Posts Tagged With: preservation

Welcome to Kruger, home of the Rhinos

Kruger National Park is home to the majority of the Earth’s remaining rhino populations. So what else do we know about the rhinos’ home?

*Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in Africa. It spans across 19,633 square kilometres, basically the same size of Israel or New Jersey.

crocodile bridge south entrance

*There are 9 gates accessing the park, adding to the difficulty to monitor and patrol human activity in the park.

*It is also home to 336 tree, 49 fish, 34 amphibian, 114 reptile, 507 bird and 147 mammal species.

*In 1869 (before the park was officially even founded), a gold rush exploded in the region, which resulted in the side effect of a significant decrease in game due to hunting and trading of animal horns and skins.

paul kruger and james stevenson hamilton

(L) Founder,Paul Kruger (R) James Stevenson Hamilton, the first game warden

*The park  itself didn’t come into existence until 1898, when it was founded  by Paul Kruger.

*The first game warden was appointed in 1902.

*The first motorist officially entered the park in 1927. Today Kruger has over a million visitors a year.

rhino crossing at kruger by marla sink druzgal

Rhino crossing at Kruger by Marla Sink Druzgal

*There are important archaeological ruins in Kruger, providing ample evidence that prehistoric man roamed the area between 500,000 and 100,000 years ago.

south african national defence force

The South African Defence Force has been added to enhance the anti-poaching strategies in Kruger.

Of course the biggest current threat to Kruger is poaching. The parks anti-poaching efforts consist of:

  • employing 650 rangers
  • receiving additional assistance from the police and National Defence Force
  • drones
  • a canine unit

Kruger holds a rich history, and it’s role to the future of the world’s rhinos, makes it a critical area of protection and preservation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

World Elephant Day

elephant world cartoon

“What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected” -Chief Seattle

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Using Art to help stop poaching of rhinos

How can this….

This Little Piggy went Wine Tasting by Will Bullas

This Little Piggy went Wine Tasting by Will Bullas

Stop this…?

rhino mom poached with baby near

Within the last 24 hours in South Africa

It’s fun, it’s beautiful and it makes a great talking piece for your living room. But this art, like all the pieces in our auction has a much more important goal: to raise funds to stop the slaughter of the iconic, majestic rhinos.

The above image just happened within the last 24 hours in South Africa. This all too common occurrence happens 4 times a day, everyday. The current rhino population CANNOT sustain this level of decimation.

At Fight for Rhinos, we work closely with our UK-based partners Helping Rhinos in carefully choosing a combination of projects that give our rhinos the best chance at a future. Currently this includes

  • assisting in the survival of orphans
  • keeping rangers active in the field
  • supporting and educating local communities on the importance of wildlife preservation.

Your purchase and/or donations are the only way we can keep this going.

Every SHARE, LIKE, RT…spreads awareness.
Every dollar donated, every piece sold…it DOES make a difference.

Please join us in this unique opportunity and help us help rhinos!  ART FOR RHINOS

 

 

 

Categories: Making a Difference, Poetry & Art, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Earth Day: Respect our Home

Earth Day 2

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No Vacancy?

Kruger National Park, South Africa: A tourist couple were following a bull elephant, attempting to get pictures. At one point, he turned and charged the car, turning it over into the bushes. The woman was seriously injured, and had to be transported to a nearby hospital.

car from elephant attack

Car attacked by elephant in Kruger.

The bull was in musth, which is a time in which their testosterone is extremely high, they are sexually active and quite aggressive. It is obvious by their swollen temporal glands which emit a fluid that runs down their cheeks.

The couple have survived, the elephant was not so lucky. Officials at the park had decided to put him down, due to his aggression.

There has been outrage expressed by some on behalf of the elephant. Afterall, the elephant was doing what elephants do. It is up to people to educate themselves on animal behavior, and it is a known risk they take by entering the park. Surely, this could have been avoided.

Unfortunately this is only one of multiple incidences, not just in South Africa, but globally. With 7 billion people on the planet, and dwindling habitats for animals, everyone is running dangerously short on elbow room.

Kenya

Kenya fights these battles as well. The country loses 100 lions a year due to human conflict. Most of this is in retaliation of villagers for their goats or cattle being killed. This epidemic, coupled with disease,  could well lead to no lions in the country within just 20 years. This dismal disappearance is seen throughout the dark continent, with lions gone from 80% of their original African range.

Elephants are players in the conflict here as well. Crop farming, charcoal burning and human settlements have attributed to just some of the casualties on both sides. 35 people are killed from elephants each year, yet at least 100  elephants are killed daily.

beehives near elephants

Kenyan farmers are using beehives as a natural elephant deterrent, which has proven 97% effective in thwarting attacks.

