Protecting the welfare of elephant populations - Kenya
partnering with the Kenya Wildlife Service to protect threatened species
IFAW no longer actively works on this project as the duration of implementation ran from 1st December 2017 – 30th November 2020
We work with the local community in the Tsavo Conservation Area to prevent poaching and human wildlife conflict.
At 43,000 square kilometers, the Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) is Kenya’s largest wildlife protected area and encompasses both the Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks. It is also home to Kenya’s largest elephant population of approximately 12,850 savannah elephants, several of who are super tuskers. These animals enormous tusks make them a great attraction for tourists – but also puts a target on their back. Elephants and other wildlife are under constant threat by poachers and conflict with humans, but the large size of the park makes it difficult for rangers to manage with limited resources.
With funding from the TUI Care Foundation, in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the local community, IFAW has implemented new wildlife security techniques that are helping to protect TCA’s wildlife. Using our tenBoma method as a reference, we combine the use of technology and information gathering from local communities to create a holistic approach that prevents poaching before it happens. Community members note suspicious behavior such as smoke outside of the village, robberies, or unknown car tire prints. We input these notes into a database, which processes the information and identifies patterns related to poaching. Wildlife rangers then use these patterns to help predict and prevent poaching events.
Through the KWS, TUI Care Foundation and IFAW partnership, rangers in the field have been provided with communications and mobility equipment like radios and smartphones that help the team respond to wildlife threats. The partnership has also seen the capacity building of KWS law enforcement personnel in forensic analysis and crime scene investigations.
Through this partnership our rangers have received training on a range of vital skillsets to assist them in investigating and prosecuting wildlife crime, including DNA Analysis, creating and implementing mitigation tools for human-elephant conflict, as well as how to use mobile phone forensics to secure valuable information on criminal activity.
Not only this, but we have ensured our rangers have the key equipment they need in order to do the best job they can out in the field. This has included vehicles, fuel and GPS for better and faster mobility laptops as well as laptops/iPads to help improve data analysis and communications. We have handed out pressure horns and torches, used to scare elephants away from humans or their farmland, in order to reduce human wildlife conflict. We also make sure all rangers have the key staples such as binoculars, boots, tents for rangers and their daily operations.
Together with KWS, investigations and arrests led to 7 pieces of elephant ivory weighing over 234 kg in one incident.
we are all safer when we look out for each other.
Every donation helps to support our current operations, grow our reporting network, recruit new partners—community organizations, conservancies, government agencies, and international organizations—and expand tenBoma to other communities.