Monthly Report: July 2017

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Aerial and Ground Operations ("Big Tusker Project") Summary:

Activity Hours Flown Miles Covered

Aerial Reconnaissance

 

54 (530 for year)
Average 72 mph of low level flight

 

3,879 (39,621 for year)
Flights carried out jointly with KWS staff

  No. Observed
Big "Tuskers"   9 Tuskers - 6 bulls (4 Super Tuskers and 2 emerging Tuskers) and 3 cows
  No. Recovered
Ivory Recovered   5 elephant tusks (51 for year to date - largest 53.5 and 52.5kg)

Elephant Carcasses

Fresh (less than 3 weeks old) Recent (less than 3 months old)
   2 (c of d: 1 poached, 1 natural)  (c of d: natural)
Carcasses / hours flown 1 every 18 hours of flight
Poachers camps and hides/blinds/platforms Fresh - 2  Recent - Nil
Arrests   3 - by KWS / TT – (3 bush-meat poachers - 78 for year to date)
Snares/traps recovered   237 (by Tembo Teams - 625 for year to date )
Response/support to KWS - armed incidents  Nil ( 5 for year to date)
Other Illegal actvities 108 cattle bomas (22,300 plus cows, 7,000 shoats)
Written reports to KWS 42 (daily emails, various reports, various communications and 1 monthly report)
General and significant notes
  • Livestock incursions into the Tsavo Parks are incredibly high and on the increaseLivestock incursions into the Tsavo Parks are incredibly high and on the increase

  • Numbers of elephants outside TENP south & east boundary is very high (over 800), due to recent rain there. TT / KWS carried out several aerial & ground security patrols there

  • Aerial and ground support pertaining to rhino security ongoing through partnership with KWS / ZSL rhino program. 11 rhino specific recce flights carried out with KWS

Photo below shows members of Kamungi Conservancy, located on TENP, Triangle northern boundary, enjoying clean water for the first time on tap. Tsavo Trust helped set up Kamungi Conservancy in 2014 and continues to play the pivotal stewardship role in its future development. Here, through donor funds raised by Tsavo Trust, a borehole, solar pump & panels, 2.5-kilometer pipeline and more are now in place. As a result of this project, already illegal activities such as bushmeat poaching and charcoaling have ceased to be a common threat along this section of TE National Park.

collecting clean water kamungi borehole

Big Tusker Project - aerial and ground teams:

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.

  • Total of 9 different individual Tusker’s were observed from ground and air coverage.

  • 4 bull Super Tuskers – 10 different sightings.

  • 2 Emerging bull Tuskers – 2 sightings.

  • 3 iconic cow Tuskers – 12 sightings.

  • Total sightings – 24
  • Weather conditions: Very dry and strong winds.

 - Elephant mortality: Number of carcasses found remain low, with only 1 poached elephant located (snared), the other 2 were natural deaths.

 - Rhino security:  8 rhino specific aerial recces took place with KWS / TT aircraft in TWNP and TENP. TT - Tembo 3 team continued in support to KWS in ground operations in the TW IPZ. Strong and valuable 3-way partnership between 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
Remarks
BULLS   
LU1 5 In good health but requents an unsafe area!
IL1 3 In worrying and unsafe location!
BA1 1 In worrying and unsafe remote location!
WS1 1 In a worrying and unsafe location outside Park!
MA1 1 Normal location
DR1 1 Still outside of Park!
COWS   
F_VPL 3 Looking very old and thin, always alone now!
F_MU1 8 Normal area. Looking very old and thin. Always seen with her s/adult calf
F_XT 1 Back to normal location and in good health
Total 6 bulls, 3 cows: 24 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 one of Tsavo’s iconic cow Tuskers coded as F_MU1 on 22nd July 2017, TENP, along with her calf.Photo shows one of Tsavo’s iconic cow Tuskers coded as F_MU1 on 22nd July 2017, TENP, along with her calf.Tsavo Trust has known F_MU1 well for 4 years now. She must be at least 50 plus years of age now and in her twilight years.What a story she could tell?

Iconic cow tusker in Tsavo photo copyright Richard Moller 

Areas Covered: Table 2: 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, 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, 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, Ngutuni, Kilifi & Galana Ranch

TWNP border – Ziwani and Lualenyi

Chyulu Hills NP - Nil

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 July 2017 where 54 hours were flown in support to KWS for anti-poaching, wildlife monitoring and aerial census operations covering 3,879 miles over the Tsavo’s.

Tsavo Trust flight paths July 2017

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.

