Wildlife Conservation News

Wildlife and our last remaining wild places are being destroyed because of human action or inaction and because of our own short –term greed.

Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa

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Category: Elephant Conservation

  1. Match funder for African Wildlife Foundation - deadline 20 December 2019

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    There’s a match funder going on until 20 December for the African Wildlife Foundation.  In other words, your gift will double if you donate by 20 December 2019.

    This could be a great gift for anyone who loves elephants, lions, giraffes, rhinos etc.

    The AWF protects nearly 40% of Africa’s elephants, and your gift can support their programmes to stop elephant poaching and ivory trafficking, for instance.

    The need to help is more urgent than ever:  if they haven't got enough threatening their survival through poachers and the demand for their skin and ivory, Africa's elephants are facing a devastating natural disaster. 200 elephants recently died due to a horrific drought in Zimbabwe.  Giraffes, hippos, rhinos, and other  species are at risk too. 

    Give now and make it a million to help African Wildlife 

    To double your impact, donate by 20 December 2019

    AWF can continue providing incentives to locals to prevent hunting cheetahs whose numbers have declined by 90% - there are about 9,000 left compared to the 100,000 in 1901.  

    Lion populations once stood at over 100,000 but there are now less than 25,000 of them AWF protects large carnivores and the communities that live near them.

    What does the African Wildlife Foundation do?

    The Foundation "provides conservation solutions that balance the needs of people and wildlife" and they do this by (and I quote from their website): 

    • Equipping wildlife rangers, deploying sniffer dogs, and training law enforcement officers to stop wildlife crime.
    • Enabling wildlife conservation-friendly community empowerment.
    • Enabling wildlife conservation-friendly community empowerment.
    • Building conservation partnerships and spreading awareness across the continent — and the world.
    • Applying research to our wildlife conservation strategies.

      Join the herd and donate to make it a million by 20 December 2019
      CLICK HERE to join the herd and donate to make it a million by 20 December 2019


  2. Sign the petition! Donald Trump, President of the United States: STOP Shooting Endangered Black Rhinos

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    All I can say about this petition is PLEASE READ IT, SIGN IT AND SHARE, SHARE, SHARE.

    How can anyone shoot animals for SPORT for goodness sake?  The organisers of the petition have asked people to share the text below this banner.

    STOP Shooting Endangered Black Rhinos

    I signed a petition on Action Network telling Donald Trump, President of the United States to STOP Shooting Endangered Black Rhinos.

    BACKGROUND The US government has issued a permit to US trophy hunter Chris D. Peyerk of Shelby Township, Michigan to shoot a Namibian black rhino for ‘sport’ and bring back its skin, skull and horn into the US.

    Black rhinos are critically endangered. Just 5,000 remain in the wild.

    It follows a case brought by trophy hunting lawyer John J Jackson, who runs an organisation called ‘Conservation Force’. Jackson is a former President of Safari Club International, the world’s largest trophy hunting group.

    ‘Conservation Force’ campaigns for hunters to bring home trophies of threatened species. It also lobbies for changes in the law to make it easier to hunt vulnerable species - including lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants and polar bears, as well as rhinos.

    It sued Delta airlines when they previously refused to carry a black rhino trophy. It also sued the state of New Jersey when it tried to stop hunting trophies of threatened species coming in through its air and sea ports.

    Jackson has been on at least 38 elephant hunts alone. His trophy room includes the heads and bodies of giraffes, zebras, bears, buffaloes, cougars, leopards, rhinos, lions, wolves, and numerous species of deer and antelope. Several large elephant tusks form the centrepiece of his collection.

    He has written the following about trophy hunting:

    “Nothing has been so consistently fulfilling to me as my hunting.

    “It has stirred an insatiable appetite for more. Without it I would somehow be incomplete.

    “I can plainly see the African lion that has leaped into the air the moment its head snaps backward and explodes with smoke from my bullet.”

    ‘Conservation Force’ has made a number of donations to IUCN and has secured positions on key IUCN committees. Despite not being a scientist, Jackson has been a member of IUCN’s Lions specialist group.

    IUCN, through it’s ‘Traffic’ initiative, lobbied CITES delegates to vote AGAINST the proposal to protect giraffes at the recent Geneva wildlife trade conference – as did Safari Club International. The Species Survival Network, an alliance of 80 conservation groups around the world, strongly supported the measure which was proposed by a number of African nations.

    The conference also voted to double the number of black rhinos that can be shot by trophy hunters for so-called 'sport'. John Jackson and other ‘Conservation Force’ lobbyists were present at the CITES conference.

    Join me and take action  

    These animals need our help and all our voices. 



  3. Help people help wildlife - elephants

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    Here’s a great way to get involved and to help reduce the conflict between elephants and people.

    Sponsor a bee hive!

    In fact, you can get your name – or theirs – on a beehive and help save elephants. 

    For a 29 year old called Moses who was deeply passionate about wildlife conservation and rescuing animals, determined that human-wildlife conflict was the most pressing problem in his home area of Tanzania.

    Elephants from nearby reserves were entering farmlands and causing considerable damanage, destroying crops. 

