Southern African MIKE Training Workshop
Mopane Camp, Kruger National Park
12-14 September 2000
REPORT ON MIKE WORKSHOP
Chair: Dr Pieter Botha (South Africa)
Official opening by the chair. He welcomed the delegates of the six southern African countries attending the workshop.
Background on MIKE – Dr Malan Lindeque (CITES Secretariat)
The 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (9 – 20 June 1997, Harare, Zimbabwe) adopted Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP12) on Trade in Elephant Specimens. Among other things, it calls for the establishment, under the supervision and direction of the Standing Committee, of a comprehensive international system to monitor the illegal killing of elephants.
This Resolution is unique, in that it provides a long-term mechanism whereby elephant range States, with the assistance of the CITES Secretariat, can develop the skills and technology required to effectively manage their elephant populations.
The objectives of this monitoring system are:
- Measuring and recording current levels and trends of illegal hunting in African and Asian range States;
- Assessing whether and to what extent observed trends are a result of changes in the listing of elephant populations in the CITES appendices and / or the resumption of legal international trade in ivory; and
- Establishing an information base to support the making of decisions on appropriate remedial action in the event of any problems with compliance or potential detriment to the species
Factors influencing and limiting the effective implementation of MIKE in Africa:
- It is too expensive to implement MIKE
- Uniform implementation throughout the Africa continent is difficult to obtain
- Differences in the way different countries view CITES
- Why change the existing monitoring systems?
- Maintaining monitoring systems are difficult. The implementation of MIKE must be sustainable and ongoing. The long-term stability in monitoring is crucial.
- Budget and staff changes occur constantly and makes monitoring difficult
The situation in southern Africa:
- Similarity and homogeneity in southern Africa makes it possible to implement MIKE on a sub- regional level
- MIKE provides a standardised approach and is biased towards long-term stability in monitoring
- Different needs in different countries have to be accommodated and still add value to existing monitoring systems.
Purpose of monitoring system:
- Determine real trends
- Determine changes in trends over time
- Determine the causes of these changes
Elephant populations constantly increased over the past four years in at least four of the southern African countries. This tendency must be reflected in a scientific matter.
The risk of jumping to wrong conclusions:
- Monitoring systems have not been standardised (Different systems for monitoring)
- The monitoring system has to be calibrated and monitoring has to be linked with effort!
- The effort involved in monitoring must be monitored due to the fact that it can have a dramatic impact on the conclusions, which can be made. Wrong conclusions might be made if effort is not linked to monitoring.
- Example: The same amount of carcasses is found, with only half the effort, therefore it can be concluded that poaching has increased. The wrong conclusion can be made if effort was not monitored, due to the fact that the amount of carcasses found was exactly the same.
Find a way to measure the effort made in monitoring!
MIKE Sites and implementation:
- 60 MIKE sites selected throughout Africa and Asia
- Six MIKE Sub-regions
- MIKE pilot phase in central Africa
- MIKE pilot phase in south east Asia
- MIKE pilot program will be established in west Africa – Senegal, Burkina Faso, Togo, etc.
- Most of countries depended on funding
- Elephant Trade and Information System (ETIS). Monitoring trade in and beyond range States. Therefore countries, which are not elephant range States, also have to participate in ETIS. This database is monitored by TRAFFIC.
- TRAFFIC’s Bad Ivory Database System (BIDS). This database contains information on ivory types, quantities, trade routes, and other data related to individual confiscations. BIDS records stem from primary government sources, including national wildlife authorities, customs, police or other law enforcement bodies.
The above mentioned databases contain information on trade issues and do not focus on illegal killings.
- Clarity was needed regarding the conclusions made about poaching if effort was measured. Dr M Lindeque referred to a study performed in Zambia, where the importance of linkage between monitoring and effort was discovered. If less effort is put in and the same amount of carcasses is still found, there is a high likelihood that poaching did increase and visa versa.
- Concern was raised about west Africa, who has to implement a proper monitoring system for the first time.
Site selection and remaining elephant range – Dr Malan Lindeque (CITES Secretariat)
60 MIKE sites in 40 countries, which are elephant range States.
The vision is to include all these range States in implementing MIKE.