There are individual stories from people for whom the elephants create havoc on their crops, on their daily lives. David Kimita, a 45-year-old farmer and father of four, blames elephants for the breakdown of his marriage. Every time he plants crops, elephants raid his farm, leaving him with nothing for his family.

“My wife depended on me for food, so when there was none, she decided to go – four years ago,” he said

In 1994, Kenya began a Problem Animal Management Unit (PAMU) due to the challenge. The unit is composed of an elite ranger response team and responds to  interaction hotspots in the country. Villagers who lose crops or livestock are paid compensation. Without this intervention, too many animals would be lost in retaliation (more than already are).

Javan leopard in W Java killed after it invaded a house (CIFOR)

A rare Javan Leopard was killed after she invaded a house
photo courtesy of CIFOR

Bangalore, India:

Since April of 2013, there have been 30 human deaths due to human/animal conflict.  23 of the attacks were from elephants , with the rest from tigers, leopards, wild boars and bears.

With an increasing number of people within the area and less forests,  more occurrence of human/animal contact is inevitable. In India alone, hundreds of people die from elephant attacks annually, and  an estimated 10-12,000 people a year are killed by venomous snakes.  Forest officials expect this number to climb even higher in 2014.

It’s not just people who are harmed. All over India  elephant/train accidents are becoming all too common, as the tracks intersect common elephant corridors (see: Growing Pains and Speeding Trains)  Decreased habitat and illegal trade contribute to approximately four leopards killed every week. Tigers are also under the gun, literally. At least 39 tigers were poached in 2013, the highest in seven years.

So what’s to be done?

Clearly lions and leopards do not know the difference between livestock and wild animals-prey is prey. Elephants have been taking the same routes in grazing and everyday activity for decades, without anyone giving them notice that villages and train tracks are now being built in their paths.

By 2024 with the human population expected to hit the 8 billion mark, this is an issue that is not going away.

Humans are the more “intelligent”,  reasoning creatures (supposedly). If we are to prevent extinction of animals, and preserve flora and fauna, it is imperative to act now. Unity between communities and conservation organizations, as well as land and resource management are key. For just as we are the destroyers, we need to be the saviors.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
Mahatma Gandhi

no vacany

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What is Overshoot Day?

Worried about our national debt? How about our wildlife debt? We’re living on borrowed time, using resources at an unsustainable rate. It will catch up to us.

This week WWF celebrated Earth Overshoot Day, a.k.a. Ecological Debt Day. Turning resources into waste faster than waste can be turned back into resources puts us in global ecological overshoot, depleting the very resources on which human life and biodiversity depend. Celebrating this day marks the exhaustion of nature’s budget for the year.

The Ecological Debt is calculated by dividing the amount of natural resources produced by Earth annually (world biocapacity) by humanity’s consumption of Earth’s natural resources annually (world ecological footprint) multiplied by 365 or (world biocapacity/ world Ecological Footprint) X 365.

The following countries have already exceeded their biological capacity:

china footprint

CHINA’S Ecological Footprint

south africa

SOUTH AFRICA’S Ecological Footprint

united states footprint

The UNITED STATES Ecological Footprint

UK footprint

The UK’S Ecological Footprint

(For other countries ecological footprints go to Footprints by Nation.)

What does this mean? We’re living on borrowed time.

*African elephants could be gone by 2020.

*Rhinos will be gone by 2026.

*Tigers could be extinct in 12 years.

*9 out of 10 predatory fish in our oceans are almost gone.

*Population growth is expected to cause an energy crisis by 2030.

*Half of the world’s population could face severe food shortages by the end of this century.

*Our rainforests may be gone in 100 years.

Overshoot Day is not just about doom and gloom, it’s a wake-up call. Not all damage can be undone, but we can stop do what you canit here. We can’t afford to be infinite consumers anymore. It’s not a luxury to recycle, and it’s not a “hippie” attitude to go green. Our survival depends on it.

There IS hope! Since 2009, countries representing 80% of global emissions have made economy-wide pledges of action. Economically,  global investment in renewable energies  outstripped fossil fuels for the first time last year. There are programs like REDD ( ‘reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation’) being implemented across the globe.

Overshoot day originally began on December 19. This year it was August 20.  If we don’t stop devouring our resources, Overshoot Day will continue to come earlier and earlier every year. Whatever your cause, your purpose, your “thing” –  it’s imperative we ALL work together to keep our planet, to save ourselves.

Unless

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