Posts Tagged With: Africa

A Rhino Kind of Love

Lions are majestic
Elephants have a certain grace,
But I prefer the shorter pachyderms
with the stoic face.

Cheetahs are poetry in motion
Zebras-a fixture on the veldt,
But it’s the fur-lined “lily” ears
that make my heart melt.

Rhinos are gentle giants
self-assured & wrinkled with attitude,
there are none quite so impressive
both in crash or solitude.

From the tufted tail
to the tip of that impressive horn,
I pledge my loyalty
to Africa’s unicorn.

-Tisha Wardlow

 

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photo: Francoise Malby Anthony

Categories: Poetry & Art, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Miracle rhino gives birth (again)!

Thandi’s a mama (again)-watch the video

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First glimpses of mama and baby from Ranger Daniel @ Kariega.    

Read about Thandi’s Story and about her first baby, Thembi, It’s Official, Thandi’s a mum! 

Categories: Good News, Rhino Spotlight | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What are 8 billion tourists worth?

Money talks. It’s the basis for corruption and the decimation of wildlife. BUT it’s also paramount to protecting our animals and their wilderness.

YOUR tourism dollars and YOUR choice on spending them can make a difference.

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In 2015 PLOS Biology did a global study to try to calculate the value of ecotourism. They estimated that protected nature areas attract 8 billion visits per year. (That’s more than 1 visit per person on earth.)

Researchers then calculated how much 8 billion visits are worth and came up with $600 billion per year.

In Africa alone, it is estimated by 2030 some countries will see 134 million tourists. –United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Tourism stabilizes communities by providing jobs, protects the wildlife by making them the focus of these jobs, and of course provides an opportunity of a lifetime to the tourist.

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Dogs are changing the world for rhinos

One of our greatest passions at Fight for Rhinos is in helping canine anti-poaching units. Dogs are a huge game-changer in the poaching war!

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Rangers thoughts on ‘shoot-to-kill’

On average 2 rhinos and 96 elephants are slaughtered each day.
In the last ten years over 1,000 rangers have been killed.

Should there be a shoot-to-kill policy? Would it help? The controversy is widely debated.
But what do the rangers think?

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I spoke to several rangers to get their thoughts.

One ranger said,

“Most of the poachers are poor locals surrounding the wildlife reserves and they see the reserves as their source of income. What is needed is to empower people near the reserves economically, pass on scheme of goats, dairy cows, sending poor children to school… they will become role models to the community and people will begin to appreciates the importance of conserving animals.

We can shoot ten poachers a day, suppose they are all men- surely their families will suffer and later become poachers as means of survival. We shoot at poachers when our lives and that of our friends are in danger but shooting down any poacher it’s not solution.”

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Apprehended poacher in Garamba.

Another who works in a large reserve said,

“I don’t think it will help because we normally look for deep information & investigations on a suspect caught that may lead to their middlemen, bosses etc.”

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These Limpopo poachers were acquitted of rhino poaching in 2014, and just caught for rhino poaching again this month, in January.

But overall most of them were in favor of the policy.

“Keeping them alive sometimes does not help because the source of poaching is dealing with big people, often from government offices. So it’s a bit risky for the rangers who arrest them.”

“This thing of arrest, it throws us backwards to winning this war of poaching. The more that are arrested, the more they are replaced by new poachers.”

“In courts things turn ugly for most of our rangers who killed poachers due to poachers kingpins paying prosecutors money to let their associates off the hook. (If it were a policy, the government would support rangers without the extensive interrogation)

“Yes, yes, yes! They should be shot. Because the rhinos are killed, but also the rangers. I think it is the only way to win this war.”

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Cameroon park ranger Bruce Danny Ngongo was shot dead in a poacher confrontation this past December. photo: Cameroon Wildlife Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rhino Wrap up 2016

What a year! While rhino poaching persists, so does the war to stop it. This year thanks to the generosity and concern from all of you, we have managed to provide much needed help to the following:

Kruger Park APU

$2370.00 usd to human tracker training— We received a plea for help from a ranger who was part of a smaller APU in southern Kruger. They had been hit by the poaching of rhino in their area and felt they needed to be better equipped to prevent being hit again.

We were able to provide human tracker training where they learned more about early detection in suspicious human activity, (i.e. poaching camps, tracks, snares) apprehension of suspicious individuals,and gathering intelligence and evidence.

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Some of the APU involved in tracker training.

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre

$5500.00 usd to APU canine training–The centre specializes in cheetahs and various wildlife rehabilitation, but with the large number of rhinos being poached, there is a huge need for help rehabilitating the rhino orphans.

Having taken in several rhinos, the need for increased security includes initiating a canine unit for their APU. We started with Chloe, one of the APU dogs for the entire Kapama area (of which HESC is a part). From there, we were able to help with HESC’s own canine unit, including Zee and Bullet.

The training includes the advanced levels for all dogs, including a trainer from the Centre who will accompany them.

