By Arnold Letsholo
Birdlife Botswana is in the process of compiling a manual that will help security personnel and everyone else make the right decision at the scene where poaching had occurred.
The move comes after the organisation realised that often people who reach scenes of poaching first do not know what action to take.
Director of Birdlife Botswana, Dr Kabelo Senyatso, said it is especially disturbing in a situation where animals like elephants or rhinos which are usually poached for their tusks are poisoned by the poachers so that vultures died from feeding on the carcass. Some people just leave the carcass as it is while others set it on fire.
“The manual would guide the people of what steps to take whenever they reach poaching scenes, which include recording evidence on the site. It would show the difference between a poisoned carcass and the one that was not poisoned,” Senyatso stated.
“Besides colours of chemicals that might be visible at the scene, a poisoned carcass would have several foraging birds like vultures dead around it,” he said, adding that those who burn the carcass do a good job as it saves lives of vultures and other scavenging animals.
The decision to come up with a manual comes at a time when Birdlife Botswana is disturbed by the imminent threat to the vulture species while everyone is concerned with poaching of big animals like elephants and rhinos.
To the organisation, birds form an important part of the ecosystem and their long lifespan means a slow population increase.
His concern comes a few weeks after the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust published a report on the investigation carried out on the Kwando vulture poisoning. The method used as analysed in the report is probably the informant of the compilation of the manual.
A helicopter landed approximately 350m from the site where the carcasses were. Upon arrival at the poison site, two methods to estimate the number of birds were used. More....