Sustaining Biodiversity Conservation through Alternative Livelihood Empowerment: Kyabobo National Park-Ghana

The proposed project “Sustain Biodiversity Conservation through Alternative Livelihood Empowerment” the case of Kyabobo National Park Reserve is a 12 months project with the aim to ensure that the Kyabobo National Park Reserve, one of Ghana’s new Parks is effectively protected and sustained to promote biodiversity conservation as well as serve as hub for Carbon Sink. The main objective of the project is to strengthen community involvement in Sustaining and Promoting Biodiversity by reducing over dependency and exploitation of the Kyabobo National Park through alternative livelihood empowerment activities. Other activities include reserve management workshops, capacity building workshops on biodiversity conservation, community and schools educational and awareness, advocacy and consultation meetings  

Protecting and Restoring Rare Biodiversity Sustainability in Mara River Transboundary Basin in Tanzania

Project description (max. 300 words): It aim to promote sustainable conservation and practices for
uninformed and unreachable 400 artisan miners became aware in conservation needs and have
regulated system to protect and restore critically endangered Pancake tortoises those highly affected
by active and irregularities gold mines; proposed responsible mining plans, conservation education
and enhance outreach to both miners and adjacent villagers shall save pancake tortoise out of
extinction in few years to come if existing mines would not be regulated at this global found pancake
habitats. Pancake tortoises are founds only in Kenya and Tanzania; preferably in a shared Mara river
basin trans boundary where mining could leads them to extinction! Artisan gold miners crushes rocky
crevices (traditional habitats for tortoises) in search for gold ore where tends to kills and injuries
leads to ecological threats; deeply miners fragile habitats, destabilize hatching rates and erode
massive entire ecology, erosive untreated Geo- chemicals wastes in 90% makes hazardous
contaminated water in its way to Lake Victoria after local gold recovery in irresponsible process ;also
tends to affect human health where miners touch chemicals without gears and drink contaminated
water, diminish local economy (adjacent farms) ,biodiversity and dense air pollution effects while
ends to decline pancake population and fertility rate as they depends staying in predictable gold
rocks, the mining affects water ,vegetations and increase air pollution due to rampant use of mercury
;Geo-chemical wastes greatly endangering endemic biodiversity sustainability belongs in the basin.

Space to Call their Own: Protecting Eselengei, Kenya

Encompassing over 200,000 acres, Eselengei is the northernmost tract of intact wilderness in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro (Greater Amboseli) ecosystem in southern Kenya. With every year, its importance and the need to conserve it is growing. Over the years, Big Life Foundation’s rangers have played a central role in controlling poaching and making the Greater Amboseli ecosystem a safer place. As a result, animals—especially elephants—are now venturing further from Amboseli National Park and deeper into Eselengei. They are also staying there for longer. This safe zone is not just important for elephants; Eselengei is also a stronghold of the ecosystem’s lion population, as well as home to a wide diversity of other species. However, Eselengei is surrounded by communities that are not always friendly to wildlife. Poachers, targeting bushmeat and sometimes ivory, operate along its northern boundaries, frequently picking off animals in the areas outside of the existing conservancy that lies within Eselengei. In 2018, five elephants were speared to death in a series of horrific events.

In response, Big Life plans to expand its successful wildlife protection and conservation model to Eselengei. This includes adding two permanent ranger outposts, fully equipped and manned by recruits from the Eselengei community, and supported by a Land Cruiser vehicle that will allow for rapid response to emergencies. These rangers will not just work to protect wildlife on Eselengei (often by providing support to the people who share this space), but will also respond when animals cross the invisible barrier into neighboring ‘hostile’ territory.

Also, Big Life will implement its Predator Compensation Fund (PCF) to Eselengei. The fund provides livestock owners with financial compensation for all verified losses of their animals to the ecosystem’s wild predators. This program has been immensely successful over the years, helping to increase the lion population throughout the ecosystem.

