Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 April 2008

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 April 2008

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Participants

Henry Lekochere –team leader John Mungai Abdi Adan Boru Okicha Gerald Maghanga Sylvester Matheka 2 KWS rangers

Area Covered

During the month of April we carried out patrols at The Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Mzima water pipeline, Mbulia ranch, Maktau and Kishushe.

TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 58

Findings During the course of the month a total of 58 snares were lifted, 10 of which were large snares, 5 were medium snares and 43 were small snares.

The utilization of bush meat has had a great impact on the decimation of the wildlife populations in all of Tsavo. This in turn negatively affects the development of the communities found around the park.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary This area was patrolled at the beginning of month. In the past the Sanctuary was a poaching hotspot, however this month the team lifted only 3 snares.

A reason for this could be that the park has received a lot of rain making it lush and green. This increase in vegetation draws the animals back into the park. Furthermore the poachers are also taking advantage of the rains and are busy tending to their farms, which means that they are not setting snares or carrying out any other illegal activities.

Mzima water pipeline Our patrols at the Mzima water pipeline were difficult this month due to the heavy downpours which prevented us from carrying out patrols. The heavy rains made it difficult to find any tracks or cut lines. Searching for poacher’s hideouts and footprints proved futile as visibility in the area is very poor even at a distance of 50 meters.

Mbulia ranch It was the first time that we visited this area. We began our patrols at the Mbulia park boundary moving towards Kishushe. However the road had been washed away by the heavy rains preventing us from using our vehicle to patrol deeper into the park. For this reason we carried out patrols on foot for a period of 2 consecutive days over a distance of more than 20 kilometers. The team successfully lifted 27 snares all of which targeted small game.

Two poachers footprints were seen and followed but no arrests were made.

Maktau 7 large snares targeting large game were lifted during our patrols at Maktau.

The incursion of Cattle is rampant in this area with thousands of heads of livestock being brought into the park to graze.
The Maasai had erected cattle bomas which we destroyed. We also drove the herds out of the park back into the community land.

Kishushe ranch We patrolled the mining site found in this area towards the end of the months desnaring operations. We lifted 27 snares in this area which means that some of the Mining staff are setting snares.

For this reason we met with the Mining site supervisor who assured us that he would look into the matter and give us feedback on what information he was able to gather.

Report by Henry Lekochere