Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 September 2008

Simba Team Ziwani Update: 01 September 2008

Share the article

Participants:

Henry Lekochere – team leader John Mungai Abdi Adan Boru Okicha Gerald Maghanga 2 KWS Rangers

Area of operation:

During the month of September, the Ziwani team covered the following areas: Ziwani, Salaita, Maktau area, Lumo sanctuary, and Kishushe & Oza Ranches.

107 SNARES RECOVERED 2 ARRESTS

FINDINGS During the months operations the team lifted a total of 79 snares. Twenty four of the snares targeted large game, and 55 snares targeting small game. The team was able to arrest 5 poachers at Kishushe and Oza Ranches which were booked at Taveta Police Station.

Observable evidence: Overall poaching using snaring had decreased drastically. The poachers are moving away from snaring methods of hunting and instead are using night lamping methods. This type of poaching method is more difficult to tackle.

Ziwani Area

The Ziwani team made arrangements for the arrival of WSPA representatives. The team arrived to Ziwani early and set up tents and made arrangements for KWS Rangers to accompany our desnaring activities in the area. Mr. Nick De Souza and Alan Thomas from the WSPA from Tanzania came along to oversee the teams’ activities and take part in our monthly patrols. They were delegated to visit several projects that the WSPA are supporting. They arrived in Kenya on Thursday the 11th of September and spent some time in Taveta area were WSPA has several communities which it is supporting in aiding the local communities to live alongside the wildlife with less conflict and provide the communities with environmental education & self-sufficiency by introducing self-help projects such as bee keeping and Chilly pepper production.

Upon meeting with the Ziwani team Mr. Nichodemus Kivindyo from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust gave a presentation on the Trusts work and projects which included all the desnaring projects, the mobile veterinary projects, the Orphans project, and the community outreach programmes. During this presentation he gave a brief outline of the areas of operation for each project and details on the goals of each project for animal welfare. The Ziwani Team leader, Henry Lekochere then gave a talk on the Ziwani Teams work & progress from January 2008 to date. This talk included detailed explanation of poaching patterns and snare & arrest statistics. The total numbers of WSPA delegates were 18 persons. After the introduction and presentation it was time to plan how to go about allocating all the WSPA delegates to take part in the desnaring activities. Since the number of delegates was high we decided to divide them into 2 groups with 9 in each group. It was decided that in the morning one group would take part in desnaring whilst the other goes for a game drive and in the afternoon the groups will swap. The first group was able to locate and take down 8 snares all targeting bug game.

The 2nd team didn’t lift any snares; however we did see poaching tracks and illegal livestock grazing in the Park.

The 2 groups were later taken to the Ziwani snare store and shown a diversity of snare types & other poaching equipment such as bows & arrows. Following this demonstration we held a meeting with the delegates together with the Ziwani Team in which we openly discussed our experiences. During this meeting we had allot of positive comments about The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trusts work and impact on wildlife conservation in Kenya. It was acknowledged that The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has contributed to saving thousands of wild animal lives and that its contribution towards environmental education & wildlife conservation is of utmost importance to Kenya. It was also commented that more funds needs to be channeled towards the Trusts work in order to keep up the positive impact on conservation efforts.

Salaita Area This area has predominantly been problematic with illegal grazing activities & charcoal burning. Snaring is usually low in this area. We did however, receive information of night poaching going on in the area. During our patrols in Salaita we lifted 2 snares targeting big game and found 5 recently used charcoal kilns. As usual illegal grazing was at high levels. There is a large Masaai community bordering the Park here and Somali’s from as far as Garissa have moved here to graze their cattle in the Park. Their evasive action against arrest is to use young boys to herd the cattle into the park as minors cannot be arrested & taken to court. The team managed to arrest 2 Somali men and drive out hundreds of cattle from inside the park boundaries.

Maktau & Lumo

During patrols in this area the team lifted 8 snares targeting big game.

The main poaching activities in the area take place at night. Due to our previous arrests of poachers in this area poaching has decreased. The butcheries seem to be getting better business as poaching is now lower and there is less illegal meat to buy.

Kishushe & Oza Ranches Poaching in these areas is very high, most of the snares lifted during the month came from these areas. 61 Snares targeting small game were lifted and 3 poachers were arrested. The poachers were booked at Taveta Police Station.

Community Outreach The team organized 2 educational trips to Tsavo West National Park. The 2 schools taking part in the trips were Maktau Primary school and Mnengwa Primary School.

Both Schools never visited the Park before and they were very excited. The pupils visited the Mzima Springs, and Shetani Lava.
They also went for a game drive and saw elephants, buffalos, giraffes, Zebras, Oryx and cheetahs. The students also visited the KWS education centre for lectures on conservation. Both filed trips were a wonderful success.

Report by Henry Lekochere