 

CCF One Health Iniative

The Cheetah Conservation Fund’s (CCF) One Health Initiative will address multivariable needs of the communities that we work with. This new initiative will work to address the interconnected health of the people, their livestock and the free-living wildlife. Our initial focus for this initiative is rabies awareness and rabies prevention activities. According to the World Health Organization there are roughly 60,000 reported deaths from rabies, with the majority of the cases (95%) occurring in Asia and Africa, and 99% of transmission comes from domestic dogs. To face this very real threat the first activity under our One Health Initiative is a rabies awareness and vaccination campaign, focusing on the Hereroland communities in Eastern Namibia. Our awareness campaign began on World Rabies Day (September 28) in 2018, with the production and distribution of education materials. The second phase is the acquisition of a vehicle that will be outfitted and serve as the platform for a mobile vaccination clinic that will eventually provide spay/neuter procedures for companion animals. CCF’s Community Development and Veterinary teams will operate the mobile clinic to provide rabies prevention awareness education and free/low costs vaccinations for dogs and cats within the community, setting up a monthly calendar to provide education and services to maximize the impact for community members. By providing this service to these isolated communities CCF will reduce the risk of rabies transmission, save lives and protect both domestic and wildlife species.  The goal of this project is to empower the communities to prevent rabies transmission and in the long term eradicate rabies in the region.

Save the Drill (Rettet den Drill e.V.)    

Drills (Mandrillus leucophaeus) are among Africa’s most endangered monkeys and are listed by the IUCN as the highest conservation priority of all African primates. Drills are found in Nigeria, Cameroon and on the Island of Bioko. Their entire world range is less than 30,000km².
Despite the fact that both in Cameroon and Nigeria drills are protected under local law, the fight to save the drills is more important than ever before, especially on the international front. One of these projects is “Pandrillus”. The Drill Ranch in Calabar and in the Afi Mountains in Nigeria and the Limbe Wildlife Center (LWC) in Cameroon are rescue, rehabilitation and reintroduction/release projects, founded in 1993.

By providing a long-term solution for confiscated wildlife and working with the local and international community, the project aims to secure the survival of the drill.

The Pandrillus project proposes to ultimately create and develop a complex of semi-free forested enclosures, aimed for Drills, in view of future reintroduction into the wild. The reintroduction of Drills in the wild will contribute to restore the ecosystem and therefore ensure its sustainability through ecotourism conducted in partnership with local community.
This is a unique project in Cameroon and Nigeria, focusing on the endangered Drill, one symbol and emblematic of the biodiversity.

“Save the Drill”, a German non-profit organization is working since 2004 for financial support for Pandrillus.
Most of our members are directly involved with the work with in Zoos (Veterinarian, Keeper but also the German drill keeping zoos itself are members).

Kwando Carnivore Project

The Kwando Carnivore Project is based in the Zambezi Region of Namibia, which is central to the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA), a mosaic landscape falling across the international borders of five countries. The KCP is a locally based project and focuses on applied research and conservation of large carnivores as well as human-carnivore conflict mitigation.. Our field work involves conducting regular surveys in protected areas in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and in adjacent conservancies with Community Game Guards to ensure that large carnivore populations are stable and/or to identify any conservation concerns. In addition we monitor specific species such as lions and in future wild dogs and spotted hyaenas to understand how they move through the human-dominated landscape and to identify conservation challenges. Our mitigation work involves building lion-proof kraals to protect cattle from lions and other large carnivores in areas that lie between national parks. The prevention of retaliatory killing of carnivores by communities for predating on livestock facilitates connectiviy for carnivores to disperse through human dominated landscapes and link with resident carnivore populations in protected areas within the immediate KAZA landscape. As the KCP is a small, locally based project, we achieve larger goals such as improving livelihoods of communities, habitat and wildlife corridor protection by linking with conservation partners such as Panthera, WWF in Namibia, WWF Germany, Ministry of Environment, Namibia Nature Foundation, Namibia Chamber of Environment and IRDNC.

