Monitoring Illegal Killing of elephants (MIKE)

 

Monitoring Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE)

Central African Pilot Project


TECHNICAL REPORT No 3

MONITORING OF ELEPHANT POACHING, ANTI-POACHING EFFORT, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT IN CENTRAL AFRICA

John A. Hart and Kes H. Smith

October 2001

 

1. SUMMARY

Over the past decade of civil unrest the demand for bushmeat has emerged as the principle factor associated with illegal elephant killing in many areas of Central Africa. Anti-poaching operations, including mobile patrols checkpoints and the development of intelligence information, are the principal activities used to combat elephant poaching. Taken together, the monitoring of illegal wildlife use and associated anti-poaching activities is conveniently termed LEM, or Law Enforcement Monitoring.

LEM is a systematic approach to: measure the effort and coverage invested in anti-poaching activities, and to evaluate the results of anti-poaching patrols, wildlife product seizures and surveillance (including intelligence gathering) in relation to measures of the frequency and distribution of illegal activities within a defined area.

LEM programs should include information collected from two sources:

  1. Reports by anti-poaching teams of their activities (Directed Anti-poaching Activities).
  2. Independent information on poaching and the impact of protection using statistically appropriate sampling protocols.

These two objectives require different types of survey design. In the first case, data will be collected by guards who are on patrols or engaged in other anti-poaching activities. In the second case, unbiased surveys must collect data on some of the same variables, including indicators of illegal elephant killing.

We also recommend that MIKE programs include monitoring of human-elephant conflict. Elephant crop raiding appears to be linked to illegal elephant killing in some areas. Human-elephant conflict is a principal objective of elephant management in many sites.

The report provides an evaluation of the overall context of anti-poaching programs, at nine Central African protected areas. Constraints affecting the development and deployment of LEM programs in the sub-region are presented.

Standardized LEM data must include measures of protection effort, and area coverage of protection, encounter rates with illegal activities and reports of anti-poaching actions taken and results of these actions. This data can be collected in a variety of ways compatible with site-specific conditions and operating procedures. The report provides some suggested protocols. A standardized reporting to CITES is recommended..

Between January and July 2001, the MIKE Pilot Project gathered information to evaluate and recommend design of an LEM program. Final products include:

  • Field protocols and data collection forms covering mobile patrols, check-points and intelligence.
  • An LEM Training program
  • Development of LEM programs at selected sites
  • Electronic LEM reporting form for CITES (Excel spread sheet).

Recommendations for further evolution of LEM programs for MIKE are provided.

 

Acknowledgements

We would particularly like to acknowledge USFWS and WCS for the financial support for the pilot project. The development of the LEM module benefited from input from a number of colleagues. We would especially like to thank Dr. Holly Dublin, Rene Beyers and Richard Ruggiero for their suggestions and critique. The WWF Southeast Cameroun Programme generously supported the Pilot Project LEM training at Lac Lobeke, and provided us with model check-point data collection protocol.

 

2. INTRODUCTION

Over the past two decades, Two factors have had a major impact on rates of illegal elephant killing (Cobb, 1989; Jachmann 1998):

  1. The price of raw ivory that a hunter can expect to obtain.
  2. The effectiveness of elephant protection.

High ivory prices lead to increased illegal killing. Effective protection decreases or restricts illegal killing.

In Central Africa, the demand for bushmeat, including elephant meat ,has been growing for over a decade. Although bushmeat is not as valuable as ivory on a unit measure basis, the large volume of meat available on an elephant means that the total value of the elephant is high. In some cases, the total value of the meat surpasses the total value of the ivory, especially when the animals have only small-tusks. Thus the economics of supply and demand of bushmeat, like that of ivory, drive illegal elephant killing in the subregion.

In monitoring illegal killing of elephants, it is important to also monitor the price, and the supply and demand of ivory and bushmeat, as well as the effectiveness of elephant protection.. Ivory prices are principally obtained by, ETIS. There is no comparable structure for tracking price and availability of elephant bushmeat.

Elephant protection, including anti-poaching effort and the effectiveness of anti-poaching activities, will be monitored at the field level by MIKE. Taken together, the monitoring of illegal wildlife use and associated anti-poaching activities is conveniently termed LEM, or Law Enforcement Monitoring.

More formally, for the MIKE program, LEM is a systematic approach to: measure the effort and coverage invested in anti-poaching activities, and to evaluate the results of anti-poaching patrols, wildlife product seizures and surveillance (including intelligence gathering) in relation to measures of the frequency and distribution of illegal activities within a defined area.

"Protection" can encompass a number of different inputs, and the relative importance of these vary from site to site as a function of the political context of wildlife management, and the economic resources available to it. ANNEX 1 provides an overview of various forms of protection utilized across the sub-region. While many interacting factors contribute to the effectiveness of protection, we recommend that the MIKE program focus at the outset on monitoring active anti-poaching programs in the field.

LEM data for MIKE will come from two principle sources:

  1. the monitoring of anti-poaching activities conducted by park guards or other wildlife protection units (mobile patrols, etc.)
  2. The monitoring of indicators of illegal activity and anti-poaching activity by independent MIKE survey teams.

