Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 February 2007

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 February 2007

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Participants

Wambua Kikwatha – Team leader Boru Okicha Henry Lekochere John Mungai Adan Abdi Gerald Maghanga 2 KWS rangers

Area Covered

During the course of the month we carried out patrols at: Maktao, Lumo, Taita Hills, Oza and the Kishushe park boundary.

TOTAL SNARES COLLECTED 33

Findings

Kishushe Park Boundary and along the Tsavo River

Our desnaring operations at Kishushe took place over a period of 5 days. We patrolled along the Mzima springs pipeline, the park cut line and Kishushe ranch.

The areas patrolled showed a decrease in illegal activities. Kishushe ranch yielded no snares and only 10 snares targeting small game were lifted along the park cut line. None of the snares lifted were active.
Information from our informers indicates that the poaching of elephants still takes place, mainly across the Tsavo River. As the park gets drier the elephants move closer to the river, thus exposing themselves to the poachers. Another area that is likely to be a poaching hotspot is along the park cut line as it is not accessible by vehicle. An eight kilometer portion of the road has been graded but the rest is in disrepair, thus we have to carry out our patrols on foot. It would be beneficial to clear the cut line from Ndii thus making it more accessible.

Maktau, Lumo and Oza Community Ranches

For the last four months, this area has shown a significant improvement in terms of poaching. Snaring in the area has decreased dramatically. Sadly, however, night poaching is still taking place, however even this has declined following the arrest of eight hardcore poachers, late last year and the beginning of this, who operated in the area. We have found that more individuals are now taking part in illegal mining at the Maktau mines. According to our informers, there are people coming from as afar as Mwatate to mine in Maktau. Our efforts to arrest them were futile due to the fact that they have moved to a new mining area and they only operate at night.

27 snares targeting large game were lifted along the railway line.

Taita hills and Salt lick

These areas did not yield any snares. When we first began our operations here we used to lift hundreds of snares and were able to arrest several poachers. Lately there has been a drastic decline in snaring; however poaching is still taking place. The poachers have changed their methods and are now carrying out their activities at night. Acting on an informant’s information we laid and sighted three poachers. Sadly we were not able to arrest anyone. More ambushes need to be laid to apprehend the culprits.

Report by Wambua Kikwatha