Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 October 2009

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 October 2009

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Participants: Nicodemus Kivindyo-Team Leader John Mungai Adan Abdi Boru Okichi Joshua Muthoka 2 KWS Rangers

Areas covered

During the month of October the Ziwani Team conducted its de-snaring activities at the following areas: Lualenyi ranch, the Taita Wildlife Sanctuary, Mwatate Sisal estate and Kishushe ranch

166 SNARES COLLECTED

1 ARREST

Findings

During the months operations the team lifted a total of one hundred and sixty six snares with the majority 153 targeting large game and only 13 targeting small game.

The team also came across eleven carcasses during the months patrols. Four carcasses were found at Lualenyi ranch, a poached giraffe, buffalo, and hartebeest as well as a lesser kudu that died from natural causes. Seven carcasses were found at Taita wildlife sanctuary, a young elephant that fell in a bore hole, 3 buffaloes that died of starvation, as well as a poached giraffe, zebra and impala. The team was able to arrest a poacher at Lualenyi ranch. The culprit was in possession of snares and admitted to killing several animals of all sizes over the last four months.

Observable Evidence

The team noticed a decline in the number of snares lifted this month, in comparison to previous months. We believe this is due to our continued patrols in the unprotected areas where communities come into contact with the animals. There was an increase in the number of carcasses found this is due to the current drought as well as continued poaching with the carcasses of eleven different animals being found this month.

Lualenyi Ranch

This area borders Taita wildlife sanctuary and lies under the Southern part of Tsavo West National Park. The area hosts a lot of animals, especially big browsing mammals such as elephants, giraffes and other medium sized game. During our patrols in the area we lifted a total of sixty seven snares all of which targeted large game. We also came across the carcasses of four animals, a giraffe, buffalo, lesser kudu and hartebeest, had been killed by poachers.

The lesser kudu had died of natural causes with the other three animals having been killed by poachers.
The team was able to arrest a poacher who was found in setting snares in the Ranch. The culprit was booked at Voi police station where he is awaiting sentencing.
The team will increase its patrols in the area as we receive information from the apprehended poacher that mining is taking place in the ranch with the miners being the main consumers of bushmeat poached in the ranch. Taita Wildlife Sanctuary This area lies under the southern part of Tsavo West National Park and is home to many animal species ranging from small game to large game, all of whom come to the ranch as it has a permanent water source. During our operations in this area we lifted a total of eight six snares and came across the carcasses of an elephant a giraffe, 3 buffalo, a zebra and an impala.
The elephant died after falling in a borehole which had been dug by community members.
The giraffe, impala and zebra had all been poached and the buffalo all died from natural causes. The team will revisit this area next month to monitor animal movements following the onset of the rains.

Mwatate Sisal Estate This is private land whose main purpose is agriculture as it is a sisal plantation. It borders several ranches which are rich in biological diversity, especially wildlife. Some parts of the estate have either very little sisal or old sisal which is not being harvested by the management. It is in these neglected areas that snares are being set as animals often come into them to browse on the richer vegetation found there. A total of 13 snares targeting small game were lifted during our operations in the area.

Kishushe Ranch This area lies is a migratory corridor and serves as a temporary home for animals moving from Tsavo east to Tsavo west National Park. We did not come across human activities during our patrols in the ranch. Community work This month the team organised three conservation video shows and lectures to three different schools, Maktau Secondary School, Mlilo primary school and Ngogodinyi primary school, which took place on the 17th, 19th and 22nd respectively.

It was the first time that Mlilo primary and Ngogodinyi primary school have benefited from a video show and lecture.
The management of both schools was very pleased to have benefited from the exercise and invited us to visit them again to teach them more about wildlife and conservation.

Report by Nicodemus Kivindyo