Protecting Wildlife, Supporting Communities and Promoting Education throughout Africa.
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Woburn Safari Park is running its Tusk charity event week from the 21st August to the 29th August and all proceeds got to Tusk!
Mount Kenya Trust (MKT) is just one of Tusk projects partners that will benefit from proceeds raised during this week!
Here is what the Mount Kenya Trust have been up to recently:
For many decades, the Imenti Forest Reserve has suffered from excessive habitat destruction and degradation. A report on the status of Mt Kenya ecosystems, published in 1999, revealed: ‘The natural forest of the Lower Imenti is mostly decimated, with more than 90 per cent of the tree canopy having been removed to provide land for crops, in particular potatoes, maize and beans.’ The state of the land remains the same today.
Despite this, Dr VanLeeuwe 2016 survey found that the majority of Mt Kenya’s elephants were concentrated this area – an unusual finding as with more human activity, this typically means fewer elephants and vice versa.
What’s being done?
In January 2017, MKT started a two-year project on security, research and reafforestation of large areas with indigenous trees. This includes a full time 5 man ranger team, elephant use, movement and population surveys during the wet and dry season, along with a study for a second elephant corridor heading north. The entire area is currently being secured with a completely game proof fence.
Thanks to the elephant collaring work by Save The Elephants, we already know that one elephant is still moving between Imenti and the Samburu area further north. Community narratives suggest many more including family groups, so the need for an elephant gate and corridor needs to be verified.
Our project partner Lewa Wildlife Conservancy continues to protect an abundance of wildlife and work closely with the communities surround Lewa.
Lewa offers families living near its boundaries improved economic opportunities with our comprehensive education and women’s microcredit programmes, community-managed water projects, and access to health care within four health clinics. Lewa benefits thousands of children in local schools by opening doors to a future with more possibilities than those available to their parents and grandparents.
Here are just some of the ways in which Lewa has helped educate children in the surrounding communities!
Happy World Elephant Day! Today we celebrate these incredible beasts...
It is estimated that 80 elephants are still killed every day in Africa for their ivory.
Please consider donating to Tusk to help us and our project partners continue to conserve and protect elephants from the numerous threats they face.
Happy World Lion Day! 🦁
Did you know that the African lion population has declined by 43% in the last 20 years and lions now occupy only 8% of their historical range in Africa. 🦁
In Kenya, the national population now numbers less than 2,000 individuals.
To help us and our project partners continue to work with these incredible animals please consider donating, every little bit helps
In 1970 it was estimated the lion populations was around 200,000+ but in 2016 it was estimated there are only 25,000 left in the wild.....
Tusk's project partner AfriCat has been working to save the large carnivores of Namibia since 1993. An increasing human population and greater demand on food production have caused environmental degradation and habitat loss throughout the country, placing large carnivores in direct competition with farmers.
Tusk has supported AfriCat for many years, providing key funding for the environmental education programme. Tusk supported the purchase of a plane for transport and tracking of animals and the materials, and funded the construction of the fence for the original 4,500ha cheetah rehabilitation enclosure (which has now merged with a 16,000ha nature reserve to form one large park of 200km²). Thank you to @africat_foundation for this beautiful photo!
Follow our page to hear more about Tusk's project partners and their great work! .
Lucky Ndlovu is another incredible Ranger we would like to celebrate this World Ranger Day!
Lucky has been working as a field ranger in the Kruger National Park since 1992. He was promoted through the ranks from Lance Corporal to, in 2016, Sergeant. His promotion was awarded to him after his involvement in a senior official’s arrest.
The Field Ranger K9 team, led by Lucky is involved actively in field ranger duties including rhino anti-poaching activities. He is one of an extremely dedicated team based at the Kingfisherspruit Ranger Station where they are responsible for 90,000ha of key rhino habitat.
On the 27th of July 2016, this team were responsible for the apprehension and arrest of a Regional Ranger and State Veterinary Technician in the KNP. Not only did the team show amazing strength of character and not give into pressure, but through their investigative skill they deduced where further evidence may be hidden and led a search of approximately 12km of road length until they found tracks that led to the discovery of a vital evidence in the case. Whilst the investigation is still open and no specifics can be mentioned, this arrest had the impact of curbing poaching tremendously in the area. The suspects are still in custody and awaiting trial.
