I post the article below for two reasons. First this gentleman needs to be congratulated for the work he does. Secondly because of my shock in learning of 700 elephant carcasses in 3 years in one area of the country. This is shocking to me.
HELPS SAVE THE ELEPHANTS
Coastweek - - Onesmas Kahindi is a dedicated conservationist who has successfully engaged communities in the Samburu-Laikipia area of Kenya to gain valuable insight to elephant poaching in the region.
Since 2002 Mr. Kahindi has driven over 235,000 kilometers for fieldwork alone and his (Disney funded) vehicle is now a popular visitor to these remote communities.
The Save the Elephants (STE) organization started a program called MIKE (Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants) to gather data on elephant mortality as an early warning system for changes in poaching intensities as well as a method to record changes in elephant population dynamics.
The Samburu-Laikipia site is unique in that it is comprised of a complex network of national reserves, trust lands occupied by nomadic pastoralists, private ranches, group ranches, community conservancies, small-holder agricultural farms and settlement schemes.
As Program Officer for MIKE and an Honorary Game Warden for the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kahindi is personally responsible for visiting each of these stakeholders to collect data on every dead elephant that is found.
He has worked incredibly to build a co-operative information network, building trust and respect from local people initially hesitant to cooperate.
It took considerable perseverance and communication to emphasize to the communities that no retribution was involved in divulging the location of the carcasses.
With dedication like his, Mr. Kahindi has helped the MIKE program to compile over 700 carcass reports between January 2002 and December 2005, with 60 percent of the reports coming from local people.
This conservation hero now working to train additional MIKE scouts to expand the information network he has worked so tirelessly to create, in hopes that increased communication will prove a benefit to elephant conservation.