Monthly Report: August 2017Download PDF Download 08-2017_public_tsavo_trust_monthly_report.pdf
Aerial and Ground Operations ("Big Tusker Project") Summary:
|Activity||Hours Flown||Miles Covered|
67 (597 for year)
4,972 (44,593 for year)
|Big "Tuskers"||9 Tuskers - 6 bulls (3 Super Tuskers and 3 emerging Tuskers) and 3 cows|
|Ivory Recovered||14 elephant tusks (65 for year to date - largest 53.5 and 52.5kg)|
|Fresh (less than 3 weeks old)||Recent (less than 3 months old)|
|12 (c of d: 3 poached, 8 natural, 1 unknown)|| 2 (c of d: 1 natural, 1 unknown)
|Carcasses / hours flown||1 every 4.8 hours of flight|
|Poachers camps and hides/blinds/platforms||Fresh - 3|| Recent - Nil
|Arrests||8 - by KWS / TT – (2 ivory poachers, 3 bushmeat poachers, 2 livestock, 1 trespass - 86 for year to date)|
|Snares/traps recovered||38 (by Tembo Teams - 663 for year to date )|
|Response/support to KWS - armed incidents||1 ( 6 for year to date)|
|Other Illegal actvities||141 cattle bomas (37,500 plus cows, 11,000 shoats, 400 camels, 65 people)|
|Written reports to KWS||44 (daily emails, various reports, various communications and 1 monthly report)|
|General and significant notes||
Tembo 4 team was deployed to TWNP on 10th August 2017 to assist the KWS - TW Research and Monitoring Department to provide a mobile platform to carry out activities with specific focus of Tuskers and rhino within the TW IPZ. The latter will enhance current activities by KWS and ZSL.
Big Tusker Project - aerial and ground teams:
Tsavo Trust’s Big Tusker Project (BTP) recorded the following details in the BTP database:Tsavo Trust’s Big Tusker Project (BTP) recorded the following details in the BTP database:
- Total of 9 different individual Tusker’s were observed from ground and air coverage.
- 3 bull Super Tuskers – 12 different sightings.
- 3 Emerging bull Tuskers – 10 sightings.
- 3 iconic cow Tuskers – 8 sightings.
- Total sightings – 30
- Weather conditions: Worryingly dry in most parts especially TENP and strong winds.
- Elephant mortality: 14 carcasses located (12 fresh, 2 recent): Number of carcasses found was far higher than normal. This is attributed the harsh drought Tsavo is facing. 3 confirmed as poached elephant, 9 natural and 2 unknown deaths.
Iconic Cow Tusker called VOI (code F_VPL) has died on 1st August 2017 and her carcass found on 7th August 2017 in TENP, both tusks recovered. She sadly died naturally of old age but on the positive side, this is a very rare occurrence in today’s elephant world to live to a ripe old age and died as a result.¬ Iconic Cow Tusker called VOI (code F_VPL) has died on 1st August 2017 and her carcass found on 7th August 2017 in TENP, both tusks recovered. She sadly died naturally of old age but on the positive side, this is a very rare occurrence in today’s elephant world to live to a ripe old age and died as a result.
- Rhino security: 3 rhino specific aerial recces took place with KWS / TT aircraft in TWNP and TENP. This was low compared to normal as much focus was on livestock drives this month. Tsavo Trust’s - Tembo 3 and 4 teams continued in support to KWS in the TW IPZ, where a valuable 3-way partnership; KWS / ZSL & TT continues with specific focus on rhino protection in TWNP.