The approach taken in this analysis is that both these approaches to LEM data are necessary, in order to interpret observed trends in illegal elephant killing.

Between January and July 2001, the MIKE Pilot Project gathered information to evaluate and recommend design of an LEM program. The primary questions we hoped to resolve included the following:

  • What is the status of LEM in central Africa in general, and in particular, as this relates to illegal elephant killing?
  • What are the available sources of data on illegal elephant killing and protection, and how can this data be collected?
  • How can unbiased information on illegal killing be developed and evaluated in relation to monitoring of directed anti-poaching activities and in particular in utilizing data collected on independent inventories of elephant distribution and abundance?

An additional question was originally considered, but is not considered here:

  • How can factors other than protection that also affect illegal killing be identified and monitored?

2.1 LEM Context for MIKE

The overall goals of the MIKE program are to support improvements in the management and conservation of elephants across their range, in particular as this relates to use of information. A system of LEM, in coordination with a biodiversity monitoring program, is a potentially important tool to measure the relative effectiveness of conservation investment at a given site. LEM data can be used by protected area managers, and collaborating projects to better inform management decisions and prepare donor proposals. We assume this will be an overall objective of any LEM program initiated by MIKE.

We assume that MIKE requirements for LEM are likely to be a subset of the same information required by the institutions responsible for management at sites where anti-poaching monitoring is in place. Thus one objective of MIKE pilot was to aid protected area managers and NGO partners in developing appropriate site-based LEM programs.

For MIKE the primary objectives of LEM are to provide standard and quantified information on illegal elephant killing, and on the effort, spatial distribution and relative effectiveness of elephant protection in MIKE survey zones. We also recommend that MIKE programs include monitoring of human-elephant conflict. Based on observations made during the pilot project, human-elephant conflict is correlated with incidences of illegal elephant killing. In addition, human-elephant conflict is a principal objectives of elephant management in many areas. We provide some guidelines for monitoring human-elephant conflict in this report, but recommend this be developed in collaboration with the African Elephant Specialist Group (AFESG).

In developing LEM protocols during the pilot project, we assumed that the MIKE program will use LEM data for the following analyses:

  • LEM will be one source to determine rates of illegal elephant killing.
  • LEM will be used to characterize the environment for elephants at each of the survey sites
  • LEM will be used as a co-variant in modeling elephant distribution and abundance.

2.2 Objectives of This Report

The objectives of this report are to:

  1. Provide an overview of the rational for LEM and the approach to LEM by the MIKE Pilot Project..
  2. Present the results of the MIKE Pilot Project including
  • An assessment of existing LEM data in the sub-region.
  • The design of LEM data collection for the region
  • Draft field, patrol and MIKE reporting forms
  1. Recommendations for the further development of LEM in the sub-region.

A preliminary spatial analysis using LEM data from Odzala National Park is also presented in Technical Report No 4.

Observations relating to training for LEM, and specifically guard patrol secretaries, will also be presented.

3. RATIONALE AND PRINCIPLES OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT MONITORING. PROGRAM

3.1 Patrol-based versus Survey-based LEM

LEM programs should include information collected from two sources:

  1. Reports by anti-poaching teams of their activities (Directed Anti-poaching Activities).
  2. Independent monitoring of both poaching and the impact of protection using statistically appropriate sampling protocols.

These two objectives require different types of survey design. In the first case, data will be collected by guards who are on patrols or engaged in other anti-poaching activities. In the second case, unbiased surveys must collect data on some of the same variables, including indicators of illegal elephant killing.

Reports developed from anti-poaching patrols and other directed protection activities provide (or should provide, if the guards are truly effective) biased surveys of the occurrence of illegal activities, and the effects of anti-poaching actions. This is because anti-poaching patrols should be developed to efficiently locate illegal activities and effectively control these.

Independent surveys are necessary to provide an unbiased assessment of the occurrence of poaching and to evaluate the effectiveness of the patrols. The two sources of LEM data are evaluated in relation to each other to infer conclusions about trends in poaching, and on the relative effectiveness of patrols. This is illustrated in FIGURE 1.

 

FIGURE 1. Possible interpretations of trends in a recorded index of poaching and an evaluation of anti-poaching effectiveness based on comparisons of patrol reports and unbiased LEM surveys covering the same area.

 

   

INDEPENDENT, UNBIASED SURVEYS
Trends in poaching index

   

Increasing

Decreasing

DIRECTED ANTI-POACHING ACTIVITIES (Patrol Reports)
: Trends in poaching index

Increasing

Interpretation: Increasing poaching

Interpretation: Effective anti-poaching program

Decreasing

Interpretation: Ineffective
anti-poaching program (poor coverage, etc).

