crossing the river but ran away once they saw us. A third poacher was seen in ferrying bush meat across the river by use of a bicycle. We pursued him and were able to find a sack with snares at his house. We found two dead snared baboons in the Gazi-Athi area.
The introduction of livestock in the park is very prevalent in this area. Most cattle grazers were found to be pushing the cattle into the park and leaving them unattended to graze. Four herdsmen were arrested and most of the livestock found without owners were driven out of the park.

Upstream from Kona Nyati charcoal burning, logging particularly of Melia Volkenis, and poaching activities were witnessed.

Signs of fresh logging were seen, two loggers were arrested, and one logger escaped. We also found and confiscated three bicycles that were found hidden in the park.
We set up an ambush in order to catch the owners of the bicycle but they did not return. We were also able to arrest a charcoal burner
and a poacher who was in possession of 21 snares.
All of the arrested individuals were book at Mtito Andei Police Station

We have found that charcoal burners ferry the charcoal across the river and loaded onto to Lorries for transport to various distribution areas. The charcoal is sold for 100Kshs per bag with timber going for 50Kshs a bag. We also were able to gather information about a group carrying out lamping in the area.

No activities were found in the Gazi area neighboring Mkwalima. It has been observed that most poachers are operating in the afternoon and a using different entry and exit routes. We have also notices that the poachers work in conjunction with poachers across the river who act as lookouts. Report by Isaac Maina