The Trust has three patrol teams around the mountain, successfully reducing poaching and forest destruction by removing traps and snares set for poaching and bushmeat, making arrests and apprehending those illegally in the forest logging hardwood or clear cutting to grow marijuana.
Our teams are regularly involved in fire-fighting with the help of KWS, KFS and local communities – fires that can wipe out acres of forest if not controlled. They risk their lives when involved with poachers or injured wildlife. None of our men are armed but are accompanied by KWS rangers. All of them deal with harsh terrain, high altitude and difficult weather conditions. They man their bases year round and carry out long patrols. Men like ours are the unsung heroes of conservation.
The Joint Wildlife Protection Team - JWPT
This team is made up of five men employed by the Mount Kenya Trust, and two or more armed Kenya Wildlife Service Rangers. The team is led by our Senior Community Wildlife Officer Edwin Kinyanjui who has been recognised by the Tusk Conservation Awards for his work. The team was set up to be a mobile rapid response team able to move quickly and spend time in different areas on the mountain, in response to reports of illegal activity.
The Horse Patrol Team
Patrolling on horseback gives a unique vantage point and the ability to cover greater distances. Our newest team is made up of five men and their ten hardy Ethiopian ponies. They are based at the top of Kisima farm on the boundary of the National Reserve giving them great access to monitor the forests and moorlands in the area.
The Marania Wildlife Guards
Initially set up in 1999 in the Marania area because there was a negligible security presence and rampant bush meat poaching, the Marania Guards helped to steadily increase wildlife numbers in the area. The team was initially made up of poachers given the opportunity to work for wildlife and other recruits have since joined the team. They continue to monitor the area and reduce illegal activity in the forest on a daily basis. Based on Marania Farm with quick access to Marania forest area and surrounds this team patrols the area and now works closely with the nearby KWS team, often combining forces on 3-4 day patrols where they cover greater distances.