The IUCN developed the criteria for selection and selected the sites.
- Sub-regional coverage. Common experience and lessons learned in sub-region as well as political and economical integration.
- Proper forest and savannah coverage and representation.
- High and low enforcement effort.
- Inside and outside protected areas.
- With and without recent or on-going civil strife in or around site.
- Close to or distant from an international border? Borders are considered more vulnerable and cross border poaching and civil strife may influence monitoring.
- Availability of existing data prior to 1990.
- Relatively large elephant populations for the sub-region.
- With and without a history of illegal killing in the area.
- Government co-operation.
- Long tenure of existing staff in key positions.
- Single agency control over site management is important due to the parameters, which must be measured that are always related to single agency.
- Involved in either CITES Decision 10.1, 10.2 or both. Trade was only allowed in 1999. Future trade might only be allowed in declared ivory stocks in government position.
- Varying levels of community involvement in conservation. Impact of communities on elephant populations is important. Communities living next to the Park and the relationship between communities and protected areas are important as well as the social and other factors effecting this relationship.
- Costing has to be determined per site per country.
- Support was promised but no funds were made available.
- Secretariat submitted funding proposal to EU for implementation of MIKE in the whole of Africa (proposed donation of 40 million euros).
MIKE sites in southern Africa (8 official sites):
Botswana: Chobe NP
Mozambique: Niassa Game Reserve and Magoe
Namibia: Etosha NP
South Africa: Kruger NP
Zambia: South Luangwa NP
Zimbabwe: Chewore SA, Nyami Nyami
(Southern African elephant populations are a third of the total African population of elephants)
The aim is to:
- Improve monitoring and
- Standardise the way wildlife is monitored in southern Africa.
Therefore it will be beneficial to the countries if the system is implemented in non-official MIKE sites as well. This will lead to the standardised use of the same techniques, policies and approach on a National level. Countries that undertake to monitor other sites can include that information, if the same techniques are used and it is therefore recommended to expand as wide as possible.
Data flow and analysis in MIKE: Dr Pauline Lindeque (Namibia)
- Site surveys and data collection by field staff (patrols) – (60 MIKE sites)
- Site data collection officers (existing government or NGO staff)
- National and Sub-regional data compilers
MIKE Site 1 (site coordinator & field personnel) & MIKE Site 2 (Site coordinator & field personnel) National Coordinator Sub-regional coordinator Regional coordinator Technical Support and Data Processing unit (all raw data Analysis)
(Currently there are no clear guidelines on how the database should look with regards to the electronic format of the data)
- Elephant population numbers and trends
- Measurable external factors
Specific outputs expected:
- Ground patrol reports
- Elephant carcass report
- Monthly report
- Annual report
- Aerial surveys every two years
- Intelligence monitoring form
- Historical data on other issues like law enforcement, conservation effort, etc.
What is needed?
Site coordinators, etc.
GPS / Cybertracker
Databases and data format must be decided upon.
Dr Malan Lindeque will request the Technical Advisory Group of MIKE (TAG), who are responsible for making decisions on data format and how and where databases must operate, to advise on this issue.
Ground Patrol Report – Mr Isaac Theophilus (Botswana)
- The importance of standardising monitoring to improve the common understanding of data collection was emphasised.
- Ground Patrol Report Forms and instructions on how to complete the form were provided to all delegates by Namibia.
- It was accentuated that the patrols must be equipped with good maps due to the fact that they have to draw 5 x 5km squares on the map with a unique number or name for each square to report upon.
- The overall feeling was that the information required in the ground patrol report is not vastly different from the existing systems.
- Use of GPS systems (GPSs seems to be a limiting factor in data collection):
- South Africa (KNP): Section rangers use GPS systems to record incidences. Each patrol does not have a GPS.
- South Africa (other areas): Not using GPS system and unfortunately do not have the budget to equip them with the system. Some of the reserves are more interested in the cyber tracking system.
- Zimbabwe: Not using GPS system.
- Zambia: Does have GPS system in the Northern Luangwa National Park.
