Kenya Wildlife Service has received USD 18,000 from the International Elephant Foundation (IEF) to support anti-poaching activities in the expansive Tsavo Conservation Area. http://www.kws.org/info/news/2014/20feb2014elephant.html
The project aims to ensure effective actions are taken to minimize illegal killing of elephants and trafficking of ivory in the area.
The project will enhance ground patrol effort by rangers backed up by a detailed coverage of the ecosystem through aerial patrols. Increased surveillance will be conducted in the known poaching hotspots especially the Galana ranches and areas north of the Galana River where poaching has persisted since1970. Aerial and ground security patrols will be conducted in the Taita ranches, which form an important corridor linking Tsavo East and West National Parks.
To minimize porosity at the Mombasa port and other border towns, routine patrols will be conducted. With the assistance of the Kenya Revenue Authority at border points, random inspection of cargo will be conducted. Also, on the Mombasa– Nairobi highway, random checks will be conducted at regular times on public, private and cargo vehicles and trains. The project will also strengthen intelligence reports, which are expected to lead to arrests and prosecution of offenders. New location of patrol bases will be modeled and identified using remote sensing and GIS data layers and appropriate software.
Specific outputs from this project include: reduced poaching of elephants, better equipped and coordinated security patrol teams, improved reliable data on the current poaching hotspots, reduced impeded dealing with ivory and ivory products. In the long term, it is anticipated that the concerted effort to eliminate illegal poaching and trafficking of elephants in Tsavo and the country at large will drastically go down, which will lead to growth in the elephant population in Kenya. The specific objectives of this project are:
- To equip patrol teams with modern technology for monitoring poaching activities
- To determine the number and distribution of elephant carcasses in Tsavo
- To ensure sustained security presence in the entire conservation area
- To seal major ivory transit routes and borders
- To identify new locations of security patrol bases
- Develop a documentary for creating awareness on the need to conserve elephants.