Interpretation: Decreasing poaching

 

3.2 Constraints on Developing LEM Programs in Central Africa

A number of factors have traditionally constrained the LEM programs in Central Africa. In addition specific problems emerged in the development of LEM in the MIKE pilot project. These issues include:

Uncertain application and applicability of wildlife law in the region. Although most Central African countries have some form of legal code or statutes constraining wildlife use, these are not always consistently applied. Thus there is a limited legal and management context for LEM, and limited motivation to develop these. There will be a clear motivation for LEM as the requirements to apply wildlife laws become stricter and more consistent, and / or as donors and administrations require better documentation about investments in protection.

Sensitive information. Where wildlife laws are applied, these often implicate sensitive information or they broach issues which authorities, including protected area managers, may be reluctant to expose. These include reports reflecting on the behavior of guards involved in repressive activities. There is also special concern for information derived from intelligence sources, especially when there are political or military implications. A clear understanding concerning these issues should be reached with all authorities concerned, before an LEM program is put in place. The pilot project emphasized that LEM did not entail monitoring the content of intelligence reports, but rather a monitoring of how important intelligence was as an anti-poaching strategy. Nevertheless, it may not be possible to have access to all desired information, such as the results of some repressive patrols, or full disclosure when the complicity of local authorities in illegal elephant killing may be involved.

Park guards are not researchers. LEM reporting by park guards or other wildlife enforcement officers, must be compatible with their job of policing and applying the law. LEM data collection can not interfere with this. This is especially important if guards may be involved in potentially dangerous encounters with poachers. Most park guards have neither the training or personal orientation of researchers (though many have an intimate knowledge of the landscapes in which they work, the wildlife living there, and the threats to it.) Thus guards can not be expected to provide the same kind of data as researchers. Nevertheless, all protected area managers contacted during the pilot project recognized the value of having anti-poaching units provide some data on their activities. LEM reporting requirements for anti-poaching units should be tailored to the needs of each site. Data collection should be limited to a minimum on patrols. Additional information can be added to patrol reports by timely and effective debriefing (see below).

Carcass finds are rare. Surveys of poached elephant carcasses provide direct evidence of illegal killing and have been used in a number of surveys, especially in savannas (Jachmann 1998). In tropical forests; however, carcass encounter rates are low. This was reported during the initial Lac Lobeke site evaluation exercise (see below), and during the pilot project. Only four carcasses were recorded during the entire pilot project surveys (three sites, over 400 km of transect). Although carcasses are difficult to see in tropical forests, a major reason that they are not found is that poaching elephants for bushmeat rather than just for ivory, is frequent in the forest. Carcasses are thus butchered and removed. During the pilot project no elephant was reported killed only for ivory.

Uncertain Indices. There is often an uncertain association between many signs of human activity (legal or not) observed on patrols and surveys in the forest, and illegal elephant killing. For example, poachers leave sign of their passage, such as machete cuts along tracks in the forest, that can be identical with sign left by people involved in non-poaching activities. Even when more direct evidence of poaching is found, such as poacher camps, it may not always be possible to determine that these were made by elephant poachers. In the pilot project an effort was made to develop protocols that distinguished between direct and certain evidence of illegal elephant killing and sign that could be evidence of illegal elephant killing, but where there was no certainty of this.

Limited analytical framework. During the pilot project the primary objective was to develop summary statistics for LEM, with an emphasis on mapping of results on site base maps. A preliminary spatial model of elephant distribution in Odzala National Park and vicinity indicated that protection was the most important factors or co-variate determining distribution and abundance of elephant populations even within s single site. This analysis is provided in Technical Report No 4. We recommend that this approach be further developed, and that further analytical framework for LEM analysis be developed (See also Jachmann 1998).

Other Issues. The Pilot Project limited LEM to immediate, site specific indicators of illegal activity and results of anti-poaching activities. No attempt was made to follow the results of arrested poachers through the legal system, or the fate of seized ivory, elephant meat or arms and ammunition. This may need to be reconsidered in later stages of MIKE. A number of sites reported that arms confiscated by patrols and turned in to authorities sometimes "re-circulated" and were reported to be back in use in the same areas where they were originally taken. In addition, some sites reported that arrested poachers were sometimes released without prosecution, and returned to poaching.

 

4. RESULTS OF THE PILOT PROJECT

During the Pilot Project the following activities were undertaken:

  • LEM Training
  • Evaluation of Existing LEM in Central African Protected Areas.
  • Development of LEM Field Protocols and Data Collection Forms
  • Development of to LEM Programs at Selected Sites.

Each of these activities is described in further detail below, with supporting documentation in Annex.

4.1 LEM Training

Training took place in May 2000, at Lac Lobeke Cameroon. Trainers were John Hart And Kes Smith. The training was attended by 22 trainees including national MIKE officers from five Central African countries, collaborating NGO site partners, and protected area wardens.

The objectives of the training course were to:

  • Introduce basic concepts of LEM: including measures of protection effort, monitoring of illegal activities and the results of anti-poaching programs.
  • Present LEM protocols for Central African MIKE sites.
  • Test protocols with field exercises.
  • Provide a framework for training for patrol secretaries for recording of LEM data on guard patrols.

A summary of the training program contents is provided in Annex 3.

