Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 July 2010
Nicodemus Kivindyo-Team Leader
2 KWS Rangers
During the month of July the Ziwani team conducted its de-snaring activities at the following areas: Maktau area inside park/outside Park, Oza ranch/ Kishushe ranch and Taita wildlife sanctuary.
During the course of the month the team lifted Fifty nine snares (59) snares thirty five targeting big game and twenty four targeting small game. The Team took part in a rescue of an orphaned elephant in the Rombo area with the help of the DSWT Tsavo Mobile vet Unit and took the calf to the Voi stockade so that it could be looked after by the elephant Keepers before being flown to the Nairobi Nursery the next morning. The calf had been attacked by people and sustained several spear wounds to the body, and one in the head. The head wound still had the spear lodged in and had to be removed by the Vet.
The Team came across an elephant carcass at Maktau area inside park with the two tusks missing, the elephant was suspected to be poached. Two illegal charcoal burners were arrested at Maktau area inside park and booked at Taveta police station.
Charcoal burning as well as logging was taking place at Oza ranch which needs to be controlled as these trees provide food for wildlife and are an important part of the natural systems.
The dry season had taken hold making crops planted by communities adjacent to the Tsavo ecosystem dry up leaving farmers with no option but to rely on irrigation to grow vegetables.
Most of the communities live in such poverty they cannot but food for them selves and resort to poaching as a source of protein. The most common methods of poaching are setting snares both inside and outside the park to trap wild animals. The Team patrolled in the areas bordering the communities and lifted fifty nine snares both inside and outside the park.
The rescue of one young elephant with a spear on the head with vet unit shows the impact of human wildlife conflict within the areas where irrigation agriculture is been practiced. Charcoal burning also is on increase both inside and outside the park.
Maktau Area inside/outside Park
These areas border the southern part of Tsavo West National park and are home to a wide variety of wild animals as well as serving as a migration route to Tanzania’s Mkomazi National Park.
During foot patrols the team managed to retrieve forty six (46) snares thirty (30) for big game and sixteen (16) for small game.Two charcoal burners were arrested inside park with their kilns as well as trees they had cut to prepare more charcoal kilns.
One elephant carcass was sighted inside the park with both tusks missing, the carcass was about three months old hence determining cause of death was difficult due to decomposition. It is suspected that the elephant was poached.
This area borders Tsavo West National Park and supports many species of animals especially the big mammals like elephant, eland, zebra, and giraffe as it has a big water dam which remains plentiful throughout the dry season, as a result wildlife remains close.
The team lifted eight snares in this area all targeting small game.
Many charcoal kilns and incidents of logging were seen. Sadly this means that the food supply & habitat for wild animals is being damaged. The team needs to focus some of its community outreach projects in this area to prevent the destruction taking place.
Taita wildlife sanctuary
This is a community wildlife sanctuary which is rich in biodiversity and has enough water reservoirs to sustain life all year round.
The team carried out intensive patrols this month in order to make sure that the animals are safe from poachers. Only five (5) snares were lifted indicating a decrease in poaching
. Normally this area is a hotspot for poachers due to the close proximity of the Sanctuary to the surrounding communities. It is possible the poachers are changing tactics; the Team will continue to monitor the area to ensure poaching remains as low as possible.
The team donated thirty desks to Mwashuma Primary school the entire. Everyone at the school highly appreciated this gesture as there was a high shortage of desks particularly in the lower classes due to the current over enrolment under the governments’ free primary education law. This puts a lot of pressure on underfunded schools to accommodate for a high influx of students when they lack the infrastructure and equipment to do so.