Autumn is upon us, and with it comes sweaters, warm beverages, and maybe even a little candy. Yet we are all taking each season and celebration differently this year. As social distancing impacts our trick-or-treating, patrols and conservationists around the world are also having to adapt. In this eNewsletter we go to Kenya to learn about the increased challenges affecting the Mounted Horse Patrol Team and the rest of the Mount Kenya teams.
How COVID-19 is Affecting the Mountain
Even Mount Kenya, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is not immune to the negative effects of the global pandemic. Our conservation partners at the Mount Kenya Trust report that illegal activities are increasing month by month.
From July to September:
121 snares were removed, including 2 fishing nets. This is a new high.
222 people were directly encountered within protected Reserve land, the highest observed in the past six months.
Nearly 1200 domestic animals were recorded illegally grazing (cows, sheep, donkeys and goats). This degrades habitat.
64 charcoal kilns were found. Another example of habitat destruction.
326 illegal fenceposts were found.
21 arrests were made, mainly for illegal logging, and two others for bushmeat poaching.
Tourist revenue for Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) at Mt. Kenya has declined by 96 per cent, triggering budget cuts, thereby making community-based forest security patrols (like the IEF supported Mounted Horse Patrol Team) even more critical.
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