Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 May 2009

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 May 2009

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Participants:

Nicodemus Kivindyo – team leader John Mungai Abdi Adan Boru Okicha Gerald Maghanga

Area of operation:

During the month of May, the Ziwani team covered the following areas: Kishushe ranch, Oza ranch, Mgeno ranch, the Taita Wildlife Sanctuary, the Lumo community sanctuary and Mwatate sisal estate.

91 SNARES COLLECTED

FINDINGS

During the month of May the team lifted a total of 91 snares, 54 of which targeted large game and 37 targeting small game.

The team came across two carcasses during our patrols, one of a snared cow at Mgeno ranch and another of a snared sheep at Mwatate sisal estate.
We also came across a snared elephant at the Taita Wildlife Sanctuary, which had been reported to us by an informer. The vet was called in to remove the snare from the right fore limb and treat the wound caused by the snare. Charcoal burning was seen to be taking place at both the Taita Wildlife Sanctuary and at Mgeno ranch. Cattle grazing in the park continues to be an ongoing problem with several herdsmen having been arrested during the course of the month.

Observable evidence:

We did not lift as many snares this month as in previous month which is due to the fact that our operations were somewhat hindered as we did not have any KWS rangers on patrol with us. Nevertheless we did manage to live a total of 91 snares in the areas visited, most of which targeted big game. We feel that there are even more snares to be found inside the park. The finding of two snared animals shows that active poaching continues to take place.

Kishushe ranch & Oza ranch

These areas lie near the boundary of Tsavo West and are home to many animal species both large and small. The team lifted 47 snares during its operations in these areas twenty seven of which targeted small game with the remainder targeting large game.

Mgeno ranch

This area is an important migratory corridor for wildlife moving from Tsavo east to Tsavo west. The ranch has two dams thus offering a water source for animals passing through the area. During our operation we lifted 12 snares all of which targeted large game. We also came across the carcass of a snared cow.

Logging and charcoal burning were also noted to be taking place.

Taita Wildlife Sanctuary & Lumo Sanctuary

Both these areas are important as they contain water sources, in the form of dams, for animals traveling between Lake Jipe and the Mwakitau area. The water levels in the dams are currently lower than normal due to the inadequate rains being experienced in the country.

The team lifted ten snares, half of which targeted small game and the other half targeting large game. A snared elephant was sighted and treated by one of the Trust’s mobile veterinary units.
Logging and charcoal burning was also seen.

Mwatate sisal estate

This is private land that is a sisal plantation. However there are areas in the estate that are inhabitated by animals as it has good vegetation for them to graze on. The team patrolled the estate and was able to lift 22 snares, 17 of which targeted large game with the remainder targeting small game.

Some of the snares had been set underground making it harder for them to be seen by animals and people alike.
The remains of a snared sheep were found during our patrols.

Community Outreach

This month the team organized two ecological trips to Tsavo West National Park where the students from Alan Mjomba Secondary school and Mbela Secondary school, enjoyed the parks attractions mainly Mzima Springs, Shetani lava and the five sisters.

The students from both schools saw a variety of animals including elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebra, waterbucks and elands.
One of the schools, Mbela secondary school had never visited a park before and they thoroughly enjoyed the trip where they got to see some of the country’s natural ecosystems.

The team also donated thirty desks to Ziawani primary school. The desks were deeply appreciated as some of the classes students had been sitting on logs during their lessons.

A conservation lecture and video show was given to Mnegwa community.

The community members were taught about the different conservation methods that they could use to protect the wildlife passing through the community areas so that they could all coexist harmoniously.

Report by Nicodemus Kivindyo