Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 January 2010
Nicodemus Kivindyo – Team Leader John Mungai Adan Abdi Boru Okichi Joshua Muthoka 2 KWS Rangers
During the course of this month the areas patrolled included Oza Ranch, Kishushe Ranch, Lualeyni Ranch, and Mwatate Sisal Estate.
182 SNARES COLLECTED
Kenya has undergone allot of hardship over the last year and a half as a result of one of the worst droughts it has ever endured. The entire Nation eagerly awaited the expected arrival of the rains during the November- December period. Although some rain did arrive and the drought stricken land transformed into a green and flourishing land this long awaited moment was sadly short lived. As soon as the land & wildlife began to recover the rains stopped and the land is again slowly drying up. This only gave wildlife short period of lower poaching activity as many poachers went to attend to their farms and plant crops. Now that the dryness is setting in many poachers have returned to poach wildlife as their main source of income. This pattern is evident by the marked increase in poaching activity observed during the month. If the weather dos not improve and bring sufficient rain it is likely that poaching and other illegal activities will return to their old level during the peak of the drought. During a normal year, illegal activities increase during the dry season and decrease during the rainy season. Last years drought ended up in the Parks taking a severe blow with illegal activities reaching the highest levels they had over the last 5 years. Allot of wildlife died due to the drought and without recovery of the land more will be lost in this way. The Team predicts that without rain until the next expected rainy season due in April, the next few months will show high levels of poaching which will require tough and vigilant policing by the Team.
During January’s patrols a total of 182 snares were lifted in all areas covered. Out if these 161 targeted big game such as buffalo and 21 targeted small game.
Oza & Kishushe Ranch
These Ranches lies bellow the Southern region of Tsavo West National Park and serve as important migratory corridors for wildlife to and fro Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks. Thanks to the December rains this area is still relatively green and hence has attracted a lot of game. During Patrols in Oza Ranch 22 snares were lifted of which 14 targeted small game and 8 targeted big game.
Mwatate Sisal Estate
This sisal plantation is privately owned and covers a large area that borders National Parks and private Ranches. Some of this plantation has been left untouched and is home to wild animals. The Team lifted a total of 153 snares during patrols. Out of the total snares collected, 146 snares were set underground targeting big game that makes its way through the old sisal plantation rows.
This Ranch underwent severe devastation during the drought. The vegetation is beginning to recover and wildlife had begun to return.
Report by Nicodemus Kivindyo