Monthly Report: August 2016

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Activity Hours Flown Miles Covered

Aerial Reconnaissance


66 (463 hrs for year to date)
Average 76 mph of low level flight


5,309 (35,125 miles for year to date)
Flights carried out jointly with KWS staff

  No. Observed
Large "Tuskers"   22 Tuskers - 17 bulls (7 Super Tuskers & 10 emerging Tuskers) & 5 cows
  No. Recovered
Ivory Recovered   10 tusks (35 for year to date)

Elephant Carcasses

Fresh Recent
   3 (1 truck hit, 2 natural)  4 (3 natural, 1 unconfirmed)
Poachers camps and hides/blinds/platforms  Nil  Nil
Carcasses/hours flown   1 every 9.4 hours of flight
Arrests   7 - Made by KWS and Kamungi Scouts – (3 poachers, 3 hard wood, 1 charcoaler)
Snares/traps recovered   149 (by Tsavo Trust/Kamungi Scouts – 757 for the year)
Response/support to KWS - armed incidents   Nil (2 for year to date)
Other Illegal actvities   5 cattle bomas (31,000 plus cows & 35+ people seen)
General important/relevant notes   

Tusker KA2 (mono tusker) passed away, possibly natural cause from old
age, found 9/8/16, TWNP. Single tusk weighed 45kg (99lbs)
• Kamungi Scouts carried out joint anti-poaching ops with KWS in TWNP
and CHNP between 10th and 26th August16 with several arrests made
• Aerial support pertaining to rhino security in TW & TE
• Continued partnership with KWS & ZSL re rhino programs in TCA
• Continued predator and endangered species sighting reports to KWS, TCA

5 black rhino photographed at night during the KWS led night census in Tsavo on 19th August 2016. 34 different individuals were identified on this night alone. ZSL (to a large extent) along with Tsavo Trust as a partner play a significant support role to KWS and Tsavo’s rhino conservation activities.

5 Black Rhino photographed at night in Tsavo


Big Tusker Project - aerial and ground teams (Tembo 2):

The Tsavo Trust’s Big Tusker Project (BTP) recorded the following details in the BTP database:

  • Total of 22 different individual Tusker’s were observed from ground and air coverage
  • 7 bull Super Tuskers – 35 different sightings
  • 10 emerging Tuskers – 18 sightings
  • 5 iconic cow Tuskers – 5 sightings
  • Total sightings – 58
  • Loss of Tusker KA2 – found dead by DSWT aircraft on 9/8/16 in TWNP. His mono tusk was
    recovered by KWS and weighed 45kg. Cause of death is not confirmed but believed to be
    natural from old age.
  • Tembo 2 ground team has been on leave for most of August 2016, but sightings from the air
    have been good in their absence.

 - Rhino security: Ongoing partnership between KWS, Zoological Society of London (ZSL) andTsavo Trust regarding rhino areas within the TCA. 5 specific rhino recce flights took place covering parts of TWNP NRS, TW IPZ and TENP IPZ.

 ka2 1 july 2016  KA2 10 August 2016

This is the last known photo of KA2 alive, taken on 1st July 2016 in TWNP.
He was a well-known left mono Tusker that frequented TW HQ area.
He was also known to cross the SGR and Mombasa road into the Tsavo Triangle.

 Photo taken on 10th August 2016 of KA2’s fresh carcass.
His single tusk was recovered by KWS and weighed 45kg.
Cause of death is not 100% confirmed due to decomposition of the carcass
but believed to have died from natural death.

Table shows “Tusker” code, number of times observed during month and brief remarks. 

