Archive for kenya

Organization of The Day: Watamu Turtle Watch

Posted in Organization of The Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Local Ocean Trust Watamu Turtle Watch

Many factors have contributed to the steady decline of sea turtle populations around the world, but the poaching of both adults and eggs for food and money has contributed greatly to their demise. The Watamu-Malindi Marine Park and Reserve on Kenya’s northern coast serves as one of the country’s most important sea turtle nesting areas. Beginning in the 1970’s, Kenyan naturalist, Barbara Simpson, made efforts to conserve and protect the sea turtles nesting on the Watamu and Malindi beaches.

In 1997, the Watamu Turtle Watch (WTW) was established to further her efforts. Early in the organization’s history, it became apparent that the health of the area’s surrounding marine environment directly impacted the survival of the turtles. In response, the Local Ocean Trust (LOT) was launched in 2002 to better protect and improve the quality of this local marine ecosystem as a whole, thereby strengthening its turtle conservation efforts. WTW’s nest protection and monitoring program guards the important nesting beaches day and night from potential poachers and other illegal activities, patrols the beaches for nests and nesting turtles, tags adult turtles and collects valuable data as a part of their research. The organization offers a monetary incentive to encourage local community members to participate in this program.

WTW’s also offers a financial incentive to local fisherman to call the organization when they discover a sea turtle entangled in their fishing nets, as opposed to slaughtering the animal. WTW responds to these calls, frees the turtles from the net, tags them (for monitoring and tracking), and releases them back to the ocean. Thanks to this program, the WTW has been able to save 5,700 net-entangled turtles since its establishment, 857 of those in 2009 alone! The organization also has a rehabilitation center which allows for the treatment of sick and injured turtles.

WTW relies on LOT to educate local communities, schools, and fishermen about conservation and the importance of this biosphere’s health and existence. Through LOT’s community development program, the organization has been able to work with local fishing communities to identify and address conservation issues, and to develop and encourage participation in community conservation groups. Such groups work to establish and promote sustainable use of natural resources. WTW’s efforts have not only saved turtles, but have helped to develop a sense of pride in the area’s marine ecosystem amongst local communities.

To learn more, click here

Organization of The Day: Grevy’s Zebra Trust

Posted in Organization of The Day with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Grevy’s Zebra Trust

Over the last 30 years, experts estimate an 84-87% decline in the world’s Grevy’s zebra population, with only about 2,000 left in the wild today.  They are now only found in Kenya and Ethiopia.  Their demise is attributed mainly to poaching (for meat), as well as the effects of domestic livestock on essential resources such as food and water.  Disease and drought in northern Kenya has further accelerated their decline in recent times.  The Grevy’s Zebra Trust was created in 2007 to stimulate conservation efforts for this imperiled species.  The Trust contributed to a social movement that was born when Kenya Wildlife Service implemented a nation-wide conservation strategy in 2008.

The strategy leaves the responsibility of carrying out conservation efforts in the hands of stakeholders and envisions a goal that encompasses a healthy and viable future for the Grevy’s Zebra population.  The Grevy’s Zebra Trust unites the conservation strategy with the people.  The first step in the process was to identify the current status of the Grevy’s Zebra population and was executed by conducting a national survey.  As part of the survey, the team was able to unite with IUCN’s Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) program to conduct aerial surveys to count zebras while simultaneously searching for poaching activities.  Ultimately, the results would provide the information necessary to identify key areas to target conservation efforts on in order to accomplish the goal of the strategy, and also provides a basis on which to evaluate the effectiveness of their endeavors.

Part of the survey involved gauging local pastoralist communities’ interactions with and knowledge of the zebras.  The organization recognizes the value in educating these communities on the main issue and directly engaging them in their efforts.  The Trust trains nomadic peoples how to recognize various biologic and ecologic variables of these animals.  In so doing, these people become committed to data collection, protection, and appreciation for the zebras.  They are also educated on alternatives to the use of these animals, improved livestock management that reduces competition and conflict with the zebras, and are encouraged to spread these messages to other communities.  The integration of pastoralist communities into conservation efforts is critical to achieving the goals of the conservation strategy.  Though a young organization, the Grevy’s Zebra Trust is already making enormous strides in ensuring the future of this endangered zebra species.

To learn more, visit their website

Tsavo National Park: Past, Present, and Future

Posted in Africa: Elephants, Africa: Rhinos, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Tsavo National Park is Kenya’s largest national park with 20,812 square kilometers and is home to incredible biodiversity.  However, the early years of the park were marred by unchecked poaching of many of the native species including rhinos and elephants.  In 25 years of poaching over 90% of the countries rhinos and elephants were illegally killed for their horns and tusks.  However, in the mid 1990s CITES finally recognized what had been going on and listed rhinos and elephants as as Appendix I animals and a moratorium on all elephant and rhino products was enacted.