Lucky is also one of the finalists for the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award, 2017!
This World Ranger Day as we celebrate all the Rangers and their great work across the globe. Tusk is also celebrating 2 individuals that continuously go above and beyond to protect Africa's wildlife.
Solomon Chidunuka is based in the Northern Province of Zambia and is currently Senior Wildlife Warden for Mpika District after serving the Lower Zambezi National Park for thirteen years. Under his leadership the Lower Zambezi area saw the lowest poaching levels on record. In his role as warden and ranger, Solomon displayed exceptional management and leadership in the oversight of all anti-poaching activities in his respective parks, establishing highly productive intelligence networks, which have led to successful convictions of wildlife criminals.
His amazing work hasn't gone unnoticed as this year he is one of the finalists for the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award, 2017!
THANK YOU very much, Solomon for all the work you do and to all the Rangers out there!
Did you know that female gorillas start to reproduce only around 12 years of age, they have one offspring about every five years, and one offspring in three will not survive to adulthood. Western lowland #gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) are found across a landscape of approximately 655,000 km2 of equatorial Africa, including Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and Gabon. Despite there currently being about 150,000 western lowland gorillas in the wild, they are classified as critically endangered because of the rapid decline they are experiencing due to the major threats of habitat loss, disease, and poaching. The forests where gorillas live are quickly disappearing largely due to the logging industry and the expansion of industrial scale agriculture for products including palm oil. .
The Loango Gorilla Project formed in collaboration with the Gabonese National Park Authorities aims to better understand the ecology and behavior of western gorillas and to establish gorilla tourism. .
Funding from Tusk has assisted in providing staff salaries, equipment, and the basic maintenance of the project. The project assists with community development for our Gabonese staff by providing employment opportunities. .
Manuel Sacaia our Tusk Wildlife Ranger 2016 winner spends most of his time protecting the critically endangered Giant Sable in Angola. THANK YOU MANUEL FOR ALL THE WORK YOU DO!
Giant Sable are only found in Cangandala National Park and Luando Nature Strict Reserve, #Angola. They are also seen as a national symbol in Angola.
The species is critically endangered and its populations have collapsed by more than 90% during the civil war from 1975 to 2002. Unfortunately, the war also impacted severely on the two protected areas where the species occur, namely Cangandala National Park and Luando Nature Strict Reserve, which became abandoned, had the infrastructures destroyed and became exposed to poaching.
Since the war ended in 2002 the recovery has been slow, hampered by lack of formal park management and law enforcement, and by escalating of poaching to fuel the bush meat trade at unsustainable levels. A lot of poaching is done with the use of shotguns and automatic weapons, but the most insidious and likely the most damaging, results from the use of foot traps and cable snares placed around water holes. As result many sable are killed every year and a lot more become crippled and are lost for breeding
Launched in 2003, the giant sable conservation project has been leading the efforts to protect and study the species in situ. As the implementing agency coordinating the project, the Kissama Foundation assists the Angolan Government by developing strategies and executing specific activities to protect the sable and its habitat.
A crucial component developed by the Kissama Foundation is the shepherd programme. This program builds on the involvement of local residents in the almost complete absence of formal park management authorities on the ground. Members of the local communities were trained and hired to be the giant sable guardians or “shepherds”, becoming simultaneously research assistants and semi-official law enforcement agents recognized by Government. Manuel Sacaia is one of the most notable of the giant sable shepherds!
Tusk has been a partner to the #giantsable conservation project over the years, supporting the shepherd program.
These incredible antelopes are known as #Hirola! The Hirola antelope is the sole survivor of an entire genus - it is estimated that the current population is less than 500. The Hirola is facing #SilentExctinction.
In 2007, the @nrt_kenya Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) became involved in the conservation of this species through our support to the 68,000 hectare Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy in north-eastern #Kenya, close to the border with Somalia. .
