Wildlife Conservation Programme
Big Tusker Project
Have you ever seen an elephant with tusks that reach all the way down to the ground?
These huge elephants, a few of which still exist in remote reaches of Africa, are in peril. They need our help!
Extra Protection for the Last Giants of the Elephant World: Tsavo Trust’s ‘Big Tusker Project’ working in support of KWS
Team Tembo Projects
Following the death of the iconic Tusker known as “Satao” in May 2014 (via a poachers poisoned arrow), the Tsavo Trust established and additional mobile Tusker monitoring ground unit and later two more mobile field based monitoring teams in order to tackle the ever-growing pressure on elephant populations but also essential if the big Super Tuskers of Tsavo are to survive and pass on their unique and rare ivory genes to further generations.
Hirola Monitoring Projects
Regular monitoring, data collection, and analysis of the Tsavo Hirola population
Tsavo Trust in collaboration with KWS National Hirola recovery plan continue to carry out regular Hirola monitoring to provide data on population demographics. The Hirola in Tsavo are seasonally breeding well, but signs are that few calves are reaching adulthood and so the population stagnates at about 60 to 70 individuals.
Monitoring includes collection and analysis of carnivore scat found in ranges in and around Hirola territories. A preliminary predator scat analysis has been carried out by KWS / Tsavo Trust and is still ongoing to give some indications as there seems to be a possible predation issue that is hindering Hirola population growth.
The Tsavo Hirola project is an ongoing collaboration between KWS (who take the lead role) and Tsavo Trust as a field implementing partner.
Community Conservancy Programme
This maps shows the Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) comprising Chyulu Hills, Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks in green (area of 24,000 km squared).
Kamungi Conservancy is shown in orange and forms the northern buffer to the Tsavo East – Triangle section. The triangle is a critical linkage area between Tsavo East and Tsavo West. People from the WaKamba community live in this location. Tsavo Trust HQ is situated within Kamungi Conservancy.
The planned Dakota Conservancy is shown in pink and forms the vital area bordering onto the south-eastern boundary of Tsavo East. The forgotten Waatha community live in this location. This southern area of Tsavo East National Park has, at times, the highest density of elephants in Tsavo.
Click to enlarge
The development and stewardship of self-governing, community-led wildlife conservancies to improve the safety and wellbeing of marginalized communities living in and surrounding the the conservation areas through diversifying livelihoods, initiating conservation based enterprises and improving access to healthcare and education.
One of three programmes of work for Tsavo Trust, the Community Conservancy Program provides a stewardship role in developing self-governing, community-led wildlife conservancies in specific key targeted areas within the Tsavo Conservation Area.
This program also includes the fostering of partnerships with other organisations already working in support of wildlife, habitats and communities in the Tsavo ecosystem with the aim of combating wildlife crime and enhancing biodiversity and better land management. Through this, we endeavour to create secure buffers bordering the formal Protected Areas (PA) and at the same time, generate economic opportunities for marginalised communities that have historically not benefited from living on the boundary of a National Park but instead have faced serious and constant Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) resulting in a negative perception towards wildlife. In 2016 Tsavo Trust’s Community Liaison Officer (CLO) recorded 232 incidents (averaging 19 per month) of HWC in this area.
Tsavo Trust – experience and understanding in the Community Conservancy Model:
Tsavo Trust’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Richard Moller, worked for 11 years at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (LWC) managing the wildlife and security departments as Deputy Director. Over this time, the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) was established out of LWC’s Community Department, with NRT growing to become the model for community conservation in East Africa. Richard was highly involved in establishing and developing NRT and all that it stands for in those early years, giving him a firm understanding of the “Community Conservancy Model”. Tsavo Trust’s Community Conservancy Programme seeks to emulate these models in specific locations around the Tsavo Ecosystem through stewardship and development of Kamungi and Dakota Conservancies.
Kamungi Conservancy works closely with the KWS through Tsavo Trust to secure and monitor wildlife and assist in law enforcement through trained Kamungi Conservancy scouts. The Conservancy also works to reduce Human Wildlife Conflict, educate the community, and to secure and diversify livelihoods. Tsavo Trust also plans to facilitate an increase ecotourism in this area, reduce poverty through employment, education, healthcare, water projects, and agricultural best practice.
Lucy King’s Elephants and Bees Project
Tsavo Trust Beehive Fence Project
The Beehive Fence project uses the behavioural discovery by The Elephants and Bees Project that African elephants will avoid honey bees. Tsavo Trust (a) deploys their successful Beehive Fence design to reduce conflict between crop-raiding elephants and small rural farms, and (b) provides beekeeping and pollination services as an income generator for poor farming families through the sale of Elephant-Friendly Honey.
Animal Welfare Programme
The development of a professional field based facility for the care, rehabilitation and release of orphaned, injured and sick small mammals indigenous to the TCA through the Tsavo Sanctuary.
Wild animal welfare is an aspect of conservation, which is often overlooked or misunderstood in Kenya, due partly to a lack of awareness and partly to a lack of resources. Tsavo Trust is initiating a programme specifically seeking to address the challenge of improving the standards and understanding of wild animal welfare in Kenya, and highlighting the role it plays in the wider conservation agenda. While care for individual animals will rarely be responsible for saving a species or making a significant impact ecologically, Tsavo Trust believes that we have too few wild animals left in the world to ignore the value of each individual.
Our other programmes focus on big-picture conservation challenges, but we nonetheless believe that every single wild animal is important in its own right. Furthermore, the engagement of people with wildlife on an emotional level – both in Kenya and around the world – can introduce them to wider conservation and protected area management issues and can lead to greater support for these broader initiatives and a deeper understanding of the value of wildlife to the economy, ecology and security of countries like Kenya.