A local Kenyan who lives on the border of Tsavo National Park

In 1989 in a show of good faith Kenya burned 12 tons of ivory worth $1 million dollars.  Tsavo National Park is now facing new types of pressures; when the park was first founded the population of Kenya was approximately 1 million people, it is now over 40 million people.  This means that the edge of the park and human settlement is now a very obvious line of settlement on one side of the line and wild park line on the other side.  Climate change, trade in arms between war torn states and the bush meat trade  are now all major concerns for the Kenyan government and Tsavo National Park.  Another problem is that as soon as animals cross the border into Tanzania they lose much of their protection as the Tanzanian government is not nearly as strict in their anti-poaching enforcement.

Elephants in Tsavo National Park

Black rhinos that had a population of 6000 in the 1970s is now down to about 50 individuals.  The same story is true for elephants: 36,000 in the 1970s and only 6000 now.  The future of Tsavo National Park is going to depend on some creative thinking of conservationists and government officials.  It is obvious that the park and animals that call it home can not survive if a way is not found to have the park benefit the locals who live around its borders.  With the price of ivory so high in China and other eastern countries the lure of poaching is just too strong.

Kenyan and Tanzanian anti-poaching units with suspected poachers

To read the full article click here

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Posted in Africa: Elephants, Asia: Rhinos, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2010 by Dori G

One of the most endangered species on our planet is the Rhino. These extraordinary creatures  are in danger of extinction in the wild, due mostly to rampant illegal slaughter for their horns and increasingly to habitat loss. If not for conservation efforts, there would be no wild rhinos alive today.

There are five species of Rhinos on our planet:


INDIAN – Greater one horned



As a celebration of these majestic animals we would like to announce this week as a Rhino Week in Bush Warriors. We have teamed up with Saving Rhinos to bring you up to date information about these majestic creatures including posters and fact sheets. Feel free and please share these fact sheets and posters with everyone you know.

As part of the Rhino week, this week’s theme in Photo Of The Day Contest will be Rhinos as well….. so if you have rhino photos that you would like to share with us pls Click Here to go and upload your photos to our Photo of The day Contest page…

Have a GREAT Week.

Dori & The Bush Warriors Clan

Will Tanzania Destroy Seized Ivory Stockpiles?

Posted in Africa: Elephants, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Kenyan Prime Minister Mr. Raila Odinga is recommending that Tanzania destroy their stockpiles of ivory.  Tanzania petitioned CITES in March to allow them to sell ivory stockpiles to the Asian market, but CITES refused citing the escalating poaching problem in Tanzania and saying the government was not doing a good enough job deterring poachers.  Mr. Odinga says that in the 1990s when Kenya was trying to really clamp down on poaching they destroyed stockpiles of seized ivory; he is adamant about this demand as he feels that the poaching of elephants in Tanzania that cross back and forth across the Tanzanian-Kenyan border is negatively impacting the tourism trade in Kenya.  Tanzanian officials, however, are accusing Kenya, and Mr. Odinga in particular, of working against East African Solidarity, which Mr. Odinga strongly denies.

Rooms full of seized elephant tusks in Tanzania

Two recently removed, bloody tusks left behind by poachers

To read the full article click here

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150 dead elephants….. 2 Tons of Tusks Seized in Vietnam…

Posted in Africa: Elephants, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2010 by kendickjerkins

About two and a half weeks ago there were 239 elephant tusks totaling 1.4 tons seized in Thailand and about a month before that another major shipment of illegal ivory was seized in Thailand.  Has this deterred smugglers? NO!  Instead they have decided to move their operations and on May 6 (yesterday) 2 tons of illegally smuggled elephant tusks were seized in the Vietnamese port of Haiphong.  The tusks were hidden in plastic sacks and covered with seaweed and were bound once again for China.  The shipment originated in Kenya, but thankfully Vietnamese officials managed to intercept it, resulting in the biggest seizure of all time in Vietnam.  Though the ivory was headed for China it also sells well in Vietnam, and until  the market for illegal ivory is destroyed these shipments, and hopefully seizures, will continue.

Ivory seized in Kneya that would most likely have been on its way to Southeast Asia or China.

A case full of goods carved out of ivory for sale in a Vietnamese Market.

The trunk…

The face.

To read the full article click here

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Rhino Baby Born, Milestone Number Reached at 100…good news or sad news?

