Photo © Peadar Brehony
The Front Line Against Poaching
Game Scout programs are proving to be effective deterrents to poaching – particularly in areas with community conservancies. ACC-US supports ACC, SORALO, and the Borderlands Conservation Initiative as they train and equip community members to protect and monitor wildlife, engage in community conflict resolution, collect ecological data and generate and distribute environmental information to enhance community awareness of biodiversity and the environment. In addition to the critical conservation role they play, the scouts minimize human-wildlife conflict in these areas and promote community participation in the generation and dissemination of vital environmental information. By focusing on non-protected areas, Scouts are able to protect areas that Kenya Wildlife Service cannot reach due to shortage of staff and resources.
Photos © Peadar Brehony
Regions where Game Scouts patrol have seen a significant reduction in poaching. 231 poachers were arrested in 2013. In the Amboseli Ecosystem, ACC supports the Amboseli Tsavo Game Scouts Association together with other partners. In the South Rift, ACC supports the Game Scouts covering the Shompole, Magadi, Nguruman and Loita Conservancies. In Laikipia, ACC supports Game Scouts in the Ilpolei-Munishoi group ranches which are part of the larger Naibunga Conservancy.
Ten global positioning system (GPS) units were purchased for recording animal movements and location of poaching incidents. In addition, four new scout bases have were built to house scouts in the field.
The Game Scouts program provides employment for local community members, many of them Maasai. Currently there are over 400 employed in the Borderland area between Kenya and Tanzania.
The Game Scouts are trained in tour guiding, biodiversity interpretation, environmental education and awareness campaigns. Game Scouts have completed courses in tracking techniques, action drills and communications.