4.2. Evaluation of Existing LEM in Central African Protected Areas.

During the Lac Lobeke training, representatives of each of the participating protected areas provided an overview of anti-poaching and elephant protection on site, as well as information on current LEM as a point of departure for the MIKE program. The purpose of this review was not to provide a full scale evaluation of anti-poaching program at any site, but rather to provide a preliminary assessment of existing LEM programs in order to better orient the intervention of the MIKE program. The case study report was followed up by site visits and specific projects in selected cases. The results of the case studies are summarized in TABLES 1 and 2 below. The results of the evaluation include the following:

  • Central African parks and reserves have a low level of coverage by mobile patrols. The protected areas represented in this sample are primarily forest habitats except for Garamba National Park. Most of these are large sites (covering more than 5000 km2). , and are actively supported by international conservation NGOs, bilateral aid, etc. Despite this support, ratios of park guard to protected area are low (FIGURE 2). Even for sites with higher numbers of guards, logistics and political insecurity constrain deployment only a small proportion (average < 25 %) of most sites benefit from active protection by mobile guard patrols (FIGURE 3). At one of the best protected site (Odzala) mobile guard teams cover less than half of the area. Only two sites reported use of aerial support in anti-poaching. Based on informal contacts with administration representatives, protected areas that are not supported by international aid mange almost no mobile patrols or active anti-poaching activities in most cases. About half of the sites reported use of check points, but it is unclear what area coverage within the site that these represent. In Gabon and Cameroon, armed patrols are not even authorized. Thus, LEM must move beyond conventional monitoring of mobile patrols if it is to provide data on illegal elephant killing in most sites.

        

  • Elephant poaching is widespread but under-reported. Elephant poaching was reported at all but two sites, and likely occurred even at these sites. Only three sites, Garamba, Odzala and Southeast Cameroon provided estimates of illegally killed elephants. At Odzala 22 elephants were known to have been killed over a 36 month period, 1997 – 1999 (based on estimated 30 % coverage of park area). In Southeast Cameroon, WWF staff estimated 130 –140 elephants killed over 6 month period spanning 1999 - 2000. No estimates could be given for the areal coverage of the estimate. At Garamba, consistent reporting of poaching information has been produced over a number of years. Odzala and Garamba were the only sites for which LEM data were produced for the Lac Lobeke exercise. Notably, few site representatives appreciated the importance of evaluating reports of poaching and other illegal activites in relation to measures of anti-poaching effort, including the areal coverage of mobile patrols.

The lack of data presented in these case studies should not be interpreted as an indicator of lack of information on illegal elephant killing. In almost all cases site representatives affirmed that information on elephant poaching was known, and in some cases actually recorded. However few sites invested in analyzing or summarizing this data. MIKE must make a major investment not just in data acquisition, but also in data management and transmission.

  • Much information on elephant poaching comes from indirect indicators and from intelligence. Most sites reported that mobile patrols had only infrequent direct encounters with poachers, and that discovery of poached carcasses was rare in the forest. Most information on illegal elephant killing came from encounters with indirect sign of poaching, including poacher camps and trails, of carcasses, and from information made available through contacts and informants. Lac Lobeke participants reported that informant sources, termed here "intelligence" was directly linked to the majority of confiscations and arrests in most forest sites, and that at many sites, informants were being paid to provide this information. At sites where research teams were active in the field, these were also reported to be an important source of information on poaching and other illegal activities in the site. Both biological as well as socio-economic research provided LEM information. The MIKE program should give significant consideration to monitoring the use of intelligence information at all sites. The potential to use data on poaching from independent research programs should be considered as an independent evaluation of LEM trends developed from patrols and other anti-poaching activities.
  • Human–elephant conflict is an important issue for MIKE. Elephant crop raiding was reported as an important problem at six of the nine sites surveyed in the case studies. In all these cases, site representatives suggested that human elephant conflict was a major and generally unresolved management issue. Some sites suggested that human-elephant conflict also favored poaching, but the linkage there was not specified. No site representative provided any concrete monitoring data to support their observations. MIKE should invest some effort in monitoring human-elephant conflict, and identify to what extent it is linked to illegal elephant killing.
  • Private sector engagement is significant in some anti-poaching programs.

Two sites, the Nouable Ndoki buffer zones, and the Southeast Cameroon Program reported significant private sector engagement, in anti-poaching activities. This included an international forestry company in Congo, and safari hunting companies in Cameroon. In Cameroon, not all safari hunters were equally collaborative, or effective. In addition, the motives (and inputs) of the forestry and safari companies differed. Safari hunters were particular concerned to protect their concessions from illegal killing. The Congo forestry company wanted to ensure that its operations could be certified as not having a negative impact on wildlife. Both private sector groups worked with the national administration at the site, and were supported in their programs by site-based NGOs. It is likely that both sectors, and other private companies including transportation groups, and mining operations will become active participants , and even major players, in anti-poaching programs. This development should be foreseen by the MIKE program as an important means to reinforce site-based capacity and training, and as an important source of information on illegal killing of elephants.

