Protecting the Migration
There is no other place in the world that hosts a land-mammal migration as numerous as the Serengeti-Mara wildebeest migration…an inexplicable event until you experience it in person. This year the wildebeest flooded into Singita Grumeti on the afternoon of May 21st. Each year when they arrive the Grumeti Fund scouts lace up their boots, as security of this mass migration is paramount.
Grumeti is a crucial area for the preservation of the great migration. At the project’s inception in 2003 they stayed for approximately three weeks yet 13 years later, in 2016, there were high densities of wildebeest on the concession for up to 6 months. This transformation is almost exclusively due to sound conservation management practices like fire management and, most importantly, the dedication and hard work of the Grumeti Fund scout force.
To ensure that the migration population remains stable the Grumeti Fund anti-poaching team works day and night. This is particularly crucial during the full moon when poachers are more inclined to hunt. Poaching wildebeest happens every year all year throughout the migration’s course. In this area poachers set snares as well as hunt at night with dogs. The scouts work in conjunction with government scouts to protect the migration and all wildlife here from this devastating practice. The main aim is to stop poachers before they poach, but there are many instances when the team comes across a camp or a snare where damage has already been done.
From May 21st to June 21st the scouts successfully stopped 41 illegal incursions, 17 of which were poaching groups targeting wildebeest. During this time the scouts removed up to 70 snares, burnt over 100 kilograms of bush meat, found approximately 30 wildebeest caught in snares as well as two lions and two giraffes (when these life-threatening snaring instances occur and an animal can be saved, the Grumeti Fund collaborates with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) to de-snare and medicate these animals).
This type of work is tireless and the scouts work around the clock, at times coming into life threatening situations. Without their dedication and without the support of the rest of the Grumeti Fund and its generous donors, the protection of the great wildebeest migration, as well as the protection of elephants, lions, rhino, wild dogs, giraffe and the ecosystem in general, would be compromised. To this end we are extremely proud of the scouts, of the entire Grumeti Fund team and of the donors for their dedication to the protection of this iconic ecosystem.
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