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Zee and Bullet @HESC

  Ol Pejeta Conservancy

$3000.00 usd to anti-poaching supplies— Home to the largest black rhino sanctuary in east Africa, as well as the last three Northern White Rhinos on the planet, security is probably THE most urgent need for Ol Pejeta. Everything from boots and tents to training and upgrades are needed to benefit the APUs. (More details to follow).

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OPC rangers take part in regular trainings to keep their skills sharp.

Thank you for fighting with us in this poaching war. Your donations are not taken lightly. For each amount given leads to action taken to protect rhinos and to keep rangers safe. Please continue to work with us, together we ARE making a difference!

Categories: Good News, Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

EVERY rhino counts

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The Future Rewards those who press on…

 We don’t put a lot of weight into labels, i.e. republican, democrat, etc; but into actions. What will an elected official DO to help or hinder our animals, our environment?
The actions of our current President included an almost total ban on ivory trade in the US, forming an US Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, and incorporating wildlife trafficking laws into the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership)enabling more enforceable laws on countries who heavily trade.
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President Obama issued the executive order to combat wildlife trafficking in 2013. photo: CITES

In fact under Obama, the US has  protected more endangered species due to recovery efforts than any other Administration in history.
 The new President elect’s agenda doesn’t seem to include much promise in the way of conservation efforts and the environment.
He has stated he would cut the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), saying the environment will be fine; and has surrounded himself with “a team advisers and financial supporters tied in with trophy hunting, puppy mills, factory farming, horse slaughter, and other abusive industries” (according to the Humane Society Legislative Fund President Michael Markarian)
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 We sincerely hope that Mr. Trump’s actions are not as harsh and negligent as his words; and that the US pledge to fight wildlife trafficking continues in the way of legislature, attitude and ambition.
But while we hope, we also continue to fight.
 The victories of the last few years have not only lifted our hopes and ambitions, but have given them a backbone. We can’t forget how much has been started. That momentum will continue to drive us forward, to fight for every inch, every yard of progress in the coming months and years.
Our mission remains the same, our momentary disappointment is giving way to determination. As President Obama once said ” The future rewards those who press on…” We have been and will continue to fight to secure a future for rhinos and wildlife.
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Photo: Chris Fischer

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Exclusive Rhino Ornaments

We’re pleased to offer our exclusive ornaments this year-made specifically for Fight for Rhinos; Black Rhino Mom & Baby

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Made of sustainable maple
Approximate dimensions: 4″ x 2 1/2″ x 3/16″
Text: Peace, Love & Rhinos
Fight for Rhinos

via Paypal: Only $13.50 usd plus shipping (ships to USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Denmark, Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands)
As always 100% of profits benefit our rhino conservation projects

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CITES Recap: the good, the bad and the ugly

The CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) 2008-2020 vision states
*they will be contributing to the conservation of wildlife as an integral part of the global ecosystem on which all life depends,
*as well as promoting transparency and wider involvement of civil society in the development of conservation policies and practices

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Are they following their vision?

Well, here’s a recap. The animals who reaped ‘benefits’ from increased protection are:

*Pangolins (trade was completely banned, and the most highly trafficked animals in the world were given highest protection status)

*African Gray Parrots (trade was completely outlawed)

*Sharks and Rays (Thirteen species of rays and Thresher and Silky sharks were given highest protection status)

In addition, proposals to grant legal trade in ivory and/or horn in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland were denied.

But the disheartening news was the denial of CITES to grant the highest level of protection to:

*Elephants 

*Rhinos 

*Lions 

An added issue for lions is the trade in captive bred lion parts remains legal. This perpetuates the Asian demand, and serves as an added incentive for South Africa to continue breeding farms. (Currently there are approximately 7,000 lions kept on 200 breeding farms throughout South Africa.)

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© Data from UNEP-WCMC

In theory wild lion parts are not legally traded. Yet, there is no way to tell the difference between a wild lion bone and a captive lion bone. If money is to be made, bones will likely be obtained. Like a fenced in yard with surrounded by only  three sides, protection for Africa’s lion is incomplete, and proves worrisome to an even  faster decline.

In the end, the negligence to protect one species casts a shadow over the decision to protect others. It also casts doubt on the credibility and intentions of our CITES delegates.

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President Zuma at CITES. South Africa has been accused of “selling out” both elephants in lions in their votes against added protection. Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth

 

There is no necessity in trading lion parts, wild or captive. To perpetuate a market and feed a false cultural perception is not only ethically questionable, but also sends a mixed message in the overall trade of wildlife products. Why is one species an acceptable “commodity” over another? And if a species becomes “captive bred”, is the door open for that species to be traded as well?

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Currently there are approximately 7,000 lions kept on 200 breeding farms throughout South Africa photo: One Green Planet

For Appendices ratings, just how low do the numbers have to get for us to act? The Northern White Rhinos are a perfect example of the error in waiting too long. There are 3 left. They were never afforded protection in time. Why isn’t their predicament enough; does history teach us nothing?

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Only three Northern White Rhinos remain, all living in Kenya at Ol Pejeta Conservancy. photo: Brent Stirton/Nat Geo

(It is important to note that upgrading lions to the Appendix I status would ONLY have affected wild lions, and would not have afforded protection to their captive cousins.)

 

 

 

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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