Working to Conserve Tsavo’s Wilderness
Tsavo Trust is a field based Kenyan non-profit organisation headquartered in Tsavo, southern Kenya.
Tsavo Trust recognizes the importance of a holistic approach to biodiversity conservation. Professional wildlife conservation activities, grass-roots community engagement, valued partnerships and committed supporters combine to create a virtuous circle for the protection of Tsavo’s wilderness.
Tsavo Trust works closely in support of the Kenya Wildlife Service, engages with specific communities bordering the protected area, and partners with several other conservation organizations focused towards four core programs:
- Wildlife Conservation Program
- Community Conservancy Program
- Animal Welfare Program
- Development of Conservation Partnerships
Find out more at tsavotrust.org
Empowers Africa has partnered with Tsavo Trust in order to provide a cost-effective solution to fundraising in the United States by acting as their fiscal sponsor. Any donations made here will be granted to Tsavo Trust.
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Tsavo Trust Campaigns
Wildlife Conservation Program: Big Tusker Project
Complimenting the Kenya Wildlife Service, the governing wildlife agency in Kenya, in a vital support role focused on high value species in the Tsavo Conservation Area, primarily through the core activities of the Big Tusker Project.
Historically, elephants carrying tusks weighing in excess of 100lbs (45kg) per side were known as “hundred pounders” and were much sought after by hunters and poachers alike but also by many visiting tourists to Kenya. The famous elephant of Marsabit National Park called “Ahmed” in the 1970’s is a perfect example of an iconic elephant that went on to receive Presidential Security Decree – as a result he lived out his full life and died naturally of old age.
Believe it or not, today, at least 8 of these giant bull Tuskers remain in Tsavo, and it is their protection from ivory poachers (alongside the protection of other impressive emerging bulls (at least 26 of them) that will be the “hundred pounders” of the future). This provides the rationale behind the Big Tusker Project. There are also at least 5 iconic cow Tuskers with tusks reaching the ground that are also being monitored. The Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) arguably holds the last remaining sustainable population of large “Super Tuskers” on this planet today. If they are not secured now they could be gone forever.
Tsavo Trust Big Tusker Project field activities are in full collaboration with KWS, with ‘eyes in the skies’ and ‘eyes and ears on the ground’. Aerial and ground units operate in tandem in hot spot locations in the Tsavo Conservation Area.
Aerial Unit – Supercub aircraft, bush airfield, experienced bush pilots
One of Tsavo Trust’s key objectives is the provision of direct support to KWS for their operations inside and outside the National Parks of the TCA. Tsavo Trust’s aerial unit operates regular and consistent aerial biodiversity protection and monitoring flights to complement KWS’s law enforcement efforts, helping track illegal activity and threats to biodiversity, monitoring wildlife (especially elephant and rhino), taking part in aerial census operations and providing logistical support in emergencies.
Biodiversity Protection Teams – Tembo 1, 3, 5, and Kamungi Scouts
Mobile protection teams within the Tsavo Conservation Area working in support of Kenya Wildlife Service, and specific Community Conservancies to assist their efforts to defend elephants against ivory poachers and traffickers. Through their presence these teams further protect biodiversity from illegal activities such as bush-meat poaching, charcoaling, hardwood extraction and illegal livestock grazing.
Biodiversity Monitoring Teams – Tembo 2 and 4
Research and Monitoring Units in support of KWS in the Tsavo Conservation Area
Tembo 2 and Tembo 4 units operate in support of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Research and Monitoring Departments within the Tsavo Conservation Area, mainly in Tsavo East National Park (TENP) and Tsavo West National Park (TWNP), but also in surrounding areas bordering the National Parks.
Community Conservation Program
Supporting communities and securing wilderness areas – Kamungi and Shirango Wildlife Conservancies
The Community Conservancy Program – developing and stewarding self-governing, community-led Wildlife Conservancies in specific key areas within the Tsavo Conservation Area.
Through community activities and projects, Tsavo Trust endeavors to create secure buffers bordering the formal Protected Area and at the same time generating economic opportunities for marginalized communities.
Tsavo Trust works on community development in the Tsavo Conservation Area through a range of projects under the Community Conservancy Program. Engagement and development has been very positive over the last five years with two specific communities. The Wakamba community from Ngiluni and Kamunyu villages (forming Kamungi Conservancy), whom border onto Tsavo East NP’s northern boundary, and the Watha (Waliangulu) community from Shirango village (forming Shirango Conservancy) on Tsavo East’s south-east border, with the long-term goal of establishing self-governing community-led wildlife conservancies whereby Tsavo Trust acts as a catalyst and steward for their development through varying projects and objectives.
Read more about the Community Conservation Program at tsavotrust.org
Encouraging the development of conservation partnerships in the Tsavos and assisting with field project implementation.
Tsavo Trust partners with a number of like-minded conservation organisations, whereby Tsavo Trust provides field-based expertise to implement and support projects alongside KWS.
Tsavo Trust recognizes the importance of partnerships in maximizing delivery of conservation actions and strives to work collaboratively to achieve shared objectives with partner organisations, such as Save The Elephants and Zoological Society of London, among others in supporting KWS and of growing wildlife populations in and around the Tsavo Conservation Area.
With Tsavo Trust’s established field base, we are well placed to partner with other organisations carrying out effective operations and program implementation. In addition to these conservation efforts, Tsavo Trust also actively encourages and advises high end tourism operators back to the Tsavos.
The Tsavo Conservation Area is home to numerous species that are included in IUCN Red List threatened categories of Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, and Threatened, some of which are shown here.
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