 

4.3. Development of LEM Field Protocols and Data Collection Forms

Field protocols and data collection forms for LEM data where prepared and field tested. Draft forms are included in Annex 4, and Discussed below.

 

TABLE 1. MIKE Pilot Project Summary of LEM case studies (May 2000)

Part 1. Site characteristics and LEM Context

Site, Country

Area
(km2)

Elephant
poaching

Elephant
crop raid

Types of Protection

Information
sources

Pilot Project Activities

Site Partners


Okapi Wildlife Reserve, DR Congo


13700


present


present

Armed patrols

Check Point

Researchers
Intelligence

Patrols

LEM summary, patrol secretary training


NGO s


Garamba Ntl Park,

DR Congo


12000


present


present

Aerial patrols
Armed patrols


Patrols
Intelligence


NGOs


Nouabale Ndoki Ntl Park, Congo


3866


no report

present

Aerial patrols
Armed patrols

Researchers Patrols
Intelligence

Patrol secretary training


NGOs


Nouabale Ndoki / Zones Peripheriques, Congo,


11500


present


no report

Check Points

Unarmed patrols

Patrols
Intelligence

Patrol secretary training

NGO,
Private sector (forestry)


Odzala Ntl Park, Congo


13500


present


present

Armed patrols
Check Point

Patrols

Intelligence

Patrol secretary training

LEM summary


Bilateral


Minkebe Proposed Reserve, Gabon


10000


present


no report


Unarmed patrols

Researchers
? Intelligence


NGO


Lope Proposed Natl Park, Gabon


5360


no report


no report


Unarmed patrols


? Intelligence


Bilateral

SE Cameroon Complex, Cameroon


23000


present


present

Check Points
Unarmed Patrols
Safari guides

Researchers
Patrols
Intelligence

LEM summary

Guard training

NGO,
Private sector
(safari hunting)

Dzanga Sangha Ntl Park, CAR


4580


present


present

Armed patrols
Check points

Intelligence

Patrols
Researchers

LEM summary, patrol secretary training

NGO

 

TABLE 2. MIKE Pilot Project Summary of LEM case studies (May 2000): Part 2. LEM data



Site, Country



Guards



Arms

Anti-poaching Coverage
(% area)

Measures of Anti-poaching Effort

Encounter rates illegal activities


Anti-poaching Actions

Primary Indicators

Secondary
Indicators


Direct


Indirect


Okapi Wildlife Reserve, DR Congo


60


23


30


no report

Poachers, Arms,
ivory, meat

Camps, snares, passage

Arrests, Confiscations

Destruction snares, camps


Garamba Ntl Park,

DR Congo


93


50


45


patrol days

Poachers, Arms,

Carcasses
ivory, meat


Camps, fires,

Arrests, Confiscations

Destruction snares, camps


Nouabale Ndoki Ntl Park, Congo


15


8


30


no report

Poachers, Arms
ivory, meat

Camps, snares, passage

Arrests, Confiscations

Destruction snares, camps


Nouabale Ndoki / Zones Peripheriques, Congo,


15


14


25


no report

Poachers, Arms
ivory, meat

Camps, snares, passage

Arrests, Confiscations

Destruction snares, camps


Odzala Ntl Park, Congo


40


No report


30


patrol days

Poachers, Arms,

Carcasses ; ivory, meat

Camps, snares, passage

Arrests, Confiscations

Destruction snares, camps


Minkebe Proposed Reserve, Gabon


18


0


15


no report


ivory, meat


no report


no report


no report


Lope Proposed Natl Park, Gabon


7


3


10


no report


ivory, meat


no report


Confiscations


no report

SE Cameroon Complex, Cameroon


20


0


10


check point
patrol days

Poachers, Arms,
ivory, meat

Camps, snares, passage


Confiscations

Destruction snares, camps


Dzanga Sangha Ntl Park, CAR


26


12


33


no report

Poachers, Arms,
ivory, meat

Camps, snares, passage

Arrests, Confiscations

Destruction snares, camps

4.4. Support to LEM Programs at Selected Sites.

Based on the Case study results, the pilot program undertook an LEM development program at four sites. This included the following activities:

  • Patrol Secretary training
  • Site Evaluations:
  • Methods development and field testing.
  • Following the training course, LEM site visits were conducted in Dzanga Sangha, Ituri (Okapi Wildlife Reserve), and SE Cameroon.

 

5. SOURCES OF LEM DATA DEVELOPED IN THE PILOT PROJECT

The Pilot project developed protocols for LEM data collection for both Directed Anti-Poaching Activities, and for Independent Surveys. The LEM protocols are divided in terms of the type of information provided. These are 1) information from direct observations and measurements, such as reports from mobile patrols, in the case of Directed Anti-poaching Activities, or data on poaching sign encounter rates in the case of Independent Surveys, and 2) Information from informant reports including intelligence reports, in the case of . Directed Anti-poaching Activities, or systematic village surveys in the case of Independent Surveys.

This organization of LEM is summarized in TABLE 3 below. Further explanations and protocols are developed in the sections that follow.

