Spirit of Big Five

Anti-Poaching Patrols in Kenya

Anti-Poaching Patrols in Kenya

According to the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, almost 100 elephants a day are being killed by poachers. Imagine! The fate of rhinos is even worse. And the fate of Africans who depend on tourism for jobs to support their families and put food on the table is hanging in the balance.

A comprehensive study by National Geographic that shows a decrease in poaching as a result of the tourism-funded conservation efforts in Africa’s frequently visited countries versus the unattended wildlife in the nations that have yet to develop an infrastructure. The study showed that in West Africa, 84 percent of deceased elephants were poached illegally, while the more popular East Africa and Southern Africa registered markedly lower illegal kills - 59 percent and 51 percent, still too high but coming down in some areas.

In Kenya’s Chyulu Hills, the Spirit of Big Five Foundation recently made a donation through Campi ya Kanzi to the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT) to fund anti-poaching patrols to protect endangered elephant and rhinos from the illegal ivory trade. The funds will cover three community rangers for six months, plus the operational costs for anti-poaching patrols also for six months.

MWCT operates on land owned by the local Maasai community that forms part of a vital wildlife corridor between the Amboseli and Tsavo West National Park. The ecosystem harbors a rich biodiversity including threatened wildlife populations of lion and elephant. 70% of the wildlife in the ecosystem depends on community land for their survival. The rangers are from the local Maasai community of Kuku Group Ranch, and operate under a formalized partnership with Kenya Wildlife Service. Currently, 44 community rangers have received formal training at KWS law enforcement training school in Manyani.

The main duty of the rangers is to protect the natural resources of the Maasai community, conserving the wildlife and habitat of their land. That includes rangeland monitoring.  For that, they use a special tool developed with the Zoological Society of London called SMART, Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool.

This conservancy has one of the lowest poaching rates in Kenya. This partnership enables Big Five’s guests to get an exclusive, close up look at how these anti-poaching patrols work and what it means to be a Maasai ranger working on the front lines to protect wildlife.

For more about this and other Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust's programs, visit http://www.maasaiwilderness.org/.























































































































































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