Isaac Maina – team leader Abdi Adan Samuel Loluchurachi Julius Mumo 4 KWS rangers – Paul Odhiambo, Peter Mwangi, James Mwawini, Isaac Melly
During the course of this month the Ithumba team patrolled the following areas: Sheldricks Blind, Tharakana, Gazi, Cottars camp up to Kona ya Nyati and between the Athi river and the Yatta plateau.
TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 626
This months de-snaring exercise started on the Northern slopes of the Yatta plateau close to Ndarakana blind. 108 snares were recovered in this region, of which all but three targeted small animals like Dikdik, Duiker and Bushbuck. The three larger snares targeted medium sized animals like the Kudu. We did not observe any recent poaching activities in this area.
The Gazi area towards the Mkwalima boundary was entered via the community areas. The Kenya Wildlife Service surveillance aircraft had sighted activities related to Charcoal burning deep inside the park. These were consequently visited, but unfortunately the kiln which had been sighted burning had been harvested the previous night. 16 snares were recovered one of which targeted guinea fowl. The Tharakana area did not yield any snares and there were no signs of humans encroaching on the wildlife.
The area around Cottars camp was also free of snare and human activity, which raised our spirits. Sadly, however, there was a lot of human activity upstream towards Gazi. We lifted 532 snares, 114 targeted medium sided animals with the rest (418) targeting small game. Several tracks and footprints were spotted and followed. Unfortunately they were several days old and did not lead to any arrests, although they did lead to several vacant hideouts. Two people were arrested this month at Kona ya Nyati. One of them was a charcoal burner. The second culprit was arrested for cutting down trees to make furniture. He was also suspected of having set several snares which were lifted in the area where he was found. It was discovered that the poachers in this region accessed the park from across the river, laying their snares either near the rivers banks or near the Yatta plateau.
Report by Isaac Maina