Funding from IFAW saw Wildlife Traxx head down to Tsavo East National Park for a fourth time. This is an area in Kenya that has a lot of poaching, particularly of bushmeat. We have now trained 80 of their rangers so we hope to see a drop in the levels of poaching as the deterrent effects of the forensic evidence collection bags become more wide spread.
Last weekend, 22-24th February, Wildlife Traxx went down to Tsavo East National park to train the Tsavo Trust field rangers. This training saw all of their field rangers (25) trained over 3 days. This was a very interesting training as we were dealing with mostly illiterate rangers and as a result had to alter our teaching methods to include more practicals to help the rangers grasp the key course material. We were very happy with the outcome. The next training takes us down to KWS Voi in March.
January saw Wildlife Traxx head off to the Maasai Mara for two trainings funded by the Mara Elephant project (MEP). Once again the rangers were taught a variety of skills ranging from the collection of DNA samples using the Wildlife Traxx forensic kits, to the drafting of statements and exhibit memo forms. They understood the role forensic science plays in wildlife crime, their powers under the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013 and how to testify in court.
The first training site was carried out at the Sekenani gate in the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Here we trained 31 rangers including rangers from the Mara Triangle, and the Maasai Mara National Reserve.
On completion of this training we travelled across to Mara North for the second training site that was hosted at MEP’s headquarters and included 20 rangers from the Kenyan Wildlife Service, MEP, Lemek conservancy, Ol Kinyei conservancy, OOC, Pardamat conservancy, Naboisho, and Mara North.
We managed to train at least two rangers from each of the conservancies and reserves but there is still a lot more training to be done down in Mara. Please get in contact if you are interested in funding additional sites in this crucial wildlife area of Kenya.
The training was carried out over a duration of 6 days (3 days in each conservancy) using a mixture of lectures and practical sessions, delivered by an investigator, prosectutor and forensic scientist. The training targeted 41 trainees from the Tsavo Conservation Areas. The trainees were divided into two groups due to the expanse of the area, 20 trainees from Tsavo East National Park and 21 trainees from Tsavo West National Park. The trainees were drawn from different department i.e. Wildlife Protection Department, Tourism Department, Investigation Department Intelligence Department, Park Management and Education Department. This was necessary as they are frequently the first officers to respond to wildlife scenes of crime.
The trainees learnt a variety of skills ranging from the collection of DNA samples using the Wildlife Traxx Consultancy kits, to the drafting of charge sheets and exhibit memo forms. They understood the role forensic science plays in wildlife crime, their powers under the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013 and how to testify in court.
We received very positive feedback from the trainees and it was evident from the mock crime scene practicals that the trainees had grasped the main techniques required to secure and preserve a wildlife crime scene.