Monthly Report: May 2017Download PDF Download 05-2017_public_tsavo_trust_monthly_report.pdf
Aerial and Ground Operations ("Big Tusker Project") Summary:
|Activity||Hours Flown||Miles Covered|
69 (416 for year)
5,412 (32,133 for year)
|Big "Tuskers"||7 Tuskers - 4 bulls (4 Super Tuskers and Nil emerging Tuskers) and 3 cows|
|Ivory Recovered||20 elephant tusks (46 for year to date - largest 53.5 and 52.5kg)|
|Fresh (less than 3 weeks old)||Recent (less than 3 months old)|
|5 (c of d: 3 train hit, 1 poached, 1 natural)|| 1 (Poached via cable snare)
|Carcasses / hours flown||1 every 11.5 hours of flight|
|Poachers camps and hides/blinds/platforms||Fresh - 2|| Recent - 3
|Arrests||9 - by KWS / TT – (8 ivory dealeres, 1 bush-meat poacher - 46 for year to date)|
|Snares/traps recovered||20 (by Tembo Teams - 345 for year to date )|
|Response/support to KWS - armed incidents||Nil ( 5 for year to date)|
|Other Illegal actvities||31 cattle bomas 11,570 plus cows, 15+ people seen - only 3 livestick flights)|
|Written reports to KWS||37 (daily emails, various reports, various communications and 1 monthly report)|
|General and significant notes||
Photo below shows a trapped young bull elephant between the SGR railway and fence line on 11th May 2017 near Mtito Andei. These are some of the immense challenges for both wildlife and management as the “human footprint” in and around Tsavo expands. There are many varying measures in place but some of these clearly need further thought such as the inadequate fence line.
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 7 different individual Tusker’s were observed from ground and air coverage. Sightings were lower than normal this month due to the fact that the Tsavo Trust aircraft was away for the Mara Aerial Census and also maintenance checks in Nairobi for half the month.
4 bull Super Tuskers – 13 different sightings.
Emerging Tuskers – Nil
3 iconic cow Tuskers – 16 sightings.
- Total sightings – 29
- Weather conditions: Dry and strong winds have started to pick up.
- Elephant mortality: Number of carcasses found significantly down, especially poached elephants.
- Rhino security: 9 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 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||9||In good health but requents an unsafe area! Has moved quite far this month|
|WS1||1||In worrying and unsafe location|
|ND1||2||Not seen in 39 months. Great newshe is still aloive|
|KO1||1||Moved back to original location having not been seen since February 2017|
|F_VPL||2||Back to normal location. Looking very old and thin, often alone!|
|F_MU1||9||Back to normal area. Looking very old and thin. Seen with her calf alone.|
|F_XT1||5||Back to normal location and in good health|
|Total||4 bulls, 3, cows: 29 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 below taken by Joseph Kimaile from Tembo 2 team of cow Tusker coded as F_MU1 taken on 4th May 2017. She is a magnificent old Tsavo elephant and one Tsavo Trust has kept a track of over the last 4 years. She will have undoubtedly contributed greatly to Tsavo’s Tusker gene pool over her many years.
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, 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 and 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, 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, Galana Ranch
TWNP border – Ziwani and Lualenyi
Chyulu Hills NP - Nil
Taita Ranches – Nil
Map below shows flight paths for May 2017 where 69 hours were flown in support to KWS for anti-poaching, wildlife monitoring and aerial census operations covering 5,412 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||30||6||10||20||Nil||2 motorbikes||1||3,600|
|Tembo 3 Kamungi||30||3||10||Nil||10 dikdiks,
1 Lesser Kudu,
|TOTALS||60||9||20||20||As above||As above||5||6,979|
Photo from joint KWS / TT Tembo 1 team on 1st May 2017 having arrested 3 ivory dealers and recovered 6 elephant tusks weighing 71kg.
This sting operation followed reliable informer information that led to this success.
In May17 joint KWS / TT carried out 3 such sting operations and arrested a total of 8 ivory dealers and recovered 12 elephant tusks weighing a total of 135kg.
Tsavo Trust’s informer network on TENP southern boundary is really bearing fruit.
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|
||TENP, Voi River, Satao, Buchuma, Ndara, Aruba, Manyani, KMC, Lugards, Galana River, Msa Rd., Dida Harea||4,133|
|TOTALS||22||As above||As above||As above||4,133|
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:
Kamungi - bore hole solar equipment and pump is being installed as we speak and the delivery line to Ngiluni village, 2.5km away is also under construction.
Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) – Elephant & Bees Project is ongoing and working well.
HWC – Crocodile Attack – 21st May 2017- Tsavo Trust assisted one of the Kamungi community members, 15-year-old Betty Wambua, after she was seized by a large croc on her arm in the seasonal Mtito River, within Kamungi Conservancy, whilst watering her goats. Tsavo Trust immediately provided a vehicle and sent her to a professional medical facility called Kijabe Hospital outside Nairobi. Betty has undergone 2 operations, skin grafts and medication to stop infection. She is very lucky indeed to be alive and recovering.
Leopard Release Program:
Dotty the female leopard is now 13 months old and continues her slow rehabilitation process into the wild within TENP. She continues to grow very fast and is doing well in making her own kills and learning about her new environment.
Photo taken by Tsavo Trust Chui team – Michael Kitheka, shows Dotty having just made a hyrax kill on 23rd May 2017
Unusual Photo of the Month:
Photo below was taken by Joseph Kimaile of Tembo 2 team on 3rd May 2017 in TENP, showing an elusive and rarely see male Caracal.
With Sincere thanks and appreciation to:
Kenya Wildlife Service, Save The Elephants/Wildlife Conservation Network Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF), US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Oak Foundation, Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Stuart Herd, Nick Southgate, James Robertson, International Foundation for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Tusk Trust UK and USA, The Woodtiger Fund, Ndovu Trust (UK), US Aid, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, International Elephant Foundation (IEF), Disney/Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), 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, JW Seagon Insurance, The Art of BAS and 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, Dutch Flower Foundation, Enable Green Energy, 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.