5.1. Directed Anti-poaching Activities: Variables

Anti-poaching activities that will be considered here include:

  • mobile guard patrols
  • road blocks
  • intelligence gathering.

These are the main activities that occur in Central Africa at present, and while other activities occur (seizures at border posts, etc.), these are mainly not dependent upon protected area based conservation units that were the focus of the pilot project.

Monitoring of anti- poaching activities will gather data on three principal variables

  1. Protection Effortdeployed in anti-poaching activities and elephant protection
  2. Indicators of Illegal Activity in particular elephant poaching recorded during patrols and by intelligence information.
  3. Results and Actions takenby anti-poaching units as a result of this information.

 

TABLE 3. Sources of LEM Data.

Survey Design

Monitoring of Directed Anti-poaching Activities

Independent Surveys of Illegal Activities and Patrol Results

Data Source

Measures of Protection effort

Indicators of Illegal killing

Actions and results

Data Source

Measures of Protection effort

Indicators of illegal killing

Actions and results

Guard Patrols

Check points, etc.

-- Coverage

-- Personnel

-- Time

-- Resources

-- Carcasses
-- Poacher
encounters
-- Indirect
indicators of
poaching

-- Seizures
-- Arrests,
-- Destruction of snares, camps, etc.

Field surveys (RecceTransect etc)


Not applicable

-- Encounter rates of direct and indirect indicators of poaching


Not applicable

Directed Intelligence

-- Coverage

-- Personnel

-- Time

-- Resources

-- Reports of
illegal killing

--- Reports of illegal arms

-- Seizures
-- Arrests,

Village Interviews

-- Reported contacts made by anti-poaching units.

-- Reports of illegal killing

Elephant conflict

-- Reported seizures or arrests made by anti-poaching units

 

 

5.1.1. Measures of Protection Effort

The pilot project developed three direct measures of protection effort, and one indirect measure.

Three variables will be used to calculate direct measures of protection effort:

  1. Coverage: This includes the geographic distribution of anti-poaching patrols and the locations of anti-poaching infrastructure (Patrol posts, checkpoints, etc.), location of intelligence sources. .
  2. Personnel: This is determined by the number of men and patrols deployed on the ground or the number of manned barriers, number of individuals providing intelligence.
  3. Time: This is defined by the number of days that patrols are active in the field, checkpoints are manned, or the period over which intelligence is actively sought.

For mobile patrols, the unit measure of patrol effort will be the Patrol-Day which is the sum of days that each patrol is active in a given month. For example:


Month: January 2000
Number of patrols: three
Duration of patrols of 10 days, 15 days and 22 days
Total Patrol-Days: 10+15+22 = 47 Patrol-Days for the month.

The unit measure of effort for checkpoints will be the check point day which is the number of days a given checkpoint is manned and controls in effect.

The unit intelligence effort is the informant report, which is the number of informants solicited or otherwise that present a report of an illegal activity.

In all cases effort is calculated on a unit time and geographic coverage basis (patrol days / park sector / month, informant reports / park area / trimester, etc.).

Annual resources utilized for anti-poaching activities (including funds and other material available to patrols) and descriptions and mapping of infrastructure available for protection, including locations and manned patrol posts are indirect measures of anti-poaching effort. Financial input can be used as a broad indirect indicator between sites and will be part of the baseline information established for each site.

5.1.2. Indicators of Illegal Activity

Since direct observation of elephant poaching (carcasses and encounters with armed poachers) can be rare, especially for foot patrols in the forest, other evidence or signs directly or indirectly associated with elephant poaching will also be recorded. These will include the following:

  1. Primary indicators: Evidence directly linked to or highly probably linked to elephant killing. These include poaching camps with large meat racks heavy caliber gunshots heard, poachers seen, poached elephant carcasses recorded, elephant traps recorded (pitfall, elephant snares).
  2. Secondary indicators: Sign secondarily, or only or possibly related to illegal elephant killing. These include recent paths, carcasses of poached animals other than elephants, snares for other fauna, gold or mineral extraction camps, sign of forest product exploitation (including fishing)

All records of elephant kills that become known to the MIKE Site Officer whether on patrols or not, should be recorded.

5.1.3. Results and Actions Taken

The results of law enforcement (anti-poaching) as related to illegal elephant killing will include

  1. Primary results: Arrests of or encounters with elephant poachers, seizures of large caliber weapons, and ivory; destruction of elephant poaching camps.
  2. Secondary results: Arrests, encounters and seizures relating to illegal activities other than elephant poaching, destruction of snares and illegal hunting or mining camps, arrests of seizures related to illegal activities other than elephant killing.

5.2. Directed Anti-poaching Activities: Data Collection Protocols and Field Forms

Complete and correct documentation of anti-poaching activities depends upon three inputs:

  1. Provide anti-poaching units with appropriate information gathering protocols.
  2. Train Patrol Secretaries to record patrol information.
  3. Follow up anti-poaching patrols with systematic and complete debriefing exercise.

