Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 July 2009

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 July 2009

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Participants: Nicodemus Kivindyo-Team Leader John mungai Adan Abdi Boru Okichi Joshua Muthoka 2 K W S Rangers

Areas covered

During the month of July the Ziwani Team conducted its de-snaring activities at the following areas: Taita wildlife Sanctuary, Mwatate Sisal Estate and Lualenyi ranch.

Total Snares Collected 122

Findings

During the operation the team lifted a total of one hundred and twenty two (122) snares in all the areas patrolled. Out of which fifty nine (59) targeted big game and sixty three (63) targeted small and medium game. The team also came across several carcasses one of an elephant calf, one of a Giraffe, two for zebras. The elephant calf was suspected to have been killed by the current drought but the giraffe and the two zebras have been killed through poaching (snaring). A poacher was arrested and handed over to KWS authorities for more investigation and to book him. The poacher was in possession of over fifty (50) kilos of bush meat (dikdik and eland meat) which is suspected to have come from the Taita wildlife sanctuary.

Charcoal burning was also sighted inside the sanctuary and reported to the management.

The Team also noted that the only dam inside Taita Wildlife Sanctuary is drying up and therefore posses a threat to wildlife, the team is regularly monitoring this dam to ensure no wildlife fall trap to getting stuck in the mud.
Observable Evidence

The month of July has seen an obvious increase in the number of snares compared to last month this is due to the prevailing drought and lack of rain leading to crop failure. The Communities affected by the drought and therefore practicing poaching both commercially or for subsistence to sustain themselves.

This is evident by the increase in poaching activities and cases of poacher arrest that are in possession of high amounts of bush meat such as the case this month with over 50Kg. This tread may continue if not well monitored but the Ziwani team is staying vigilant on these areas to avoid more poaching incidences from taking place.

Taita wildlife santuary

This area lies under the southern part of Tsavo West National Park and is a home for many species of animals it is a vital water source for wildlife in the area. Sadly being outside of the National Park the wildlife drawn to this water source are vulnerable to poaching and hence is an important for the Team to concentrate anti-poching efforts in this area.

Poachers have taken advantage of this scenario by setting snares to kill animals for both commercial and subsistence purposes. During our operation at this ranch the team lifted twenty two snares all targeting big game and came across several carcasses of animals which included a giraffe, two zebras and one elephant calf.

The team also notice that poachers have realised the feeding habit some animals like the giraffe which are preferably feeding on the ponds of acacia bresivica and hence set snares on top of these acacia trees to trap the Giraffes by their head and neck while feeding. Unfortunately Giraffes are a heavily targeted animal as one kill has allot of meat which is highly sought after in the markets.
Mwatate sisal estate This is a privately owned area for Sisal plant Farming. On this Sisal Plantation there are still vast treks of land that are not being cultivated and have been left untouched drawing in animals to graze and browse; these are the areas the team patrolled. The team lifted twelve (12) snares targeting big game which had been set low to the ground preventing animals from noticing them easily. The team also lifted sixty three (63) snares targeting small and medium game.
Lualenyi Ranch

This area lies bordering the southern part of Tsavo West National park and is an important migratory route for wildlife especially from Tsavo west to Tsavo east hence connects an important part for the whole Tsavo Ecosystem. The animals will pass through this ranch to other ranches or parks such as Taita Wildlife sanctuary. The Team lifted a total of twenty five(25) snares targeting big game and suspect more snares are deep inside the ranch. Unfortunately the Team is having difficulty penetrating this are due to encounters with wild elephants. In order to patrol this area the team must go on foot and there have been two occasions we attempted this only to be charged by wild elephants. The team will revisit the area again next month and attempt to patrol.

Community work This month the team organised two ecological trips to Tsavo west National park on 11/7/09 and 13/7/0. On both trips the students enjoyed the parks attractions like Mzima springs, Shetani lava among other attractions within the park. The two beneficiary schools were very excited to see game during their Safari such as elephants, herds of buffaloes, giraffes, elands, and zebra. The two schools had never visited any other park before and the opportunity given to them by the Trust through the team was a major highlight to their year and deep;ly appreciated by both the Students & Teachers. The team donated thirty (30) desks to Jipe Primary School on 14/7/09 and the school community thanked the Trust for its generous gesture. The school was desperately in need of these desks. They wish to be considered again for this donation since the demand of desks at the school is very high. Report by Nicodemus Kivindyo