With 1,200sq to protect, Enduimet has a large anti-poaching team, the unit s are comprised of members of the community and they risk their lives to protect this ecosystem.
Many challenges come their way, from bush meat poaching, ivory poaching and a large trade in Zebra skins to illegal charcoal burning. The community also depend on these rangers when their crops are being raided by elephants or when the lions are killing their livestock.
The community rangers who are employed by a Enduimet WMA have to be well equipped; the WMA and their partners provide them with the tools and equipment to do the job, this are items like GPS’s, binoculars, firearms, boots, uniforms, tents, sleeping bags and whatever else it takes to kit out the team. These teams are constantly trained by, specialized trainers who work with them for extended periods.
Without vehicles, the community rangers do not stand a chance. The vehicles that are provided are fully kitted to do the job, off road equipment, first aid kits, spot lights, radios, extended fuel tanks, water tanks, night vision equipment, tool boxes etc.
Community rangers live in ranger posts that need power, food, bedding and fuel all to enable the teams to base their operations from, many of the ranger posts are built in strategic places usually commanding a good view of the land. High powered binoculars are provided to keep watch.
Sometime the EWMA use a Microlite provided by their partners for monitoring and management, the microlight is a useful tool for management providing and using aerial view of the area . From the air it is much easier to see new tracks from vehicles, where wildlife has moved to and in addition a Microlite is particularly useful to patrol areas difficult to access by car or foot.
The Big Life Foundation have provided the use of a specialised dog team in place. This special unit has two tracker dogs Rocky and Jerry, who can arrive at a poaching scene and track down the poachers. They are equally useful in gently and quickly eliminating suspects who were not involved.
The dogs are also used to help local communities to solve security and theft incidents e.g. stolen solar panels from the village office, and have been called in several times by the Tanzanian national parks to follow up on poaching incidents. These dogs are not aggressive; they are happy, well cared for animals, always keen to play their favorite game ‘follow the scent’. The dog unit spends many hours a week training the dogs and keeping them healthy.