When the conservancy was first established, poaching was a serious problem, mainly by the neighboring community living along the Tana River. Monitoring by conservancy rangers also revealed high predation rates on hirola in the last remaining stronghold of this species within the conservancy. By 2010, despite the conservancy getting on top of poaching and setting aside a conservation area, the hirola population was not increasing. Rangers also recorded increased sightings of predators, and in particular, lion became resident in the conservancy. It appeared that an unintended consequence of good management by the conservancy was a situation where predators were less disturbed by people so they moved in and the hirola were being predated at a rate that the small hirola population couldn’t sustain. .
As a result of this, and following an aerial survey in 2011 which revealed that less than 500 hirola remained in their natural range in Kenya, Ishaqbini and NRT established a 2,700 hectare fenced, predator-proof sanctuary for the species in August 2012. The purpose of the sanctuary is to provide a secure area for a viable breeding population as a means of increasing the chances of recovery for this species. A founder population of approximately 48 hirola was established in the sanctuary, alongside other wildlife already in the area. By the end of 2016 the hirola population in the sanctuary had more than doubled to 110 individuals. .
Birds are often overlooked, the Grey Crowned Crane is one bird species that is facing Silent Extinction.
Once plentiful in #Rwanda, there are less than 500 cranes in the wild. Ironically it is the bird’s symbolism that has led to its downfall. The striking bird—with grey plumage, sharp black and white wings, a crest of golden feathers and bright red throat —is also a prized status symbol and is linked to wealth and longevity to those who own them. Despite being illegal, grey crowned cranes are poached from the wild to play the role of living lawn ornaments but most of the birds suffer from stress, injuries and malnutrition, while their eggs and feathers are sometimes sought after for their purported medicinal value. These delicate birds won’t breed in captivity, and many die. .
Tusk's project partner Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA), is working to combat the threats faced by the cranes, with particular focus on the illegal trade. Designed and run by Rwandans, who come from, and understand local communities and their challenges, this project has the key support from the Rwandan government and international organisations such as Tusk. RWCA believe that a wide range of different strategies are needed to ensure that there is an effective impact and they use a multidisciplinary, holistic approach to target the problem from all angles, ensuring that the impact is long term and sustainable. .
Reducing the source of the illegal trade in the birds is a key focus of the work. Their work with local communities around key areas where wild cranes are known to live in Rwanda such as Rugezi marshland has a myriad of strategies with the main aims of raising awareness through roadshow conservation campaigns, increasing law enforcement and providing opportunities for alternative sources of income as a deterrent from poaching. .
. #Rwanda#birds#birdsofinstagram #EndExtinction#TuskOrg#Conservation#GreyCrownedCrane#animals#animalsofinstagram#savetheanimals#TuskOrg#community#education#africa#africanamazing#beautifulcreatures#africananimals#picoftheday#instadaily
A tower of Giraffes was picked as this year's Tusk Talk front cover image and here is why.
Giraffes are facing silent extinction with the population of these animals declining by 30% over three generations! It is estimated that there are only 2,500 mature individuals left of the Rothschild Giraffe. .
Tusk's project partner Uganda Conservation Foundation has been working hard to protect these incredible animals. The response has included construction of ranger posts in key areas to block poachers and sustain a long-term presence in the giraffe's core habitats within Murchison Falls National Park. This has allowed the rangers to block poachers laying snares throughout the protected areas. Over time the number of animals, including giraffes found in traps dead or alive, dropped from three a day, to three a month. "Our job is not finished yet; the protection and effectiveness of the law enforcement capability to protect the giraffes need's to be expanded, and better knowledge of their seasonal movement and distribution patterns." @ugandaconservationfoundation .
Fun fact; did you know a group of giraffes is called a tower?
Follow our Page to learn more about the other species facing silent extinction!@davidyarrow .
Tusks "NOT FOR SALE" Ivory Garden is making a statement at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show @the_rhs! Repost : @telegraph
The Not For Sale ivory garden was created to represent the average number of elephants killed a day in Africa by poachers.
Who is heading to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show next week?
Tusk's Not For Sale garden is a must see this year!
The Not for Sale garden draws attention to the horrendous trade in ivory that continues around the world. Visitors to the garden can walk through an archway that represents the average number of elephants killed each day by poachers in Africa.