- Namibia: Does have GPS system, but not all the patrols have GPSs.
- Botswana: Does have GPS system, but is not very familiar with it and need training.
- Mozambique: GPS system is only used during census. No ground patrol is equipped with GPSs. Mozambique can, however, use data sheets, excluding the GPS information. Mozambique is currently using a data sheet that differs from the ground patrol report form.
- It was recommended that the grid system be used if GPSs are not available.
- It is important to report on the patrol route, the distance covered and the time the patrol took to complete the patrol.
- The estimated area of the site covered by the patrols has to be reported in the monthly and annual report. This is determined by plotting the patrol routes onto maps of the site divided into 5km x 5km squares and making an estimate of how large a geographical area of the site has been effectively covered by patrols.
- The time each patrol takes to complete the patrol is important in measuring effort. The intelligence gained through spending a particular amount of time and effort can then be measured.
Practical session on GPS use and demonstration on use of Cybertrackers
– Mr Nathaniel Nuulimba (Namibia)
Cybertracker and GPS use in Caprivi, Namibia:
- Programme invented in late 1980.
- Tools needed to run programme: GPS, computer with software & Palm-computer to use in the field to capture data for analysis.
- The information gathered, are used for adaptive conservation management.
- Linkage of cybertracker in CBNRM programme.
- The Cybertracker system is used to monitor trends in wildlife in community areas.
- Local communities are enabled to manage and use resources sustainable.
- Goal is to link development of communities and capacity building in Namibia and to re-distribute the social and economic benefits in the community.
Practical session: Delegates have the opportunity to use the GPS
Elephant carcass report – Mr Edson Chidziya (Zimbabwe)
Elephant carcass report forms and instructions on how to complete the form were distributed to all delegates by Namibia.
Why tusk measurements?
- Ageing (lip circumference, tusk length, etc)
- Sexing (tusk size, shape, growth rate, thickness related to sex)
- Identifying individuals (tusk size, shape, colour-genetically determined)
- Identifying populations
Why teeth measurements?
- Ageing (using stage of molar progression, 6 molars in each jaw quadrant during lifetime, each erupts at a certain age)
Is this information recorded currently?
All the countries present record the tusk lengths, but Mozambique and Zambia’s current reports are not as advanced as this carcass report.
It was unanimously decided that the form should be adapted to suit the situation in southern Africa.
Monthly report – Dr Pauline Lindeque (Namibia)
Monthly report forms and instructions distributed to all delegates by Namibia.
Customise form to suit the needs of southern Africa.
Kruger Park experience on implementation of MIKE – Mr Ken Maggs (South Africa)
- Kruger National Park: 2 million hectares, which are divided into 22 sections with section rangers responsible for range of functions with anti-poaching being only one of them.
- Regional rangers (4), section rangers (22) and field rangers (212)
- Budget: R151 920.72 (does not include incentives)
- Each section ranger allocates field staff for patrols in burn blocks. Field staff also does night work, either patrols or static observations.
- Field rangers mainly use bicycles and depart from a base camp each day.
- A "Picket" system (permanently occupied stations) is in place. Each picket controlled by corporal.
- 3 x 22 Patrols going out, per day and this cause a lot of administrative work.
- Elephant poaching incidents (1980 – 2000)
1981: 102 elephants poached
1997: 1 elephant poached
1998: 2 elephants poached
1999: 2 elephants poached
CITES Ban: 1989 / 1990
1989: 9 elephants poached
1990: 16 elephants poached
1991: 28 elephants poached
- The Kruger National Park decided to go the route of intelligence gathering, both inside and beyond the borders of the Park.
- In 1994 the Anti-poaching section was developed. There are 7 staff members, who are responsible for anti-poaching efforts, not only in Kruger, but also in the other South African National Parks.
- Main functions:
- Gather information and intelligence
- Identify threat
- Neutralise threat before it reaches Park
- The anti-poaching unit is implementing the Eight Step Counter Poaching Model, develop by the South African National Park:
PRO-ACTIVE CRIME PREVENTION
1. Criminal Information
- Informer network
- Handling and payment of informers
- Co-ordination of information
- Analysis of patrol and research information
- Liaison with neighbouring communities and other outside organizations and government bodies.