Tusker Code No. Times
Seen / Month
LU1  5 Crosses SGR regularly. Frequents an unsafe area!
SA2 13   Moved back to normal location
KA1 Moved back to normal dry season location 
KA2 Deceased - found 9/8/16, TWNP, mono tusk recovered (45kg), believed natural death
D11 10  Normal area and a real creature of habit
BA1 Moving large distances to water
WS1 In dangerous location outside park
BU1 Roams far and wide
MA1 Moved big distances but back to normal location
SA80 Back to normal area
AR1 Seen again in original location found
KI1 Back to normal location
LA1 Not seen for many months and in new location
SL1 Moves long distances to water
KU1 Back to original location
KM2 Normal area
KO1 Moves long distances to water 
F_XT Back to her normal location
F_MU1 Back to her normal area
F_VPL Has moved big distances
F_SO1 Has moved big distances
F_SA1 New cow Tusker 
Total 17 bulls, 5, cows: 58 different sighings  
Close working relationship between KWS and Tsavo Trust (aerial and ground units combined) is without doubt adding to elephant security and safety of the big Tuskers and other elephants within the TCA through meaningful collaboration alongside KWS Security and Research and Monitoring Departments.

Newly identified cow tusker with a long left tuskPhoto shows a newly identified cow Tusker with a long left tusk that reaches the ground (right tusk broken off) and recorded in the TT database as F_SA1 on 29th August 2016. She is very old despite having a young calf at foot. There are 7 iconic cow Tuskers with very long tusks now recorded and identified by Tsavo Trust.

Areas Covered: Table below shows the main areas covered within the TCA for this month:

Tsavo East

Tsavo West

Ranches and Dispersal Areas

Northern Area – Yatta Plateau, Durusikale, Garasamuke, Emusaya, Golf Charlie, Koitu, Sobo, Sangayaya, Dabaduke, Mufupa ya Ndovu
Southern Area – Voi, Ndololo, Kanderi, Wagalla, Ndara Plains, Buchuma, Maungu, Murondo, Dakota, Voi River, Dika Plains, Satao, power lines, Aruba, Mukuaju, Dika,
Konu Moja, Dida Harea, Balguda, Sala, Lali, Sobo, TENP boundary, Koitu, Galana River
Central Area – TE R/S, IPZ, Manyani east, Punda Milia, Hatulo Bisani, Lugards, Mbololo lugga, Balguda, Irima, Mudanda, Maka Hill, Man-eaters, Triangle, Mtito Lugga, Zero Delta, Voi north & east, Galana River, Tsavo River and Yatta Central, SGR

Northern Sector – IPZ, Mangalete, Kamboyo, Kisimeka, Chyulu south, Mtito lugga, Mungai Hill, Finch Hattons, Mzima Springs, Shetani volcano, Severin, Kilaguni, Ndawe, Tsavo River
Southern Sector – NIL
Central Sector – IPZ, Rhino Valley, NRS, Tsavo River, Kinyek, Maji ya Chumvi (north & south), Ziwani, Lesoito, Kyulu, Manda, Mombasa Highway, Man Easters, Kenani, Kanga, Manyani north and west, SGR line

TENP border – Ngiluni/Kamunyu, Kilalinda, Kulalu, Derea, Murondo, Magram/Dakota Ranch, Ngutuni
TWNP border – Rombo
Chyulu Hills NP – Il Talal
Taita Ranches - Nil

  • The locations mentioned above is only an indicator of flight paths taken, many other areas in between are also covered and in so doing providing “eyes in the skies” over Tsavo and directional guidance to ground units.
  • All flight paths are logged and recorded with all relevant real time observations relayed to KWS on a daily basis for their records as well as necessary rapid reaction.

 Map below shows flight paths for August 2016 where 66 hours were flown in support to KWS for anti-poaching and wildlife monitoring across 5,309 miles over the Tsavo’s

Flight paths for August 2016

Kamungi Conservancy:

Kamungi Scouts – Another very busy and successful month with 149 snares recovered having been set for small and medium game and 7 arrests (3 bush meat poachers, 3 illegal wood cutters and 1 charcoaler). Notable activities:

  • 13/8/16 – John Nganga - poacher arrested in TWNP with 21 freshly poached dikdiks having been killed in just 4 hours between 11pm and 3am before he was arrested and booked OB No. 13/15/8/2016.
  • CHNP joint KWS/Big Life/Tsavo Trust ops: Between 22nd and 26th August 2016, joint anti-poaching operations took place in Chyulu Hills Nat. Park (CHNP) between KWS, Big Life and Tsavo Trust/Kamungi rangers, with special emphasis on rhino areas.

