A Letter from Tracking Manager Wilson Sairowua
Mara Elephant Project rangers continue to be busy with human-elephant conflict mitigation. Loita Hills is an area that has increased in our concern over the last three months. After more reports of poaching and illegal logging in the area, MEP decided to partner with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to install a permanent presence in the area. We are hoping to collar a new elephant in this area soon.
A MEP ranger with a KWS ranger in Loita Hills.
The Munyas area has also been seeing an increase in human-elephant conflict as elephants are staging in the Enongishu Conservancy during the day then moving into farms at night. As a result, MEP rangers went to the area to build more chili fences around farms.
The new DSWT vehicle being used to build chili fences in Munyas.
The use of our newly donated Land Rover from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) really helped during this operation. We were able to build seven kilometers of chili fences in the area and trained 160 community members on how to maintain these fences and erect new ones.
We’ve had a similar situation in Kirindon. Elephants have been using the Olosukut Forest during the day to stage their nightly raids into farms. These elephants include our collared elephants Fred, Hugo, Lucy and Ivy. MEP had to re-deploy a ranger team from Kawai to respond to this increase in human-elephant conflict.
MEP rangers are anticipating the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the first time in two years, since Kenya outlawed them. We are hoping to have all of our ranger patrol teams equipped with and trained for the use of a UAV by the end of 2017. These UAVs are easy to use and very portable. They allow us an “eye in the sky” so that we can move elephants with relative ease before having to call for the MEP helicopter to reinforce us on the ground.
MEP rangers training to fly UAVs.
In May, we re-collared Mytene who was found with a large herd of females in what we hope was for breeding purposes. The monthly monitoring and tracking of elephants is going well and we continue to collect extremely important data about their herd size, movements and wellbeing.
MEP rangers participated in many community events over the last three months including tree planting at Ngoswani School and leading The Maa Trust children around MEP HQ and taking them to see MEP collared elephant, Kegol. Myself and MEP ranger John Leshan also represented the ranger team at our April stakeholder event and spoke about our time as MEP rangers and the work we’re doing in the Mara.
Wilson planting a seedling at Ngoswani School to celebrate Earth Day.
Wilson and John with MEP Kenya Trustee Beatrice at the MEP event in April.
Please take a minute to look at the Amazon Wishlist page and shop to support MEP rangers. This list gives a wide price range of items and a variety of ways you can contribute both large and small amounts that go directly to the frontlines at MEP. In April MEP ranger John Leshan used one of the donated first responder medical kits to save a life while out in the field.
Some additional news, Ibrahim Funan was awarded the Ranger of the Quarter Award for his excellence in the field. Congratulations on this recognition!
Ibrahim Funan receiving his award from MEP CEO Marc Goss.
World Ranger Day was celebrated on July 31 and your contributions for MEP rangers were greatly appreciated.