Trained community scouts, or community rangers, benefit from an IFAW-funded base camp near the Mailua and Olgulului/Olalarashi group ranches.One of IFAW’s primary objectives in the Amboseli ecosystem is to enhance wildlife security. Since 2012, IFAW has sponsored the professional training of 30 community scouts, or community rangers, at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Law Enforcement Academy (LEA). The scouts undergo a three-month intensive paramilitary training, which builds their capacity in wildlife conservation, survival skills and bush craft and instils discipline.

This training is important in ensuring wildlife security. As an added value to the training, we have further assisted the community scouts by constructing a base camp for those community scouts.

The camp, which is in proximity to the Kenya-Tanzania border, as well as the Mailua and Olgulului/Olalarashi group ranches, is strategically positioned to counter charcoal burning and bush meat poaching incidences which are rampant in the area and lead to environmental degradation and wildlife depletion. It is believed that the area also offers an easily accessible smuggling route between Kenya and Tanzania.

The Mangula base camp at the border of Tanzania and Kenya in Amboseli was constructed with support from IFAW.

The camp, which is manned by community scouts from IFAW partner Big Life Foundation, consists of sleeping quarters for up to six persons, a kitchen, bathroom (including a wash area and a 10,000 litre water storage tank) and radio equipment. As the camp is on an elevated area, it offers a good vantage point and rapid reaction to both poachers and smugglers. Since its completion, there has been a marked drop in bush meat poaching, from three incidents a month to one reported incident over a six-month period.

The professional training of all community scouts is paramount, as is the need for a patrol vehicle. IFAW needs your support to see these accomplished in our commitment to keep animals safe and the people who protect them nurtured.

–JN

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Article source: IFAW

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