Kamungi scouts arrest bush meat poacher with dik diks

13th August 2016, TWNP, KWS/Kamungi Scouts arrested this bush meat poacher with 21 freshly poached dikdiks.
He was using the lethal “lamping” method with loud horn and powerful torches to dazzle and kill these dikdiks.

Endangered species/Predator Monitoring – support to KWS/TCA Research Departments

Predators Observed from the air and Tembo 2 ground unit:

Date Lion Leopard Cheetah Wild Dog Serval Others Remarks
1/8/16 - 1 (F) - - - - TWNP
2/8/16 3 (3F), 2 (2F) - - - - - TENP
3/8/16 2 (F) - - - - - TENP
4/8/16 2 (F), 2 (F) - - - - 2 Bat E. Fox TENP
6/8/16 1 (M) - - - - - TENP
8/8/16 8 + 3 - - - - - TENP
9/8/16 6 - - - - - TENP
11/8/16 1 (M), 2 (F) - - - 1 Melanistic - TENP
13/8/16 2 (F) 1 (F) - - - -  
14/8/16 3 1 (F) - - - - TENP
15/8/16 4 - - - - 1 Honey Badger  
17/8/16 8 (2M, 2F, 4 cubs) - - - - - TENP
26/8/16 - - - 16 - 1 Honey Badger TWNP
29/8/16 - - 4 (F + 3 cubs) - - - TENP
Totals 48 2 4 16 1 4  

Critically Endangered Species Observed from air and Tembo 2 (not incl. rhino or wild dog):

Tsavo Trust’s Tembo 2 team operates in partnership with TENP Research and Monitoring unit and covers predator and endangered species monitoring as well as Big Tusker Monitoring. In recent months they have increased their endangered species monitoring especially with concern to Grevy’s zebra whereby information gathered from the field on rear right side stripe patterns feed into the Grevy’s zebra database for individual ID purposes. To date at least 33 individuals have been ID’d as a result and still counting. Tsavo also holds approximately 70 critically endangered Hirola out of an approximate world population thought to be only around 500 individuals.

Date Hirola Grevy's Zebra Others/Remarks
4/8/16 13 - TENP
6/8/16 1 + 17 1 TENP, Mukuaju, KMC Ranch
11/8/16 5 - TENP, Satao
29/8/16 4 - TENP, Muuanju
Total sightings 40 1  

Unusual Photo of the Month:

Close up “eye view” photo of a descendent of the Man Eaters of Tsavo. This Tsavo lion, taken in TENP on 15th August 2016 had brought down an adult buffalo along with his brother to feast on.

Close up “eye view” photo of a descendent of the Man Eaters of Tsavo.

With thanks and appreciation to:

Kenya Wildlife Service, Save The Elephants/Wildlife, Conservation Network Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF), Stuart Herd, Nick Southgate, James Robertson, Tusk Trust UK & USA, The Woodtiger Fund, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Zoological Society of London, Ndovu Trust (UK), US State Dept., Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Wines of the World Ltd, Africa Spirits Ltd, Mike Kirkland/Torben Rune, Satao Camp (Tsavo East) and Southern Cross Safaris (Msa), Tropical Ice Ltd, International Foundation for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Salama Fikira, Ian Craig, The Art of BAS & Oak Furniture Ltd (UK), Geri Bauer, Kathy Snowden, Murray Grant, Simon Herd, Saving the Survivors, Karen Laurence-Rowe, OnSafari Kenya Ltd, Anadarko Kenya Co., Askari Project – Australia, Chris Acreman, Paul & James Wilson, Eaton Electric, Enable Green Energy, Michael Cheffings, Pembroke House School and numerous other individual supporters.

Report compiled by Richard Moller – Chief Executive Officer, Tsavo Trust
All photographs ©Richard Moller / Tsavo Trust 2016

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