Table 1: Shows “Tusker” code, number of times observed during month and brief remarks.
|Tusker Code||No. Times
Seen / Month
|LU1||7||In good health but requents an unsafe area!|
|IL1||2||In worrying and unsafe location!|
|KO1||3||In a worrying and unsafe remote location!|
|BU1||4||Back to normal area after walk about and not seen for previous 6 months|
|F_VPL||Died||1st August 2017 of old age|
|F_MU1||5||Normal area. Looking very old and thin. Always seen with her s/adult calf|
|F_XT||2||Back to normal location and in good health|
|F_KA1||1||Not in normal area, looking very thin indeed!|
|Total||6 bulls, 3 cows: 30 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.|
Photo shows the fresh carcass of iconic Cow Tusker called VOI (code F_VPL) taken on 7th August 2017 in TENP. She sadly died naturally of old age. On the positive side, this is a very rare occurrence in today’s elephant world to live to a ripe old age and die naturally of old age. Could the Big Tusker Project have played a part in this through its daily activities?
Areas Covered: Table 2: Shows the main areas covered within the TCA for this month:
Ranches and Dispersal Areas
Northern Area – Yatta Plateau, Durusikale, Garasamuke, Emusaya, Golf Charlie, Koitu, Sobo, Sangayaya, Dabaduke, Mufupa ya Ndovu, Tiva River, Ndiandaza, Ya Kalicha, Roka
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 – Lake Jipe, Salaita, Toloa, Moare, Kanjaro, Kamshari, TZ border
Central Sector – IPZ, Rhino Valley, NRS, Tsavo River, Kinyek, Maji ya Chumvi (north & south), Ziwani, Lesoito, Kyulu, Manda, Kishushe, Murka, Mombasa Highway, Man Easters, Kenani, Kanga, Manyani north and west, SGR line
TENP border -Ngiluni/Kamunyu, Kulalu, Derea, Murondo, Magram/Dakota Ranch, KMC, Ngutuni, Kilifi & Galana Ranch
TWNP border – Ziwani and Lualenyi
Chyulu Hills NP - Nil
Taita Ranches – Rukinga, Taita
August 2017 flight paths over Tsavo:August 2017 flight paths over Tsavo: 67 hours flown, 4,972 miles covered
Supporting KWS activities:
• Big Tusker monitoring
• Illegal livestock
• Wildlife monitoring
• Aerial census
Field Mobile Units:
All Tsavo Trust mobile field units work alongside in support of KWS on a daily basis. Tembo 1 and 3 teams are anti-poaching focused whilst Tembo 2 team is monitoring and research dedicated.
Table 7: Shows outcomes from anti-poaching activities from Temboa 1 and 3 teams:
|Anti-poaching teams||No. Field days||No. arrests||No. Ivory recvd.||No. Snares recvd.||Bushmeat recvd.||Poachers equip. recvd.||No. Poacher camps||Vehicle mileage Km|
|Tembo 1||30||2||3||38||14kg Lesser Kudu||4 p/arrows, 1 bow, 1 panga, 2 knives, 1 axe, 1 lamping horn, 2 lamping spot lights, cooking equip.||3||3,059|
|Tembo 3 Kamungi||31||6||5||-||3 dikdiks||21 dikdiks (31kg), 1 impala (16kg)||Nil||2,760|
|TOTALS||61||8||8||38||As above||As above||3||11,650|
Suspected notorious elephant poacher – Hussein Farah arrested during a night ambush on 19th August 2017 by joint KWS/Tsavo Trust Tembo 1 team in Dakota area.
Information indicates he is suspected to have poached elephants in this area for more than 30 years.
He was in possession of 1 elephant tusk (13kg), 4 poisoned arrows, 1 bow (see photo), 1 axe and 1 knife.
Photo below shows recovered bushmeat (21 dikdiks – 31kg & 1 impala – 16kg) by the joint KWS/Tsavo Trust Tembo 3 team operating in TWNP. 2 poachers arrested in this night ambush on 15th August 2017.
The newly established Tembo 4 monitoring team was deployed for action in TWNP on 10th August 2017. This unit will support KWS research and monitoring with a special focus towards monitoring the Tuskers of TWNP and to support KWS and ZSL in the rhino project in TWNP.
