Dear readers, this is a personal appeal to you to help me fight this atrocity of bird poaching through poisoning during and after this palaearctic bird migration season.
Poisoned palaearctic migrant waders inclusive of Wood Sandpipers, Green Sandpipers and Ruffs among other species
Maimed individuals of those that do not succumb immediately to the poison.
African Openbill left for dead on the Bunyala poisoning fields.
Poacher collecting Openbills after he poisoned them.
Poisoned mixed species of doves
Poisoned Fulvous whistling ducks. It is worth noting this species in the United States was Endangered and pesticide poisoning was ranked as its leading threat. In Bunyala, it is deliberately poisoned using pesticide poison such as Furadan.
A habitual customer, as are many others, packing purchased birds procured through poisoning.
A mother taking home purchased Fulvous Whistling ducks
I have therefore planned to increase the supportive work force at Bunyala from the current 2 individuals to 10 individuals for the purpose of increasing vigilance and discouraging bird poisoning, poaching activity.
One of my only two scouts alongside myself at Bunyala Rice Irrigation Scheme.
This is because the irrigation area is extensive (and continues to be expanded)-about 5000ha with smaller out grower holdings which also have to be monitored- yet bird poisoning activities occur anywhere around the mega farmland. This will ensure effective vigilance throughout the area.
5000+ hectares of poisoning, rice field….& only 3 persons to keep an open eye for poisoning activities.
The increased scouts’ presence will ‘scare’ the poachers but it is still expected that poisoning activities will still be encountered. For the latter case, the scouts will collect data on the poisoned birds and numbers and inform the supervisor (myself) accordingly.
This approach will be conducted over the next 2 months-September & October 2012- as a primer to an educational and training campaign to follow after the 2 months. The obvious concern with this strategy is that the poachers will likely retaliate directly or indirectly since they will not be left with immediate substitute options of earning income during this time. However, I anticipate that in their discouragement and with the limited options of alternative sources of income, the poachers will join in this initiative as scouts (and be recruited accordingly in time as did my 2 current scouts). An advancement of this project starting November 2012 will then take this initiative to the next level intended to sustain the eliminated/reduced poaching activity. This is an intensive bird-guiding training workshop and rigorous marketing of the Bunyala Rice Irrigation scheme for its birds/avian resource to last one year until the site is established as bird watching and conservation locale.
Your support is therefore needed for the 2 months for the upkeep (also an incentive) and supervision of scouts before these can be initiated into the birding tourism or avitourism as guides for the mitigation of the serious bird poisoning and consumption at Bunyala rice Scheme.
Monthly upkeep for 10 scouts @ USD12.5 (Ksh 1000/person) per week hence USD125/week×4weeks = USD600 or Ksh 48000 per month
Supervisory wages for 1 supervisor @USD125 (Ksh10000) per month
I therefore humbly request that you help us raise USD 1450 (USD 725 for the month of September 2012 and USD 725 for October 2012) to successfully effect this initiative for the coming 2 months and help keep safe Bunyala Rice irrigation Scheme wintering site for migratory and resident bird species while also saving human lives and promoting decent livelihoods.
Through your contribution, you will help maintain the still rich flocks of resident and visiting birds at Bunyala Rice Scheme. I must warn that the actual flocks were more extensive than cut off sections captured in the photos below using my simple narrow angle lens camera at Bunyala Rice Scheme
Mixed flock of the migrant White-winged Terns and the whiskered terns up to 3000 strong at one time
The migrant terns roosting in the Bunyala Rice field their numbers maintaining their ‘thick’ impression.
Black-tailed Godwit. Perhaps Bunyala is a sink for this species classified as Near Threatened with the study in 2009 indicating that they were the most poisoned species of the migrants.
Flock of Fulvous whistling duck taking to the air at Bunyala Rice Irrigation Scheme
Airborne Fulvous Whistling ducks at Bunyala Rice Irrigation Scheme.
HELP ME AND MY SELECT TEAM LIVE OUR DETERMINATION!