The Security of the conservancy is dependent on creating a delicate balance between community education and involvement, and a response force that can both anticipate and react to threats.
Due to the exponential surge in the demand for ivory and other animal products over the last 3 years, the threat to wildlife is greater than it has ever been. Official figures estimate that 25, 000 elephants get killed in Africa every year, some say in actuality this is more like 40, 000. Measures to counteract poaching must be proactive and robust enough to pose a serious deterrent to poachers who are increasingly heavily armed and well equipped. Surveillance, monitoring, information gathering and storing systems must be extensive, efficient and reliable. . The Laikipia Nature Conservancy is currently increasing its capacity to respond to these threats.
Our team of 40 rangers patrol the conservancy day and night. We are currently undergoing recruitment and training of another 20 rangers and we are looking to upgrade the equipment for the whole force. Our aim this year is to train and equip a Rapid Response force with a Sniffer Dog Team and an airplane and to increase the number of Observation posts. Sniffer Dogs have proved an invaluable deterrent to poachers for many large conservancies and parks. The Laikipia Nature Conservancy has also embarked on a law enforcement campaign, with the help of a lawyer and a law intern we are convening workshops with local judiciary and police to ensure that poachers and their collaborators are sentenced properly.