- Liaise with relevant international authorities.
The gathering of information and intelligence relating to poaching activity is essential and therefore a key element to any pro-active counter poaching strategy. This information forms the basis and important component for the threat analysis.
- "Know your Poacher"
- Information/Intelligence collection
- Recruitment and management of sources/informers
- Analysis of field staff Reports
- Liaison with internal staff and outside communities and organizations
- Centralize Information (Data base)
- Disseminate intelligence and information on a need to know basis
An extensive well-managed informer network will ensure the continuous flow of poaching related information and intelligence. This incoming information and intelligence needs to be analyzed, stored and disseminated to management or field personnel in order to identify potential threats and methods of operation long before any infiltration takes place. Successful counter measures rely on accurate intelligence. The threat analysis will be instrumental in supplying essential weaknesses to be addressed in the operational and animal security components.
- Detailed operational plan of action
- Thorough briefing of field staff on a "need to know" basis
- Thorough de briefing sessions of field staff and sources
- Operations security
All operational plans rely on good intelligence and a well thought out plan of action, which takes all the operational factors into account. The security of the field staff is paramount in any action and therefore all the necessary steps need to be taken to ensure that they are briefed fully on all the elements. The better the intelligence the better the operational briefing and security.
- Distribution (Concentrations) and movement of target animals
- Target animal numbers
- Water availability
- Animal translocation
- Boma held animals
- De-briefing of field staff and perusal of patrol reports
A sound understanding of the target animals, their numbers, habitat, movement and distribution will assist in the action plans drawn up to protect them. It is important to ensure the animals safety during translocation and holding actions carried out during capture operations. It is during these times when the animals are extremely vulnerable.
- Para-military training of field staff
- Essential equipment
A highly motivated, well-trained and well-equipped field staff member generally leads to successful counter operations. It is therefore important to ensure that field staff receive the best training available and adequate serviceable equipment for the tasks at hand.
- Field staff and the Law
- Crime scene attendance
- Evidence collection
- Arrest procedures
- Court procedures
- Witness skills for field staff
It is very important for field staff to have a sound knowledge of the law. Without this they are likely to become intimidated, reckless and possibly even the accused. The crime scene generally becomes the initial point of an investigation. The handling of the crime scene will either make or break the case. It is therefore important that investigators who have the necessary experience handle the scene. The arrest of any person needs to be carried out according to the law otherwise legal actions, lost cases and frustration result. The court can be a very intimidating place and cases are either won or lost by witnesses. Witnesses need to be adequately schooled and prepared for court proceedings.
Planning crisis management
- Local (Total commitment to reserve level)
- National (Partake in and contribute to)
- International (Partake and contribute to)
Performing Crisis Management
- Well motivated, trained and equipped field staff
- Effective and efficient plan of action
- Effective follow-up actions leading to arrest and convictions
All information and intelligence gathered as well as lessons learnt during crisis management actions (actual poaching incident) are fed back into the system to contribute to the threat analysis and therefore the pro-active components of the model leading ultimately to general improvement in any further actions.
- It is extremely important to have constant communication with all possible role players like the South African Police Service, NGOs, provincial bodies, local communities, South African National Defence Force and neighbouring countries
- A definitive shift from elephant poaching to rhino poaching was noticed:
- Elephant poaching more dangerous. Once the animal is down, the poachers have to remove the tusks and this increases the chance to be discovered due to the extended time spend at the carcass.
- Rhino’s are easier to shoot and not that dangerous (white rhino). The horns are removed very easily. It is easy to transport and there is a good market for rhino horn.
- Concerns of the anti-poaching section regarding the implementation of MIKE:
- Section rangers and field rangers are already involved with anti-poaching and this will place another burden on them.
- Vastness of park that makes it difficult to cover and complicates communication efforts.
- The importance of education was emphasised, especially educating the surrounding communities.
- The Kruger National Park has a Social Ecology division looking at education and building bridges between the communities and the Park.
