Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 August 2006

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 August 2006

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Participants

Wambua Kikwatha - team leader John Mungai Henry Lekochere Adam Abdi Justin Kiminza 2 KWS rangers

Area Covered

During the course of the month we carried out patrols at the Maktau and Lumo Community Sanctuaries, the Kishushe park boundary and along the Tsavo River, and the Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary

TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 72

TOTAL ARRESTS 7

Findings

Kishushe Park Boundary and Tsavo River

Our patrols in this area took place over a period of five days. We have found that this area is a poaching hotspot for both bushmeat and ivory. Cases of armed poachers have been reported in this area and elephant carcasses found. During our patrols we came across 5 big snares and 10 small snares. Even though not many snares were found there was still evidence of poachers in the area.

Main tracks used by the poachers were identified and followed with both fire points and animal shooting points being found. For several kilometers the team tracked footprints which led to a hideout. An ambush was staged and seven poachers,
who were also mining in the park, were arrested and booked at Taveta police station. Six snares for large game were lifted and some Dikdik skins were confiscated.

Maktau, Lumo Community Sanctuary

Over the last six months there has been a drastic decline in the snaring levels in this area. Compared to last year there has been a 70% improvement in the levels of snaring in these Community Sanctuaries. There have however been reports of night poaching, which shows that decline in snaring could be due to the fact that the poachers have changed their methods as the de-snaring team has been very effective in collecting their snares.

Several ambushes were set but were unsuccessful. There is an increasing need to devise a strategy to combat the night poachers who operate at very late hours. According to our informers the poachers are using new paths and tracks in order to avoid us. We are therefore working in conjunction with the informers in order to identify the new tracks.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary

This area has not been properly patrolled for the last three months. During the rainy season the animals move to different are and for this reason the poachers do not set snares in the Sanctuary. During the dry season the animals tend to migrate back to the Sanctuary where there are water sources at the Bura River and Bura Dam. 13 snares for big game were recovered and a new type of snaring was identified whereby the poachers use rope instead of wire to make the snares.

COMMUNITY AWARENESS

Kasngau conservation / Trust training At the beginning of the month the Ziwani and Bura team worked together to train the Kasingau community Scouts about bushmeat operations. The training course took place over five days with two days dedicated to theory and 3 days in the field undertaking de-snaring activities. During the field work 90 snares were recovered, compromising of 52 small snares, 10 big snares and 28 bird snares. Ten spikes were also recovered.

The training exercise was very successful and the scouts learned important skills that will enable them to effectively carry out their de-snaring operations.

Report by Wambua Kikwatha