    A solution to the elephants destroying crops was to install 20 bee hive fences along a border next to the Arusha National Park.  

    Moses founded and sorted out a NGO (Alert for Endangered Wildlife Species or AFeWiS). 

    Placing bee hives strategically along the perimeters of farmland surprisingly keeps elephants at bay.  Elephants are afraid of bees, you see,

    Each beehive costs $50.

    Enter Nikela, run by Margrit and Russ. It’s a small US based non-profit organization. And its mission is to “to help people protecting nature, especially doing wildlife conservation.  Nikela helps those protecting and preserving endangered African wildlife species.”

    So far they have given over $40,000 to 22 projects in 8 countries in Africa. All to those protecting and preserving endangered African wildlife species, all funded by donations from people all around the world!

    Donate now to Nikela and help Moses help the elephants

    And they sent Moses $500 to get the bee hives off the ground. And there’s good news about the effectiveness of the project, with examples such as this one.

    Mr Baraka reported that over 50 elephants from a neighbouring reserve were entering his fields and destroying his food crops.

    Beehives were mounted – and the number of elephants rapidly dropped to 25.  Within 4 weeks, Mr Baraka was reporting that no elephants had come into his fields, saving his crops.  This means they will have food this season.

    More farmers are asking for beehive fences now and you can sponsor a beehive to be included in a fence.  In fact, you can also sponsor an entire fence – about 10 beehives make up an effective fence in most cases.

    Can Bees be the “Peacemakers” and solve human-wildlife conflicts with Elephants?

    You can dedicate your beehive in honour or in memory of someone.

    So go ahead, what are you waiting for? Remember, to note the exact spelling of the name you wish to see on the beehive, or beehives.

    Sponsor a Bee Hive here and you’ll help reduce conflict between people and elephants.   If you’re not sure, take a look at comments from donors – we can all make a difference 

    Sign up for Nikela’s newsletter


  4. Crackdown on poaching works for elephants and rhinos in Tanzania

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    There’s good news from Tanzania.   Elephant and rhino numbers have started to rebound after the government cracked down on organised criminal networks who were involved in industrial-scale poaching.  These networks were dismantled.

    You may have heard about a well-known Chinese businesswoman who smuggled the tusks of over 350 elephants to Asia.  The “Ivory Queen” got 15 years in prison as a result.

    A special task force was launched in 2016 to fight wildlife poaching.

    Elephant numbers had been 110,000 in 2009 but their numbers tumbled, with conservation groups blaming poaching.   Ivory turned into jewels and ornaments had caused poaching to surge, thanks to a demand from countries such as China and Vietnam.

    Tanzania Travel Guide from Lonely Planet


    Tanzania Travel Guide from Lonely Planet

    However, a presidential statement stated last week that elephant numbers have gone up to 43,330 in 2014 (according to the 2015 census) to over 60,000 at the moment. 

    Rhinos had gone up from only 15 to 167 in the last 4 years.  This number 15 is at variance with the CITES estimation of 133 in 2015.  Mind you, either way it means the number of rhinos has gone up.

    It just shows the damage poaching can do to wildlife numbers – and how that damage can be reversed, with real effort. 

    Tourism is the main source of hard currency for Tanzania. Wildlife safaris, Indian Ocean beaches and Mount Kilimanjaro are its most famous “attractions”.

    Revenues from it were up from $1.9 billion in 2015 to $2.5 billion in 2018.

    Tanzania has set aside 32% of its total land area for conservation projects.  I must say this doesn’t sound a very high percentage to me, given the amount of land wildlife used to have, but then if it’s for specific projects maybe that makes it better.

    Unfortunately, it’s dismissed criticism from environmentalists about a $3 billion hydropower dam project in the famous Selous Game Reserve – which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Still lots of room for improvement, then, Tanzania.


  5. New partnership to curb elephant poaching in Kenya

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    The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has partnered with the TUI Care Foundation to prevent the poaching of elephants and stop human-elephant conflict in the Tsavo conservation area in Kenya.

    TenBoma is IFAW’s innovative wildlife security initiative.  It means that government and community rangers are trained to better predict and respond to threats and protect the animals and local communities.

    In short, the tenBoma approach combines tradition – taking traditional knowledge from communities – with modernity – incorporating this knowledge into modern methods and technology.

    The Tsavo Conservation Area is home to nearly 13,000 elephants

    The support from the TUI Care Foundation has enabled IFAW to provide urgently needed equipment to community rangers.  This equipment includes items such as mobile devices, cameras and boots.  These items enable the rangers to gather information on potential threats to wildlife and people.

    Technology, systematic data processing systems and intelligence will enable the two organisations to implement the initiative.

    Rangers have communications and mobility equipment such as GPS, smartphones and radios so that they can respond more quickly and effectively to intercept poachers.   These also enable the rangers to get to areas where elephants are raiding crops and so coming into conflict with people.

    The Tsavo Conservation Area is one of Kenya's most visited tourism destinations.  IFAW say about 12,850 elephants live there, and amongst them are at least 11 of the world’s remaining big tuskers. 

    They are all facing a threat from poachers who want their ivory and from human-elephant conflict.

    Find out more