Posts Tagged With: South Africa

So little can mean so much

ol-pejeta-dog-and-ranger

Ol Pejeta rangers with anti poaching dogs.

A monthly gift can make all the difference for our canine APUs.

monthly-gifts

A one time gift of $25 purchases kong balls and rope (positive reinforcement toys)

A one time gift of $50 purchases dog shoes (for bush terrain training)

Simply go to the DONATE button and select the MONTHLY option.

hesc-dogs

HESC canine APU

We currently work with Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center and Ol Pejeta APUs. With black and white rhinos, both wild and rehabilitating, canines are a critical part of success at keeping poachers at bay.

We are happy to provide end of year statements for your tax deductions.

Categories: Making a Difference | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

cites-17

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.)

seizures-of-lion-parts

© 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.

zuma-opening-cites-2016

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?

lion-farm-by-one-green-planet

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?

northern-white-by-brent-stirton-nat-geo

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

Relentless

This must be one of the most brutal fortnights yet in the history of the rhino poaching war, in our province. At least 14 deaths were discovered in various protected areas in as many days. (I can’t go into detail at this time but it’s getting even more savage, as if that’s possible.)
Yesterday honestly rates as one of the lowest points in my life as a wildlife vet, pretty much an emotional breaking point – but it’s not the first time; it’s something that is happening far too often. I don’t think it is possible to explain to somebody who hasn’t experienced this nightmare, what even one death scene does to you. It’s traumatic and haunting, and cannot ever be erased from your mind. I’ve attended over 400!!

-From wildlife vet Dave Cooper

planting-crosses-for-fallen-rhinos-in-sa

Planting crosses for fallen rhinos in South Africa. So far, there are an estimated 731 of them this year.

The slaughter is real, the poachers are relentless. In this incident, Dr. Cooper attended a death scene of not just one more rhino, but four!

We need to be just as relentless in our efforts to curb the poaching and protect our rhinos. If you’ve ever thought about helping, there is no better time than now. Please DONATE to support APUs in Kenya and South Africa.

black-and-white-mom-and-babe-by-max-waugh

photo: Max Waugh

 

 

Categories: Making a Difference, Ranger Heroes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Small birds with their Big friends

Some lovely photos from our friend Jo:

 

jo-1

jo-2

jo-3

jo-5

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

Building a Canine APU

Earlier we requested your help in putting Chloe through her anti-poaching class. Her training is complete! She now helps protect the Kapama area near the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center (HESC) and Kruger National Park.

The HESC current recruits are Bullet and Zee. The duo is the core of the Centre’s program; with Zee successfully done with initial training and Bullet going through  puppy training.

bullet-and-zee-2

Bullet and Zee

hesc-dog-training-sept-2016

 

The next step will be for them to undergo advanced training. The cost of the course is R20 000 per dog and another R20 000 for the trainer to attend and have her with the dogs at all times. That’s approximately $4,162 usd total.

We are committed to assisting with the successful care and training of the dogs; both for the protection of rhinos and the protection of the rangers. If you are able, please donate via PayPal.

help

Philippa, Lions Den and Dingle Dell; 3 of the rhinos @ the Centre.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Could gun control help curb poaching?

Recently a research organization in Switzerland called the Small Arms Survey reported on weapon trends in relation to elephant and rhino poaching. Here are the highlights from that report (via Rachael Bale @ National Geographic):

No one’s tracing guns. The Small Arms Survey found that weapons and ammo collected at poaching sites are rarely entered into Interpol’s firearms tracing system, even though doing so could help law enforcement track criminal networks as well as build cases against major players.

“It’s difficult,” Carlson said. “A lot of African countries do not have the capacity to carry out the types of forensic activity that is required.”

Governments need to do a better job securing seized weapons. There have been at least a couple of cases where guns seized by police in Mozambique later showed up at poaching sites. That means either the police did a pretty bad job of storing the weapons in the first place, or they actually helped leak the weapons to the poachers.

kws with seized firearms by tony karumba

KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) with confiscated guns and ammo from poachers. photo: Tony Karumba

It’s just too easy to get a gun in Africa. Aside from leaky stockpiles of seized weapons, there are plenty of other ways for poachers to get guns. Wealthy Sudanese businessmen have been known to provide guns, night vision goggles, and other equipment to poaching teams, the survey researchers were told. Sometimes it’s the military itself using state-issued guns to do the illegal killing. And there are plenty of people willing to trade guns for ivory. A 2015 National Geographic investigation found support for the claim that Sudan’s military trades guns to the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army in exchange for ivory, and other armed groups in Central Africa are also suspected to be trading ivory for guns.

Military-style rifles are cheaper. Large-scale poachers tend to prefer hunting rifles—with their long range and ability to take down an elephant or rhino with a single shot—the report says. But assault rifles and light machine guns are really growing in popularity, especially among the highly organized poaching groups. Military-style weapons in the vein of Kalashnikovs are cheaper (so is their ammo) and easier to come by than hunting rifles. Guns have been documented coming from Libya, Angola, Burundi, Mozambique, Sudan, and South Sudan.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A “Bullet” for future poachers

The anti-poaching units work long hard hours in harsh conditions. They are tough, skilled, dependable and absolutely imperative to the survival of our remaining rhinos. And some of them aren’t even human.