- A limiting factor is that wildlife crime is not considered as a priority in the country, but legislation is in place and has to be used.
Law enforcement effort – Dr Malan Lindeque (CITES Secretariat)
- Monitoring of effort is lacking. Wildlife agencies are beginning to record their efforts, not only expenditure, but also other factors, like hours spent in the field.
- MIKE aims to understand the illegal killing as well as the social-economic and social-political situations effecting illegal killing. Inter-linkage between different factors has to be studied.
- A form has been developed, which can be used to monitor intelligence, but not developed enough to have a critical influence on MIKE reporting.
- Situation regarding intelligence reports in the different countries:
Mozambique: No intelligence reports
Zambia: Do have intelligence reports
Namibia: Do have intelligence reports, but reports are completed by personnel in different divisions, which might cause loss of data between the different divisions.
Botswana: Do have intelligence reports. However, the personnel gathering information do not work exclusively for wildlife, but work outside the park as well.
Zimbabwe: Do have intelligence reports, but the personnel involved is not based on the MIKE site.
South Africa: Do have intelligence reports.
This is not seen as a critical element of MIKE at this stage
Annual report – Ms Thea Carroll (South Africa)
Annual Report forms and instructions on how to complete the report were distributed to all delegates by Namibia.
The main concern about the completion of the annual report was the budget. Clarity is needed regarding the detail of what has to be reported. Dr Malan Lindeque offered to request the Technical Advisory Group to provide clarity.
- Confirmation regarding National Coordinators and MIKE Site Officers:
Namibia (Sub-regional coordinator)
National coordinator: Pauline Lindeque
MIKE site officer: Wilferd Versfeld
National coordinator: Isaac Theophilus
MIKE site officer: Thato Sejoe
National coordinator: Sanao Bonito
MIKE site officer: Diago Chande
National Coordinator: Francesca Chisangano
MIKE site officer: Moses Mukumbi
National coordinator: Edson Chidziya
MIKE site officer: Chewore: Evans Ritala
MIKE site officer: Nyami Nyami: Manuel Nebiri
National coordinator: Pieter Botha
MIKE site officer: Ken Maggs
- Every ground patrol and carcass report has to be computerised – as soon as possible
- Format has not been provided: Coordinators and sub-regional coordinator will meet in six weeks time to decide on format.
- Site officer should have access to computers with relevant software.
- Situation regarding software (Access):
Botswana: Do have Access. Requires training
Mozambique: Computerisation can only be done by the National coordinator in Maputo. No computers at site. Training required and forms have to be translated.
Namibia: Do have computers and Access. Requires training
South Africa: Do have computers and Access. Requires training
Zambia: Do have computers. Requires software and training
Zimbabwe: No computer on site. Processing at National coordinator. Requires software and training.
- Role of National coordinator:
- Some instances the National coordinator will be responsible to computerise the data (Zimbabwe and Mozambique)
- Monthly reports can be completed at all the sites, but computerisation can be done at National coordinator level.
- Monthly and Annual reports have to be submitted to the National coordinator.
- Monthly reports have to be submitted before the end of the next month.
- Annual reports will be send to the CITES Secretariat and the Sub-regional coordinator by the National coordinator.
- Ground Patrol Report forms and Elephant Carcass Report forms:
- Copies of these forms have to be kept at the sites and at the National coordinator’s office.
- All the information has to be computerised (database) as soon as possible.
- Role of Sub-regional coordinator:
- Data analysis
- Keep record of Sub-region’s Annual reports
- Completion of forms:
- The workshop agreed that the field staff is responsible for the completion of the Ground Patrol report and the Elephant Carcass report.
- The workshop agreed that the Site officer completes the Monthly report as well as the Annual report and forward that to the National coordinator
- The workshop agreed that the National coordinator is responsible for quality control and coordination.
- The National coordinator sends a copy of the Annual report to the CITES Secretariat as well as the Sub-regional coordinator.
- The CITES Secretariat will distribute it to the relevant Analysing Agent.