The Pilot Project developed protocols and data collection forms to monitor the activities of mobile patrols, check points (barriers) and to monitor the use and impact of intelligence. These protocols and forms are presented in ANNEX 4, and include the following

  1. Patrol Authorization Form
  2. Daily Field Patrol Report and Field Maps
  3. Elephant Carcass and Ivory Report Form
  4. Debriefing and Field Patrol Summary.
  5. Check point control form
  6. Intelligence monitoring

Information on patrols will be collected in the field by designated Patrol Secretaries.

Guidelines for the selection and training of Patrol Secretaries are provided in ANNEX 5.

 

5.3. Independent Surveys of Illegal Activities and Patrol Results

The pilot project developed two primary sources of LEM data from unbiased, independent surveys:

  1. Encounter rates of elephant carcasses and indicators of illegal activity observed on recce transects, and
  2. Evidence of illegal elephant killing and related poacher activities from designed village interviews.

The village interviews in addition provide information on human elephant conflict.

The principles for the design of unbiased stratified surveys are treated in Technical Report 1 in reference to ground transect elephant inventories. These principles are also applicable to LEM, including recce transect inventories of indicators of illegal activities and village surveys which provide data on local informant knowledge of illegal elephant killing.

5.3.1. Recce transects

Ground transects will provide data on encounter rates of illegal activities, including poaching, based on encounters of primary and secondary indicators (see above).

Further details on recce transect surveys are developed in Technical Reports 1 and 2.

Recce transect data on encounter rates of illegal activities will come in from all survey locations, not just those in protected areas. This is developed in detail in Report No 1, which lays out guidelines for large scale, unbiased survey design over large sampling blocs. Data on encounter rates of poaching sign and other illegal activity will be collected at each survey location. Report no 2 introduces the field protocols for this.

Baseed on this approach, LEM data collected on unbiased designs will be collected over a larger area than that covered by patrol-based reports. Thus the incorporation of LEM into the broader survey design will be important in providing a more generalized picture of elephant poaching and illegal activities than would be available by focusing on the area covered by anti-poaching activities alone.

5.3.2 Village Interviews and Enquêtes

A village interview form covering local information on elephants occurrence, illegal killing, and human-elephant conflict.

The village interview protocol is presented in ANNEX 6. The form was field tested in Southeast Cameroon, and in Ituri and received additional input from the WCS mega-transect project and Norbert Gami (ECOFAC) in northern Congo.

During the pilot project, the village interviews were conducted by MIKE teams or other independent survey units (not park guards). These field tests showed that with training in discrete interview techniques, even sensitive information on local knowledge of elephant poaching can be become available.

Information gathered from village interviews will serve several objectives for the MIKE monitoring program:

  • Local knowledge of elephant distribution will assist in efficient survey design, in particular in determining updated elephant range information and in stratifying survey effort (see Technical Report No 1)
  • Information provided by local sources on elephant poaching can be compared to the geographic distribution of intelligence data provided to anti-poaching units, and thus can be used to evaluate the importance and efficiency of intelligence in an anti-poaching program. For example, if independent village surveys reveal widespread knowledge of poacher operations, yet anti-poaching patrols report little use of intelligence, then it is possible to state that intelligence is poorly developed at the site, as opposed to alternative interpretations that intelligence is not available, or that no illegal killing is occurring.
  • Information on elephant crop raiding, coupled with data on elephant poaching can be used to evaluate the role of human elephant conflict in illegal elephant killing.

The sampling plan for village surveys should be design unbiased, as in the recce-transects (See Technical Report No 1). The same basic design principles used in line transect placement can be used for the selection of a sample of villages for interviews. For the village surveys we recommend the following aids in developing an unbiased sample of village interviews:

  • A sample of villages can be selected based on a grid division of the survey zone, with grids containing villages selected on a systematic basis, and villages within these grids selected either randomly or systematically.
  • For areas with few villages, or for a survey covering a restricted area, a random or systematic selection of villages can be made from the total number of villages represented.
  • Stratification of village surveys can be done on basis of population size, ethnic composition, proximity to protected areas, etc. See Report 1 for stratification guidelines.

 

5.4 Data Summary and Reporting.

The information from patrols will be summarized by MIKE staff in collaboration with Protected Areas staff. Results will be consolidated on a regular basis (monthly or trimester) and incorporated into site data bases. Guidelines for the development of site data bases are presented in Technical Report No 4.

The objectives of these summary reports are:

  1. To permit site data bases and base maps to be updated and the deployment of MIKE surveys evaluated on an regular basis.
  2. To provide collaborating protected area managers with information that will permit them to better utilize and manage anti-poaching resources.
  3. Ensure proper reporting of LEM data to CITES

Patrol, Checkpoint and Intelligence data will be will be reported to CITES on LEM report forms which are included in annex to the Trimester Site report. The trimester site report is presented in Technical Report 4.

Reporting of LEM data for CITES will be provided on excel spread sheets. Draft electronic spreadsheets were prepared during the pilot project Training 3. These were completed by national officers on a test basis. Copies of this spread sheet have been submitted earlier, and are available in electronic version.

