Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 November 2008

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 November 2008

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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 November, the Ziwani team covered the following areas: Kishushe ranch, the Lumo wildlife Sanctuary, Lualenyi ranch and the Maktau area.

131 SNARES RECOVERED

FINDINGS During the months operations the team lifted a total of 131 snares 91 of which targeted large game and 40 targeting small game.

The team also came across the carcasses of a Gerenuk and an elephant calf at the Lumo wildlife sanctuary and found a poachers hideout at Lualenyi ranch which contained wooden clubs, bows, arrows and snares. Logging and charcoal burning were found to be taking place within in the park in the Maktau area.

Observable evidence: Despite the fact that there has been a reasonable amount of rainfall in the area and most community members are busy tending to their farms, poaching continues to take place, especially for large game, evidenced by the 91 snares recovered that targeted large game.

The team continues to try and apprehend all poachers and bring them in to face charges for their crimes.

Lumo community wildlife sanctuary This is a community sanctuary that borders the Tsavo West National park’s southern region and a lot of wildlife is found in the area as there is no boundary fence that prevents the animals from crossing into the sanctuary from the park. For this reason the team spent a lot of time patrolling the area and was able to lift 20 snares all of which targeted small game.

Two carcasses, a Gerenuk and an elephant, were seen, both of which had been killed by snares.

Lualenyi ranch This ranch has not benefited from rainfall this season and the animals in the area go into the adjacent ranches, the Taita wildlife sanctuary and the Lumo community sanctuary, in search of water and vegetation. The surrounding communities have observed this trend and have taken to setting snares along the paths used by the animals. The team has learnt that poachers operating in the area are also using the lamping method to kill animals. The lamping method is used at night when poachers blind the animals using torches and then use wooden clubs and arrows to kill them. We found evidence of this at a poacher’s hideout which was found on the ranch.

The hideout and the poacher’s weapons were destroyed by the team. A total of 20 large snares were lifted during our patrols.
The team organized tow ambushes on the ranch in an effort to arrest poachers operating in the area. Unfortunately no arrests were made.

Maktau area The vegetation in the area had been burnt but unknown culprits and the grass has now started to sprout. This fresh browse has attracted animals, especially herbivores, to the area to graze. Poachers observing the animals have noticed the increase of wildlife in the area and are trying to use it to their advantage by creating a dead fence with some openings where they set snares in an effort to trap the animals.

Sixty one snares were lifted all of which targeted large game. The dead fence was destroyed giving the animals more freedom to roam the area and browse.

Community Outreach The team organized two ecological trips to Tsavo West National park. The two schools that benefited from the trips were Kedong Primary School on the 4/11/08 and Maktau Secondary school on the 5/11/08.

During the trip the students were taken to some of the park’s major attractions such as Mzima springs, and Shetani lava, among others.

The students were lucky to see two of the big five. They saw a herd of elephants and a herd of buffalo along with other animals such as giraffes, elands, zebras, lesser kudu, waterbuck, and impalas.
The students were given talks throughout the trip in an effort to increase their knowledge about wildlife and the need to conserve the environment and their natural heritage.

The students who benefited from the trips were extremely grateful to the trust for our community outreach program which helps needy schools who are not able to visit the parks due to the costs involved.

The team also organized a video show and conservation lecture at Maktau secondary school on the 18th of November. The students got to see videos about different wildlife which they found extremely enjoyable. At the same time they learned about the different ways that they could conserve their natural resources and protect the environment.

Report by Nicodemus Kivindyo