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