The Challenge

Despite the global condemnation of poaching and the resources that have been mobilised to safeguard endangered wildlife, well-funded and well-equipped poaching groups continue to pose a real threat to Africa’s wildlife. As long as the illegal demand for wildlife-related products exists, endangered species worldwide, even those under Lewa’s protection, will be under constant threat.

Lewa must continually adapt to the rapidly evolving threat of poaching in order to protect the wildlife under its care.

North of our boundary lies a traditionally unstable landscape with occasional cases of cattle rustling, road banditry and inter-tribal conflict. Our team is regularly called upon to support local law enforcement authorities in ensuring that the landscape remains safe.

Our Response

Edward Ndiritu has been on Lewa for the past 18 years. You’ll often find him in his uniform, working tirelessly alongside his team of 38 Anti-Poaching rangers. John Pameri, who heads the General Security Unit, has dedicated his life to conservation, having started out on Lewa as an 18-year-old in 1992. Edward and John lead Lewa’s two security units and their combined efforts, alongside their well-trained and highly motivated teams, have ensured that Lewa has not lost any rhinos to poaching in five years.

 

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Communities – The First line of Defence

Our anti-poaching work, in line with Lewa’s philosophy, is centred around people. Edward
“The people who live around us at Lewa are our greatest anti-poaching asset. The fact that we
are able to achieve success in our work is due to the good partnership and collaboration we
have with our neighbouring communities. By investing in them through education, healthcare,
micro-enterprise, water and more, they see real, tangible value in conservation. And in return,
they are the first line of defence against wildlife criminals.”
The communities provide our team with intelligence, such as
Ranger Achian Ngila, tracker dog Tipper and the rest of their unit prepare to go on an Anti-
Poaching patrol. The Lewa Dog Unit is critical to the team’s operations and successes.

Timely Intelligence

Their anti-poaching efforts also include the gathering of timely intelligence, strong partnerships
with the Kenya Wildlife Service and local law enforcement agencies, as well as the use of
modern technology.
“As poachers get more sophisticated in their use of technology, we must always be a step
ahead.” John Pameri.
The Domain Awareness System
One of the strongest tools that benefits the security of wildlife and people across the landscape
is the Within this command centre lies the Domain Awareness System (DAS), which integrates
information from various locations in the conservancy to provide a clear and concrete picture of
a security incident – alerting our team in a timely fashion and informing tactical decision-making.
We worked to create DAS in collaboration with Vulcan, the technology company started by
Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen.

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