Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 April 2009

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 April 2009

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Participants:

Nicodemus Kivindyo – team leader John Mungai Abdi Adan Boru Okicha Gerald Maghanga 2 KWS Rangers

Area of operation:

During the month of April, the Ziwani team covered the following areas: Taita Wildlife Sanctuary, Mwatate Sisal Estate, and Kishushe Ranch & park boundary.

294 SNARES COLLECTED

FINDINGS

During the month of April the team lifted a total of 294 snares, 228 of which targeted large game and 66 targeting small game.

The team found several poached game carcasses, 1 buffalo, an impala, 1 common duiker, and more than fifty Dikdik skins at the Taita Wildlife Sanctuary & Mwatate Sisal Estate. The team also found a poachers hideout at Mwatate Sisal Estate. The poachers where using 20 litre jerrycans to transport the Dikdik hides out into the market posing as though they are going to fetch water so that the local Authorities do not notice. Logging and charcoal burning were the main illegal activities taking place at the Taita Wildlife Sanctuary.

Observable evidence:

There was a high increase in the number of snares lifted. The numbers of snares targeting big game are especially increasing and indicate a change in the targeted game. The high number of carcasses during patrols encourages the team to intensify its patrols to try to tackle the rampant poaching. Charcoal burning is a major problem in the Taita Wildlife Sanctuary which is posing a serious threat to the wildlife there as the destruction of habitat threatens the wildlife.

Taita Wildlife Sanctuary

This area is rich in biodiversity; it is a home to many species including many mammals of all sizes, reptiles, birds and many others. The area is unique in that the wildlife here use a water source at Lake Jipe which is a man made dam.

During patrols in the area the team lifted 104 snares targeting big game as well as found 3 carcasses; one buffalo and a young Impala male which were killed by snares and the other was a common duiker killed by unknown means.
The team has decided to intensify its patrols in the area to curb this alarming problem.

Charcoal burning & logging were also a problem in the area, not only does this contribute hugely to deforestation but it also posses a threat to wildlife as their habitat is destroyed.

The team needs to increase its community outreach & conservation campaigns in the area in order to try and sensitize the local population.

Mwatate Sisal Estate

This area is privately owned and grows Sisal plants commercially. During patrols here the team saw that large amounts of land had been abandoned for growing Sisal as management has decided to reduce production. This means that large tracks of land have been left alone and vegetation has become overgrown and hence wildlife has begun inhabiting the area. The team saw zebra, dikdik, common duiker, and baboons during its patrols. Poachers have also followed the wildlife to this area. The poachers have devised a different type of snare which is slightly buried and captures the animal as it steps on the snare.

A total of 124 snares were lifted all of which targeted big game. The team found a poacher’s hideout with more than 50 Dikdik and common duiker skins ready to be transported to the market.

The hideout had 2 large jerrycans being used to transport the skins posing as though carrying water.
The team is concerned about the safety of the wildlife in this area and hence is intending on keeping up its patrols regularly.

Kishushe Park Boundary/Kishushe Ranch

This area is an important migratory route for wildlife between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks. During patrols in the area 66 snares were lifted all targeting small game, some of the snares were set very recently.

Community Outreach

During the month of April the team organized 3 Conservation Video shows & conservation lectures to three different communities. The communities were: Mbegi Community, Mnegwa Community, and Msorongo Community. These took place on the 14/04/09, 15/04/09, and 16/04/09 respectively.

The three Communities lie right on the migratory route for wildlife between Tsavo East & Tsavo West. It is very important that these Communities are environmentally educated as they are in a key location for wildlife and hence must be able to co-exist. Most of the Community members embraced the Teams initiative and gave positive feedback, saying this was a big eye opener for them.

Report by Nicodemus Kivindyo