This hopes to support a much needed program, along with a partial program support budget (further funding contributions are being sought as matching funds) to establish an aerial monitoring unit that has specific focus on “keeping and eye” on the very rare and unique large bull elephant that are carrying exceptionally large tusks (tusks that weigh in excess of 100lbs or 45kg per tusk or historically known as a100 pounder). There are very few of these magnificent elephants remaining on this planet and the Tsavo area, in Kenya, is most likely the last remaining elephant population that holds just a few of these truly remarkable bull elephants. If they are not secured today they will be gone forever.
The area of operation is within the Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) in south-eastern Kenya, East Africa. The main area of coverage includes the vast Tsavo East National Park (TENP) and Tsavo West National Park (TWNP). This project will work in total partnership and collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in every respect. In order to augment the existing efforts of KWS in the TCA, aerial coverage is vital not only to locate the large bull elephant on a regular basis but also to cover the huge TCA that is largely road-less and in so doing a regular security presence is shown. For this purpose, a Super Cub light aircraft is an ideal tool to work hand in hand with the field unit and the KWS. With the recent increase of elephant poaching over the last 18 months across many parts of Africa, including the TCA, this project becomes even more vital and urgent so that a concerted effort can be made to secure these last remaining “Tuskers” for future generations. The request budget breakdown is shown below and the Tsavo Trust is seeking US $58,465 in support towards this project. The time frame for this project to commence is as soon as is possible. Time is running out!
Richard Moller of the Tsavo Trust will implement this project in collaboration with the KWS. The project’s base is located on the north boundary of the TWNP Triangle area along the Mtito River (Park boundary).
A Kenyan by birth, Richard has over 16 years field experience in wildlife management in Kenya. Being an Honorary Warden to KWS and having worked alongside KWS Officers in the field for several years, strong and positive relationships have been built up over time. His working relations with KWS within the TCA are excellent and this is an opportune moment to establish and cement further joint ventures through private organizations in collaboration with KWS. He is very much “up to speed” on current wildlife and conservation events, protocols and occurrences, especially within the TCA. He is an experienced “bush pilot”, lives in the TCA and is thus ideally placed to manage this project. This is strengthened by the fact that he has had a passion for Tsavo and its large elephant since childhood and has, over the last 2 years, monitored and located a handfull of exceptionally large bull elephant and has realized and understood the urgent need to protect them.
The preservation of these large Tuskers is believed to be vital not only from the individual elephants point of view but also from a tourism perspective whereby further revenue for the respective Parks could be generated by high- lighting the fact that these elephant do still actually exist. From a biodiversity view, this rare “gene pool” will also be maintained as a result of providing specific security geared towards these individual and iconic elephant.