Anti-poaching amidst Covid-19

Anti-poaching amidst Covid-19

31/12/2020 Latest News 0

Enhancing our Anti-poaching effort in response to COVID-19 Pandemic

The impacts COVID-19 have seen conservation areas operate at lower intensities due to; (i) budget and staff cuts that have reduced their management effectiveness, (ii) diminished functional capacities as a result of reducing vital management services e.g. ranger patrols, and (iii) disruption of livelihoods that have led to increased poaching incidents, illegal logging activities, and encroachment into critical wildlife habitat. In addition, some conservation activities are not considered essential services and as a result affecting efficient responses to incidences like human-wildlife conflicts. This has, to some extent, reduced the tolerance of communities to wildlife. The current pandemic, could therefore greatly weaken decades of conservation efforts.
In response, and in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service, we are currently stepping up our anti-poaching efforts especially on identified poaching hotspots to deter and arrest poachers, recover and destroy snares, poisoned arrows spears, machetes and fill up pitfall traps.

For example, Mansabubu, one of the mapped hotspots was littered with evidence of brutality that includes broken limbs, wounds from poisonous arrows and snares, and machete scars while in other instances we discovered heads, skins, and hoofs of already butchered animals.

With the weekly patrols, the joint team has achieved a lot of success in our anti-poaching campaign. Recently, the team recovered over 20 kgs of bushmeat from in Mansabubu belonging to gerenuks and dik-diks in a strategic ambush they set on a group of notorious poachers who unfortunately managed to escape. The team recovered a spear, machete, knives and a bicycle from a thicket occupied by the poachers. The team is still following up on the whereabouts of the poachers in a quest to ensure they are arrested as they still pose a great threat to the wildlife population in the area.

The Kenya Wildlife Service and the National Police Reservists have played a key role in providing our hirola rangers with the much-needed paramilitary support and back-up as our conservation areas have been over years marred with civil conflicts. We are looking forward to achieving more success in reversing the effects of COVID-19 and securing the hirola home range and providing 24-hour security for keystone species such as the few left African elephants in our region.

While also intensifying our anti-poaching efforts during this pandemic, we are also prioritizing the health and security of our rangers. We strictly comply with the guidelines provided by the Kenyan government and WHO including the frequent provision of masks, sanitisers and handwashing stations to our rangers, their families and everyone involved in our efforts.