Welcome Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centres newest recruit: Bullet.

Bullet

Bullet is an 8 week old Malinois. He will already begin his training within the week! Anti-poaching dogs are HIGHLY effective in the war on poaching, but can cost up to $10,000 for one animal!

We have so far raised approximately $400 toward Chloe’s training, and are looking to further help Bullet and other members of the canine APU team at HESC.

Your help is needed and appreciated! DONATE via Paypal and please help spread the word! With your help, someday soon Bullet will be able to easily sniff out ammunition and gun powder just like Chloe!

Categories: Good News, Making a Difference | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Update on Chloe

Thank you to everyone who’s donated or purchased a tee. So far we have raised $270 toward Chloe’s anti-poaching class!

She has started her training, but still needs $852 to cover the total ($1152.00) Here’s a glimpse of her hard work-this is Chloe identifying rhino horn:

Please consider donating through our Paypal link.

 

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

Meet Chloe

The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre is a South African wildlife sanctuary devoted to rehabilitating endangered and vulnerable animals, most notably the cheetah and rhino.

In recent weeks, they have taken in several orphaned rhinos, and it is critical their security and anti-poaching efforts are maximized, for the safety of the animals and staff.

Baby N Muddy Olivia hesc

Fight for Rhinos is working with the HESC on canine training for their APU. We urgently need your support to send Chloe through her anti-poaching training to keep these little ones safe during their rehabilitation.

Chloe is a 2 year old Belgian Malinois. What makes Chloe so special is that she has been selected for anti-poaching training at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre!
Often poachings are only discovered after a rhino is killed. The key to a successful anti-poaching unit is the ability to be pro-active and minimize the loss of rhinos in the first place.

A well trained dog is an integral part of that plan. As a Belgian Malinois, Chloe is gifted with the intelligence and ability to smell and detect the faintest of scents. In fact, many of the APUs in Kruger National Park utilize the same breed.

ranger and dog search vehicle

Ranger and dog in vehicle search at Kruger. photo:SanParks

 According to Albe, the head of the APU who will be handling her, “Chloe can help us to detect contraband in vehicles , houses  and areas around houses or also at crime scenes. She will be used during road blocks with the police and we will check all vehicles entering our reserve. This pro-active work will deter poachers from coming into our area in the first place. If they dare to enter our reserve, the dog will be able to detect the hidden firearms and ammunition before the poachers will be able to kill the rhinos.”

          DONATE FOR CHLOE

Training will take place for ten weeks, a week of which will be spent on the reserve she will be protecting. With this training, she will be accredited and registered. This is important, as only evidence found by an accredited dog can be used in a court for criminal prosecution.
ffr hesc logos
 
 
 
 
 
 
Categories: Good News, Making a Difference | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Rhino conservation is going to the dogs

Nairobi stray trained in apu by jeremy goss

This Nariobi stray was trained and utilized in a Kenyan APU. Photo: Jeremy Goss

With the ability to hear at a distance 4x greater and at a higher pitch,
the amazing ability to feel or sense energy,
and with a sense of smell 1,000 to 10,000,000 times more sensitive than a human
dogs are the perfect anti-poaching weapon.

Like the superman of an anti-poaching team, they can work long hours through harsh conditions, picking up the trail of a poacher without hesitation. They can search a car in 3-4 minutes, while it can take an hour to search with humans alone. And they are relentless to reach their goal.

Utilized everywhere from  Kruger National Park, the Congo, Kenya, and Zambia; they are trained to track poachers, to locate ivory and horn, and even to repel from helicopters.

dog propeling from copter by paramount group

K9 Conservation Training practicing repelling with ranger and his canine companion. Photo: Paramount Group

The most frequently used breeds are Bloodhounds, Weimaraner , Malinois, and Antaloian Shepherds. Dog selection is based partially on specific working conditions and most importantly on personality and demeanor.

According to Megan Parker, from Working Dogs Conservation in Montana, “bad” dogs don’t make great pets, but their personalities are perfect for conservation work.

The perfect example of this comes from a “bad” dog named Ruger. Found in an animal shelter and highly “unadoptable”, he has successfully been trained in anti-poaching work. The first anti-poaching canine in Zambia, Ruger has put away 150 poachers to date. And all this work for what? A reward of a game of tug-o-war with his favorite chew toy.

shelter dog helps rangers

Ruger with the Delta Team in Zambia. Photo:unknown.

With all the perks of working with dogs, perhaps Damien Bell, director of Big Life Tanzania, sums it up best.

“Apart from their incredible tracking abilities, dogs are wonderful to work with because they don’t have any political agenda—they can’t be compromised. “

 

 

 

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

Blog at WordPress.com.