All posts by Mags

wildlifechange.wordpress.com

The humble warthog

Most people associate warthogs with Pumba, the funny character from The Lion King. My first ever sighting of ones of these little creatures was at Kruger from a far distance and it was hidden behind fallen tree trunks and bushes so all I ccould see was grey and the tusks. But from where I sat without my glasses and it being my first safari, my first thought was: “Mini rhino!” 

Physically, the male warthog has four warts on his face whilst the female has two. It is thought that the males have more to protect them from the tusks during their dominance fights with other males.

During my studies, these little creatures have actually endeared themselves to me as I learnt about their social behaviour, which may be similar to the domestic farm pig. Of all the animals, the warthog is a romantic, a story I love to share whenever I am on a game drive taking guests!

The Human Wildlife Conflict 

Humans are the number 1 negative impact affecting the environment and the natural world.

We have the capacity and capability to also be the number 1 positive impact but as a species we have as yet failed to show that.

Elephants and baboons are possibly the next ones in the queue for their influence on the environment around them being the gardeners of Africa, changing the landscape, spreading seeds and creating/destroying habitats and feedfor different animals.

This article explains how we as humans are continuing the negative impact even as NGOs trying to do our bit to alleviate the pressure on local communities to turn to poaching or trying to uplift the levels of poverty.

‘If we stopped poaching tomorrow, elephants would still be in big trouble’

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/14/if-we-stopped-poaching-tomorrow-elephants-would-still-be-in-big-trouble?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Copy_to_clipboard

Conservation: Noah’s Ark and trophy hunting

Conservation is a complex business. Life, real natural life, is full of interactions, butterfly effects and things we are yet to understand. 

There’s a great project to relocate animals from one park in Zimbabwe to another in Mozambique. It’s going to cost a lot and allegedly a significant portion has been provided from hunting.

What do you think of this?

Mozambique: 6,000 animals to rewild park is part-funded by trophy hunting


https://www.theguardian.com/environment/radical-conservation/2017/jun/19/rewilding-mozambique-trophy-hunting-elephants-giraffe-poaching-zimbabwe-sango-save-zinave?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Copy_to_clipboard

Focus on elephants

This month I have started a new life in unchartered territory! I’ve started work at a new NGO focused on African elephant conservation.


I’m very excited to be able to work in this space as elephants are magnificent creatures and have such an impact on the environment for other little creatures and plant life. They are are the gardeners of Africa. 

As part of my role I am looking into other NGO’S and the work that is already being done and seeing how we can support those activities, whether it is to connect with other NGO’S who can provide complementary functions, finding more efficient solutions to save them costs, bringing across donors to make them aware or supporting local communities in order to prevent them from becoming part of the problem.

The NGO’S I’m most looking forward to meet are those who’ve done so much work in expanding wildlife protected areas and opening up corridors and migratory pathways. Years of dedication, advocacy and strong conservation understanding is needed for this to happen. I would love to see how we can open up more of Africa for these animals who used to roam all over Africa and are now only 1.25% of theirestimated original population!

Drones and Anti-poaching

Earlier this week I gave a talk at a conference on drones spelling out our lessons learnt on using UAV’s for anti-poaching and security in the commercial environment. 

Thankfully it was a well received talk and we got some good enquiries for future projects. It may have had something with us being one of few companies globally to have aviation authority BVLOS licences which means only we can the distances we fly! 

Working in Zimbabwe 

Some of my talk covered parts of the study UDS did with CSIR which outlined the versatility of RPAS as a tool for conservation and counter poaching activities. 

http://itweb.co.za/mobilesite/defenceweb/home/item_id-45909/

Together with the on the ground patrol teams we can achieve great things