6. GUIDELINES TO SETTING UP A MIKE LEM PROGRAM

Establishing a program for monitoring active anti-poaching activities is best approached in a series of steps. A summary of the process, based on the pilot project experience follows:

  1. Past patrol reports. Summarize existing information. Determine what LEM parameters are currently being reported by patrols and what additional information is needed. Evaluate patrol reports and observations of elephants (direct observations, elephant clearing activity, and boulevards).
  2. Human elephant conflict. Evaluate existing information.
  3. Mapping. Using the site base map, produce a summary of geographic coverage by past patrols on an annual basis. Showing patrol post locations, patrol routes and providing summary annual statistics on patrol days, indicators and results. Map critical indicators (poacher camps significant human trails, poacher encounters) and major elephant features (bais, etc.).
  4. Bonus systems. Use existing bonus systems to develop LEM parameters. Financial reports and staff management systems (staff pay books) are especially useful. Protected areas that provide bonuses to guards for performing patrol duties (days on patrol, encounters with poachers , "accrochages") and/or performance on patrols (seizures, poacher arrests, snare retrieval) will already be collecting data on parameters that can be assembled into a basic LEM program.
  5. Intelligence information Use existing reports to evaluate use of intelligence in anti-poaching and summarize past intelligence reports in relation to MIKE LEM protocols.
  6. Patrol reporting procedures Suggest modifications of patrol procedures with PA managers and project staff. Modify MIKE patrol forms and protocols if necessary in order to harmonize with patrol reporting.
  7. Train patrol secretaries.
  8. Field test. Accompany patrols on the ground to evaluate secretaries and reporting procedures.

These steps do not include the use of unbiased survey LEM, but these inputs could be readily added to a local LEM system.

7. CONCLUSIONS AND GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS

A number of specific recommendations were made in the text sections above. General recommendations for an LEM system include the followings:

Base an overall assessment of anti-poaching program for a site on information derived from both anti-poaching activities such as guard patrols, and unbiased, designed survey data.

  1. In all cases, LEM data must provide measures of coverage and effort, indicators of illegal activity and the results of anti-poaching effort.
  2. Data collection forms and protocols should be simple and adapted to specific site needs. They should reflect the fact that most park guards are not trained researchers, and that LEM recording should not interfere with their work. Efficient debriefing is necessary following patrols. Data summary and reporting should be conducted by trained staff. MIKE reporting needs are likely to be a subset of site LEM needs.
  3. Standardization take place at two levels: 1) site and field forms should ensure that the required parameters above are collected ,and 2) reporting forms should be standardized for CITES needs.
  4. At present: LEM analysis include spatial modeling of the impact of protection. At a site level, cartographic presentation of LEM data will assist in anti-poaching management. A comparison of patrol-based and independent data will permit an evaluation of an LEM program.
  5. An effort should be made to have site-based LEM programs provide data that are compatible with national legal standards and process

8. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bell, R.H.V.

1986. Monitoring of illegal activity and law enforcement in African conservation areas. Pages 315-317 In R.H.V. Bell and E. McShane-Caluzi (Eds). Conservation and Wildlife Management in Africa. Peace Corps, Washington, DC.

Cobb, Steve.

1989. The Ivory Trade and the Future of the African Elephant. Ivory Trade Review Group. CITES and IDC, Oxford.

Jachmann H.

1998. Monitoring of Illegal Wildlife Use and Law Enforcement in African Savanna Rangelands. Wildlife Resource Monitoring Unit ECZ, Lusaka. Creda Communications, Johannesburg.

Leader-Williams, N, S.D. Albon and P.S.M. Berry.

1990. Illegal exploitation of black rhinoceros and elephant populations: patterns of decline, law enforcement and patrol effort in Luangwa Valley, Zambia. Journal of Applied Ecology 27: 1055-1087.

Leader-Williams, N and Milner-Gulland, E.J.

1993. Policies for the enforcement of wildlife laws: the balance between detection and penalties in Luangwa Valley, Zambia. Conservation Biology 7 (3): 611- 617.

Lewis, D.M., G.B. Kaweche, and A. Mwenya.

1990. Wildlife Conservation outside protected areas: lessons from an experiment in Zambia. Conservation Biology 4: 171-180.

 

LISTE OF ANNEXES

ANNEX 1 What Constitutes Wildlife Protection?

ANNEX 2. Principles of Measuring Effort and Results on Mobile Guard Patrols.

ANNEX 3: Pilot Project LEM Training Course Outline

ANNEX 4. Monitoring Anti-poaching Activities: Field Protocols and Data Collection Forms.

  • Patrol Authorization Form
  • Daily Field Patrol Report and Field Maps
  • Elephant Carcass and Ivory Report Form
  • Debriefing and Field Patrol Summary.
  • Check point control form
  • Intelligence monitoring

ANNEX 5. Selection and Training of Patrol Secretaries.

ANNEX6. Village Surveys for local knowledge of elephant presence, illegal elephant killing. and human-elephant conflict

ANNEX 7. MIKE Site report for mobile patrol, checkpoint and intelligence monitoring.