Extra Protection for the Last Giants of the Elephant World:
Tsavo Trust's 'Big Tusker Project'
working in support of KWS anti-poaching efforts
Working in close collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and alongside research and conservation partners including Save The Elephants, Tsavo Trust monitors the elephant populations of Tsavo, with a specific emphasis on the large ‘tuskers’. Richard Moller, Tsavo Trust’s Chief Conservation Officer, carries out this monitoring, with the indispensable help of our light aircraft, 5Y ACE, which has spent a long lifetime flying for conservation over Tsavo and other Kenyan National Parks. This aircraft was kindly donated to Tsavo Trust by Kenyan conservation supporter, Stuart Herd, who has generously supported Tsavo Trust from its inception. In such a huge, remote place as Tsavo, an aircraft is a vital conservation tool, providing an additional ‘eye in the sky’ in conjunction with KWS’s own aircraft.
As well as contributing to scientific data collation, the reports transmitted real-time from Tsavo Trust's aircraft can assist KWS in mounting an appropriate response to any identified threats to Tsavo’s elephants. To that end, the KWS team on the ground has warmly welcomed Tsavo Trust's participation in their conservation efforts. Considering the sheer size and geography of the area being surveyed, no single effort can ever be a ‘catch-all’ solution – as was so tragically demonstrated by the Tiva poaching incident and the death of Satao - but the Tsavo Trust aircraft can make a measurable difference to the safety of elephants in Tsavo – and so can you by helping us to do this job.
In response to the escalating poaching situation, Tsavo Trust has started extending our Big Tusker Project to include a ground follow-up capacity to bolster KWS anti-poaching efforts. Working alongside KWS in a supporting role, we boost patrol numbers on the ground, locate elephant carcasses, determine the cause of death and recover tusks, as well as locating poachers’ platforms, hides, camps and illegal charcoal kilns, and assisting to patrol Tsavo’s rhino sanctuary and free release zones.