Table 8: Shows activities carried out by Tembo 2 team – research and monitoring:
|Monitoring team||No. Field days||Activities||Endangered species records / sightings||Operating locations||Vehicle mileage km|
||TENP, Voi River, Satao, Buchuma, Dakota, Ndara, Aruba, Manyani, KMC, Lugards, Koitu, Emusaya, Galana River, Msa Rd., Dida Harea||4,884|
||TWNP, Kamboyo, Mangalete, Kilaguni, Mzima, Shetani, Finch H, Kitani, Tsavo River, Rhino Valley, NRS||2,654|
|TOTALS||44||As above||As above||As above||7,538|
Other Tsavo Trust Activities in Brief:
Community Program: KAMUNGI CONSERVANCY:
Ongoing partnership and stewardship development between Tsavo Trust and Kamungi Conservancy (bordering northern boundary of TENP – Triangle) continues in varying ways:
- Kamungi Water Project - bore hole, solar pump equipment, a 2.5-kilometer delivery pipe line to Ngiluni village and now a 100,000 litre water tank has been built. Ngiluni villagers finally have clean water. Opening of this community water project will be in September.
- Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) – Funding for a 5th elephant / bee fence has been sought under the Elephant & Bees Project (pioneered by Lucy King and Save The Elephants). This new fence will be set up in October.
- Several meetings have taken place within Kamungi Conservancy this month via the Tsavo Trust’s Community Liaison Officer (CLO)
Animal Welfare Program: LEOPARD RELEASE PROGRAM:
- Dotty the female leopard is now 16 months old and continues to thrive as a wild leopard in TENP’ Triangle. She is now fitted with a satellite collar and in August spent most of the time out from the safety of her boma. Between 17th and 27th August Dotty travelled 73 kilometers around her boma making at least 1 known kill for herself and travelling to know water sources on several occasions. When she returned to her home location, she was in full spirits and had a fully belly. This all bodes well for her future. Fingers crossed. She is essentially a wild leopard now.
- “Sophie”, the second leopard under rehabilitation under Tsavo Trust care is progressing well. Plans are in place for a final release boma to be set up where she will be moved for her remaining 10 months before a “hard release” to the wild. She is pretty wild already! lengthy process of rehabilitation has started well..
Close up photo of Dotty’s eyes on 29th August after she had been out on her own for 10 days with her new sat. collar. She had travelled a distance of 73 kilometers around her release site in this time frame. She returned in top shape and “full of dikdik”.
UNUSUAL PHOTO OF THE MONTH:
Photo below shows the little rare albino elephant calf reported on in June 2017 Report in TENP. Here running to catch up to his mother on 17th August 2017 in TENP. His pink ears really do stick out (photo courtesy of Kyalo Kimaile of Tembo 2 team). Thankfully, even with this drought gripping Tsavo, he remains in good shape.
With Sincere thanks and appreciation to:
Kenya Wildlife Service, Save The Elephants/Wildlife Conservation Network Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF), US Fish & Wildlife Service, The Oak Foundation, Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Stuart Herd, Sir Colin Southgate, Nick Southgate, Alex Graham, Dr. David K.P. Li, Nick Powell, James Robertson, International Foundation for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Tusk Trust (UK) and Tusk USA, The Woodtiger Fund, Ndovu Trust (UK), US Aid, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, International Elephant Foundation (IEF), Disney/Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Mike Kirkland/Torben Rune, Satao Camp (Tsavo East) and Southern Cross Safaris (Msa), Tropical Ice Ltd, Askari Project – Australia, Salama Fikira, Origins Safaris, JW Seagon Insurance, The Art of BAS & Oak Furnitureland, Geri Bauer, Karen Laurence-Rowe, OnSafari Kenya-Anthony Cheffings, Kathy Snowden, Simon Herd, Saving the Survivors, Anadarko Kenya Co., Chris Acreman, Paul and James Wilson, Dutch Flower Foundation, Alex Hunter – InsidersAfrica, 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 2017
© Richard Moller and Tsavo Trust, 2012 to 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.