Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 January 2009

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 January 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 January, the Ziwani team covered the following areas: Ziwani area, Gishea Farm (Muhoho Farm), Kishushe Ranch/pipeline area, Taita Wildlife Sanctuary & Lumo Wildlife Sanctuary.

FINDINGS During the month of January the team lifted a total of 117 snares.

92 snares targeting big game and 25 snares targeting small game. The team found 3 carcasses, one of an elephant calf near Mzima Springs, one eland which had been snared at Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, and an impala snared at Gishea Farm. Logging, charcoal burning, and illegal grazing were seen at Gishea Farm and the Ziwani area.
One poacher was arrested in Taita Wildlife Sanctuary while setting snares inside the Ranch. Two herdsmen were arrested in Ziwani while grazing illegally inside the Parks boundaries.

Observable evidence:

The numbers of snares collected this month have gone up compared to previous months. This is as a result of crop failure this year due to the lack of rain which has led to a desperate food supply situation which is driving more people to encroach on the wildlife as a source of food or income. Most Communities are experiencing food & water shortages for themselves and their livestock and are hence invading the National Parks for poaching and illegal grazing. The number of snares targeting big game was unusually high indicating poaching for commercial purposes is increasing. A recently arrested poacher confessed he had turned to poaching commercially as the income gives him the ability to buy food for his family.

Ziwani Area

This area is in the Southern region of Tsavo West National Park and is home for many species of animals, especially during dry periods, as the Ziwani River flows throughout the year.
During patrols in Ziwani the team lifted 16 snares targeting big game. The majority of the snares were set targeting animals that are coming for a drink at the river. The drier the climate becomes the more these snares pose a danger to the wildlife as more wildlife will congregate near the river for water. Two Maasai men were arrested illegally grazing cattle inside the Park.

Gichea Farm (Muhoho Farm)

This area lies within the southern region of Tsavo West and borders the Ziwani area. It houses a variety of large game including elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, and elands which makes it a prime target for the Commercial poachers currently emerging.

A total of 21 snares were collected all targeting big game. A dead snared impala was found, one of the front legs was swollen and the wound heavily infected an indication that the animal had been trapped alive for a long period of time.

Kishushe Ranch/ Pipeline Area

Both these areas are in the Southern region of Tsavo West. These areas are rich in biodiversity and play a crucial role in Tsavo’s ecosystem. The pipeline area is the main source of water at the moment hence there is a heavy congregation of wildlife there.

During patrols the team lifted 11 snares all targeting big game. The team came across an elephant calf carcass which had died inside one of the breather tanks after falling into the tank.
The team searched around for the cover for this breather tank to prevent another elephant calf from having the same fate. Unfortunately the lid for this tank was nowhere to be seen.

Taita Wildlife Sanctuary

This sanctuary borders Tsavo West National Park, and a lot of wildlife moves in and out of the park through this sanctuary. This area has a permanent water source from a man made dam and hence is attracting a lot of wildlife.

A total of 34 snares were collected, 24 targeting big game and ten targeting small game.
A dead snared eland was found. A poacher was arrested while setting snares in Saltlick Ranch; the poacher was booked at Taveta Police Station.

Lumo Wildlife Sanctuary

This sanctuary borders Taita Wildlife Sanctuary and is also home for a lot of wildlife. There is a high amount of illegal activities taking place including logging and cattle grazing. The team lifted a total of 35 snares, 20 targeting big game and 15 targeting small game.

Community Outreach

The team organized 2 Environmental Education trips. The team showed a Conservation Awareness Video at Mwashuma Community on the 11th of January.

On the 13th of January the team visited Msorongo Primary School and gave a Wildlife Conservation Lecture to try and raise awareness amongst the local population.

Report by Nicodemus Kivindyo