Anti-poaching teams:

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 1 Nil 55 29kg Lesser Kudu 1 bicycle, 1 panga, 2 knives, cooking equip. 2 3,067
Tembo 3 Kamungi 31 2 Nil 176 3 dikdiks Cooking equips., 12 bags charcoal Nil 2,764
Others
Chui team
- - - - - - - -
TOTALS 61 3 Nil 237 As above As above 2 5,831
Totals 2017 383 29 42 625 - - 31 45,518

Bushmeat poacher with lesser kudu July 2017  - TCAPhoto shows a bushmeat poacher arrested with 2 poached lesser kudu by Tembo 1 team on 8th July 2017 on Giriama Ranch outside TENP, southern boundary.

.He was later charged in court.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monitoring teams:

Table 8: Shows activities carried out by Tembo 2 team:

Monitoring team   No. Field days Activities   Endangered species records / sightings  Operating locations  Vehicle mileage km
 Tembo 2  16
  • Tusker monitoring
  • Endangered species – database records
  • Carnivore monitoring
  • Mombasa/Nairobi - Road & SGR kill surveys
  • Camera trap surveys Fixed point photos
  • Tuskers – 12 sightings
  • Hirola – 5 sightings
  • Grevy’s Zebra – 1 sighting
  • Large Carnivores – 19 sightings
  • Road and Rail kills - 3
 
TENP, Voi River, Satao, Buchuma, Dakota, Ndara, Aruba, Manyani, KMC, Lugards, Galana River, Msa Rd., Dida Harea 2,806 
 TOTALS  16  As above  As above  As above  2,806
 Total 2017  130  -  -  22,185

Photo taken by Tembo 2 monitoring team on 27th July 2017 of an injured elephant with an arrow head in his lower right foot. This elephant was close to the southern boundary of TENP and it is likely the elephant came from crops outside of the Park. KWS Vet Unit alerted and the arrow head removed.

Arrow head in elephant foot  - Photo copyright Tsavo Trust

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 and a 2.5-kilometer delivery pipe line to Ngiluni village has been put in place. Testing has also been done and the residents of Ngiluni have clean water on tap for the first time. This is a “game changer” for this community as will assist KWS and Tsavo Trust in combating the Illegal Wildlife Trade in this area.Kamungi Water Project - bore hole, solar pump equipment and a 2.5-kilometer delivery pipe line to Ngiluni village has been put in place. Testing has also been done and the residents of Ngiluni have clean water on tap for the first time. This is a “game changer” for this community as will assist KWS and Tsavo Trust in combating the Illegal Wildlife Trade in this area.
  • Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) – A fourth elephant / bee fence has been set up under the Elephant & Bees Project (pioneered by Lucy King and Save The Elephants). There are now 60 bee hives within Kamungi Conservancy and we eagerly await the first harvest early next year.
  • HWC – Crocodile Attack – 15-year-old Betty Wambua (previously reported on) is still in the recovery process. Incidentally one of the daily medical applications to this severe crocodile wound is honey, applied daily and this remedy is working well.

Animal Welfare Program: LEOPARD RELEASE PROGRAM:

  • Dotty the female leopard is now 15 months old and continues to thrive in her home in TENP. Recently she spent 6 nights out and returned in good health and a full belly, showing she had fended for herself well. Her days of going fully wild are fast approaching as she reaches full adulthood. A GPS satellite collar has been purchased and will be deployed next month.
  • Tsavo Trust has recently taken on a second orphaned female leopard for release into Tsavo, from KWS, called “Sophie”. The lengthy process of rehabilitation has started well.

Dotty, in top health, observing her territory in TENP, Triangle area on 5th July 2017Photo shows Dotty, in top health, observing her territory in TENP, Triangle area on 5th July 2017.

She is spending longer and longer away from her release boma. In July, she spent 6 nights out in one spell.

 

 

 

 

 

  • In preparation for the deployment of Tembo 4 research and monitoring team to TWNP to support KWS in varying field activities, Tsavo Trust implemented the renovation of the Kamboyo Airstrip housing facility where Tembo 4 will be accommodated.

Kamboyo airstrip accommodation before renovationPhoto shows the Kamboyo airstrip building before renovation on 1st June 2017

 

 

 

 

Kamboyo airstrip accommodation after renovationPhoto shows Kamboyo airstrip building after renovation on 20th July 2017

 

 

 

 

UNUSUAL PHOTO OF THE MONTH:

Elephant skull with tusks in the Galana River - photo copyright Josh OutramThis unusual aerial photo, taken by Tsavo Trust’s Josh Outram, shows an upside-down elephant skull, with ivory still intact, partially submerged in the Galana River, TENP on 11th July 2017.This unusual aerial photo, taken by Tsavo Trust’s Josh Outram, shows an upside-down elephant skull, with ivory still intact, partially submerged in the Galana River, TENP on 11th July 2017.

As the river has receded it has now exposed the skull and ivory in this uncommon view.Both tusks were later recovered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

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.

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