Monthly Report: March 2017Download PDF Download 03-2017_tsavo_trust_public_monthly_report.pdf
Aerial and Ground Operations ("Big Tusker Project") Summary:
|Activity||Hours Flown||Miles Covered|
|Big "Tuskers"||9 Tuskers - 7 bulls (3 Super Tuskers and 4 emerging Tuskers) and 2 cows|
|Ivory Recovered||4 elephant tusks (17 for year to date - largest 53.5 and 52.5kg)|
|Fresh (less than 3 weeks old)||Recent (less than 3 months old)|
|2 (c of d: 1 hit by train, 1 hit by truck)||1 (c of d: 1 unconfirmed)|
|Carcasses / hours flown||1 every 19 hours of flight|
|Poachers camps and hides/blinds/platforms||Fresh - 2|| Recent - Nil
|Arrests||10 - by KWS / TT – (2 elephant poachers, 2 bush meat, 5 livestock - 22 for year to date)|
|Snares/traps recovered||108 (by Tembo Teams - 228 for year to date )|
|Response/support to KWS - armed incidents||3 (TENP poaching gang, TW gun shots, TE gun shotes - 5 for year to date)|
|Other Illegal actvities||107 cattle bomas 40,000 plus cows, 26,000 shoats and 487+ people seen, 500 camels, 100 donkeys, 14 dogs)|
|Written reports to KWS||43 (daily emails, various reports, various communications and 1 monthly report)|
|General and significant notes||
Tsavo Trust does not only focus on elephant conservation but also works closely in support of KWS concerning black rhino conservation through a partnership with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Photo below shows 2 TWNP rhino in prime condition on 20th March 2017.
Big Tusker Project - aerial and ground teams:
The 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. Observations of Tuskers this month was unusually very low despite aerial and ground consistent coverage.
• New emerging Tusker coded as RO1 identified on 18th March 2017
• 3 bull Super Tuskers – 7 different sightings
• 4 emerging Tuskers – 5 sightings
• 2 iconic cow Tuskers – 7 sightings
• Total sightings – 19
• Weather conditions: Hot and desperately dry.
- Elephant mortality: Carcasses found were significantly down which is a big positive, and of the 3 found none were poached. However worryingly armed elephant poaching gangs have been encountered but have been successfully dealt with.
- 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. Continued strong and valuable 3 way partnership between KWS / ZSL and 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||3||Crosses SGR regularly. Frequents an unsafe area!|
|WS1||3||Back to normal location|
|IL1||1||Normal location, but a worrying location at times|
|MU1||1||Back to a worrying boundary location following rain there|
|KM2||2||Back to normal area|
|MZ1||1||Same original location. Not seen in 8 months!|
|RO1||1||New emerging bull not seen before, Broken off right tusk|
|F_VPL||3||Back to normal location. Looking very old and thin|
|F_MU1||4||Back to normal area. looking very old and thin|
|Total||7 bulls, 2, cows: 19 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 newly identified emerging Tusker coded as RO1 on 18th March 2017. Although his right tusk is broken off, his left impressive tusk shows clearly that he carries the Tusker gene pool and given the chance to survive longer, in time he will join the Super Tusker elite.
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, Ithumba, Tiva River, Roka, Ithumba
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, Toloa, Kanjaro, 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, Galana Ranch
TWNP border – Ziwani, Rombo and Lualenyi
Chyulu Hills NP - Nil
Taita Ranches – Nil
Map below shows flight paths for March 2017 where 58 hours were flown in support to KWS for anti- poaching, wildlife monitoring and aerial census operations covering 4,242 miles over the Tsavo’s.
Field Mobile Units:
All Tsavo Trust mobile field units work with and in support of KWS on a daily basis. Tembo 1 and 3 teams are anti-poaching focused 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||21||Nil||Nil||83||101kg eland, and dikdiks||2 bicycles, cooking equip||2||2,605|
|Tembo 3 Kamungi||31||Nil||4||25||13 dikdiks||-||-||3,169|
|Others Chui team||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|TOTALS||52||Nil||4||108||As above||As above||2||5,774|
Photo shows the Tembo 1 team having rescued an orphaned baby elephant in TENP on 23rd March 2017. This calf was taken to DSWT in Voi and later flown to Nairobi.
Tsavo was desperately dry in March and this was 1 of 2 elephant calves rescued by KWS / TT in March.
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|
Tuskers – 6 sightings
|TENP, Voi River, Satao, Buchuma, Ndara, Aruba, Manyani, KMC, Lugards, Galana River, Msa Rd., Dida Harea||2,501|
|TOTALS||16||As above||As above||As above||2,501|
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) have continued in varying ways:
• Water bore hole drilled and solar pump equipment and configuration being sought.
• Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) – Elephant and Bees Project with kind support and advice from Save The Elephants / Disney / WCS and Dr. Lucy King (who pioneered this concept) has been implemented on 3 different local community farms as a trial for more to come. Most beehives have been colonized by bees and in time will provide honey and further income to Kamungi residents.
• KWCA Training Workshop for Conservancy Managers – 2 members from Kamungi Conservancy attended a 2-day training workshop in Nairobi in late February 2017.
Photo shows one of the recently set up “elephants and bees” project fences within Kamungi Conservancy.
This method is proven and effective tool in mitigating Human Elephant Conflict (pioneered by Dr. Lucy King / STE) small-scale farm lands, but also as a welcomed revenue earner through honey sales.
Leopard Cub Release:
Dotty the female leopard is nearly 11 months old and continues her slow rehabilitation process into the wild within TENP.
Unusual Photo of the Month:
Photo below shows a melanistic serval cat in Mukuaju area of TENP on 23rd March 2017 (courtesy of Kyalo Kimaile who heads Tsavo Trust research and monitoring units).
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, Stuart Herd, Nick Southgate, James Robertson, International Foundation for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Tusk Trust UK & USA, The Woodtiger Fund, Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Ndovu Trust (UK), US State Dept., Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, International Elephant Foundation (IEF), Wines of the World Ltd, Africa Spirits Ltd, Mike Kirkland/Torben Rune, Satao Camp (Tsavo East) & Southern Cross Safaris (Msa), Tropical Ice Ltd, Salama Fikira, Origins Safaris, The Art of BAS & Oak Furniture Ltd (UK), Geri Bauer, Kathy Snowden, Simon Herd, Saving the Survivors, Karen Laurence-Rowe, Anadarko Kenya Co., Askari Project – Australia, Chris Acreman, Paul & James Wilson, Enable Green Energy, Eaton Electric, 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.