Posted in Africa: Rhinos with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Finally 100 rhinos are now in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy.  With poaching on the rise again, especially for rhino horns, numbers like 100 are a big deal.  The conservancy is one of the main breeding grounds for rhinos in Kenya and has enjoyed great successes in spite of challenges, which need to be dealt with. Elsewhere in East Africa, Uganda had lost her entire population of rhinos in the early 1980s, when dictatorships turned a blind eye to poaching or when allegedly regime members were part and parcel of the poaching rings, and only a few years ago did the Rhino Fund Uganda bring the Southern White species back into the country and started a breeding program on the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, where the three females have since given birth to three healthy young males.

Rhino mother and calf

Meanwhile in Kenya, breeding programs are much more advanced already, having commenced two-and-a-half decades earlier, when the Lewa Down Conservancy and the equally-private Solio Game Reserve were joined by the first two official rhino reserves in Lake Nakuru National Park and in Tsavo West National Park below the Ngulia escarpment. Relative newcomer Ol Pejeta, however, turned the tables on the more established breeding programs when it became the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa.

However, considering rhinoceros used to be present all across Africa, the fact that now having 100 be a milestone number is deeply disturbing.  While the human population is growing at a runaway rate (almost 7,000,000,000, that is 7 billion) we are stuck celebrating rhinos reaching the three digit mark once again in this pristine Kenyan breeding habitat.  As long there is a market for illegally killed and butchered animals we will continue to push many species to the brink of extinction, and if we do not pay attention, they will go over the edge never to be seen again.

To read the full article about Ol Pejeta click here

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Chad’s New Elephant Guardians…

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Keeping to his promise to ensure that Chad’s elephants fate will not become the same as in its neighboring countries, President Idriss Deby has deployed a highly trained military unit from the Chadian armed forces to aid in the protection of Zakouma National Park and its flora and fauna. This unit is working in conjunction with the existing ranger teams that are currently on the ground.

President Idriss Deby Burying poached Ivory

The legendary Zakouma National Park
was created in 1963, and was Chad’s first national park, it has an area of almost 3000 square kilometres (1200 square miles) and  is entirely surrounded by the
Bahr Salamat Faunal Reserve, which is a conservation area of roughly 20,600 square kilometres.

Zakuma’s Legendary Elephant Herds

For many years Zakouma was neglected during the period of civil conflict, but with the arrival of President Deby to power a restoration has began and is continuing to date. Zakuma boasts in rich  and diverse wildlife population that includes over 44 species of large mammals as well as many species of birds.

Zakouma National Park has been nominated to become a Unesco World Heritage Site.

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Bushmeat Agony and Ivory: Bushmeat Crisis and Elephant Poaching is only Increasing

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Last year alone the conservative estimate for the number of elephants killed in Kenya is 220; while conservationists estimate that 36,000 elephants were poached worldwide last year.  In Kenya, this number is an increase of %400 from two years ago.  These elephants are being killed for their ivory, but this is not the only cause of poaching in Africa; the rampant bushmeat trade of everything from gorillas to antelope is the target of poachers.  Large bushmeat markets in Nairobi and other major cities keep these industrial-like poachers in business, as well as the desire for “exotic flavors” in the US and Western Europe.  This consistent poaching for meat, trophy, and ivory and pushing these fragile populations of African animals to the brink of extinction, and the rest of the world’s desires for these cheap African goods is what keeps the poachers going.

Forest elephant poached for its meat and Ivory in Congo

A poacher putting his catch of bushmeat into a sack for transport.

Smoked monkey for sale in a local market

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Poaching War Escalates As Suspected Tanzanian Nationals Shot Dead In Kenya’s Tsavo National Park

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2010 by kendickjerkins

The district police boss Herbert Khaemba, confirmed the Saturday night incident and said the poachers, suspected to be Tanzanian nationals, were shot dead at Kuranze area, Kasigahu location in Tsavo West National Park. The killings comes barely a week after KWS personnel arrested another poacher and recovered two rifles and three rounds of ammunition at Galana Ranch in the Southern part of Tsavo East National Park in the on-going onslaught on poaching activities in the area.

Khaemba said the rangers on patrol challenged the poachers to surrender but they started shooting at them (rangers) who, in turn, shot back killing three of the poachers.  The warden said by the time the poachers were killed, they had already felled three jumbos. “We had earlier discovered three elephant carcasses without ivory and we highly suspect the gang was behind the killing,” he added.

KWS Director Mr. Julius Kipngetich holding seized Ivory

Skin and Bones remain from poached Elephant in Tsavo

To Read the Full Article…Click Here

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