Data ownership and security:
The CITES Secretariat proposed the following protocol:
No other Party will be able to obtain any data on the MIKE site without the permission of the country in which the MIKE site is. The country, which developed the database, will have control over the data, which includes raw data as well as summarised and analysed data.
- The workshop proposed that a MIKE Steering Group be established. The MIKE Steering Group will consist of the National coordinators and Site officers of each country and they can communicate through electronic mail as well as teleconferences.
- Data analysis on a sub-regional level is important to countries. This will allow them to record trends in the sub-region.
- The workshop recommended the revival of the SADC Project
- Sites (excluding selected MIKE sites) which are considered for implementing MIKE:
Botswana: Tuli Block, Okavango (includes Chobe National Park) – The Chobe district should also be included, maybe as a separate site
Namibia: Salambala Conservancy & Torra Conservancy & Nyae Nyae Conservancy
South Africa: Marakele NP & Limpopo Valley NP & Pilanesberg NR & Madikwe & Tembe & Hluhluwe/Umfolozi and Songimvelo NR – should consider involving Timbavati and Sabie-Sabie.
Zambia: Lower Zambesi & North Luangwa National Park & Luambe NP & Kafue NP (North & South) & Siomo-Ngnezai (no aerial surveys in this reserve)
Zimbabwe: Hwange NP & Gonarhezou NP & Conservancies & Tuli (part which fall in Zimbabwe)
RECOMMENDATIONS MADE BY THE WORKSHOP:
Revise forms to suit southern Africa’s circumstances – Namibia has 10 days to amend the forms as recommended
Development of database – Namibia will develop database and make arrangements for a very short introduction course in Access.
Zambia has to be equipped with e-mail system
Establish a MIKE Steering Group (MSG) – MSG will consist of National Coordinators and MIKE Site Officers
A MSG meeting must be held in 6 weeks time
Zambia and Mozambique must be informed about the outcome of the MSG meeting if they are not able to attend due to financial constraints.
Countries must expand MIKE system to other sites
Nyae Nyae Conservancy
Marakele National Park
Limpopo Valley National Park
Pilanesberg Nature Reserve
Madikwe Nature Reserve
Tembe National Park
Umfolozi / Hluhluwe
Songimvelo Nature Reserve
Timabavati / Sabi Sand
North Luangwa National Park (Zambia)
Luambe National Park
Kafue National Park (North & South)
Siomo – Ngwezai
Hwange National Park
1 or 2 conservancies in Namibia
Tuli in Botswana
CONSTRAINTS EXPERIENCED BY COUNTRIES TO IMPLEMENT MIKE AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Chobe National Park (Botswana) – Last aerial survey: 1999
GPS for problem animal teams
Area of site – do they have to include surrounding area?
Money available for GPS and radios
The vehicle problem has to be addressed at national level
The possibility of purchasing of computers with funds from ivory sale are being investigated
Magoe (Cabora bassa) & Niassa Game reserve (Mozambique)
Communication within sites & to National Coordinator
Language barrier– different languages in different areas (no English)
No communication between countries with bordering sites
No appropriate communication system
Lost system of control for administration
Sites in remote areas
Lack of trained staff in Niassa Province
Workshops needed to build capacity for MIKE implementation
Workshop needed to build capacity in other areas
Training on Cybertracking / GPS
Forms and Instructions will be translated into relevant languages (CITES Secretariat will investigate possibilities)
MIKE Steering Group to improve communication – SADC projects
TFCA formation in progress
Mozambique looking for donor funding
SAPS radios – South Africa to follow up on availability of radios
Etosha (Namibia) – last aerial survey: September 2000
Issue will be addressed by Namibia
South Luangwa National Park (Zambia) – Every year an aerial survey is performed
No Internet / e-mail
Radio repeater is down
Need to improve liaison with other southern Africa countries
Roads are in bad condition
Access difficult due to river
Need more computers
Chewore National Park (Zimbabwe) – Last aerial survey: 1999
Need more computers
Inadequate GPS’s especially batteries
No e-mail / internet
Sites – no electricity or telephones
South Africa to provide information on rechargeable batteries (GPS with solar panel)
Kruger National Park (South Africa) – Aerial surveys performed every year