Provide the best possible care to orphaned primates in DRC, while working to ensure their protection in the wild

Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to about 90% of eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). Since the mid-1990s, eastern DRC’s chimpanzees have experienced alarming population declines (up to 40%) due to illegal hunting and habitat loss, threats that have been exacerbated by years of war, insecurity, and humanitarian crises. Since its creation in 2002, CRPL has rescued 89 chimpanzees. Most of the chimpanzees have been confiscated in the hands of poachers in consequence of bush-meat hunting. In the last couple of years, CRPL has had an increase of chimpanzees’ rescues.
Together with chimpanzees, CRPL takes care of more than 100 monkeys from 11 different species, some of them are included in the UICN red list, as Cercopithecus hamlyni and Cercopithecus lhoesti.
In addition to give long-term care to the orphans of poaching, the CRPL plays and important role in chimpanzees’ conservation by (1) supporting law enforcement, (2) conservation education of national and international population, (3) provide alternative livelihoods for families around Kahuzi-Biega National Park and (4) Building capacity for congoles vets.
CRPL is an important agent in the eastern DRC’s Conservation Action Plan (CAP) and verified member of Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA).
The aim of this project is to continue to provide to all animals in the care of the CRPL with a high standard of care assuring the capacity of the center to accept all the primates intercepted by congolaise authorities. Helping to enforcing congolaise conservation laws.

West African Primate Conservation

he West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA) is an NGO working to safeguard four highly threatened primates in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. An initiative of Heidelberg Zoo, and supported by currently 18 Zoological Collections, WAPCA has been active since 2001 working closely with the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana to establish long term sustainable conservation programmes, both insitu and exsitu.

WAPCA primarily concentrates on four key areas:

  1. A captive breeding programme originating from rescued and rehabilitated wild caught primates based at the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre (EPBC) at Accra Zoo and the Forested Enclosure at Kumasi Zoo.The primates, notably the white-naped mangabey and the Roloway monkey, held at these two zoos participate in the EEP and since joining have received and transferred seven animals significantly contributing to the genetic diversity of the species.
  2. Community-based field work in habitat range areas of the wild primate populations. Empowering communities to manage their natural resources, to patrol and protect the forests and the primates, create community tree nurseries for reforestation and sustainable use, facilitate transboundary activities with Cote d’Ivoire and develop sustainable livelihoods and promote green value chains.
  3. WAPCA Research Group is a collaboration between local and international Universities established to collect data in cohesive manner. Research focuses both on captive and in-situ projects allowing our conservation actions to be well informed for maximum impact and to evaluate our actions when carried out.
  4. Both the EPBC and the Forested Enclosure provide a crucial educational tool for both local and international visitors to the zoos.  This captive populations inspire,    engage and empower visitors to consider their daily actions and actively participate in the protection of the planet and the animals which we share it with.

Sand Cat Ecology and Conservation in the Southern Moroccan Sahara

Although sand cats (Felis margarita) were down listed from near threatened to least concern following a recent IUCN red list assessment, it was highlighted in the assessment that very limited ecological research has taken place and as a result its distribution, impact of threats and status is difficult to assess. Our study was established 2013 in the Southern Morocco, 150 km from the coast and city of Dakhla with the primary aim of improving our knowledge and understanding of sand cat ecology through the use of radio telemetry, for the first time on the African continent. Initiated by Dr. Alexander Sliwa (Curator at Koln Zoo, Germany) and Grégory Breton (then Curator at Parc des Félins, France, and now Managing Director of Panthera France), this study has been able to increase capacity by involving Moroccan collaborators from Rabat Zoo as well as local guides and drivers. The study area itself is characterised by stony and sandy Sahara ecosystems with less than 50 mm of annual rainfall and is strongly impacted by pastoralist activities and structural development with the associated dangers to all mesocarnivores (felids, canids and mustelids). We are collecting spatial data on radio-collared sand cats, which to this extent, has never been done before in the sand cat´s global distribution. Our preliminary results demonstrate that the sand cats are highly mobile and don’t use the landscape homogeneously but in an exceptional temporal and spatial pattern for a small cat species. Moreover, after remaining stationary for a certain period, they make extensive movements likely dictated by habitat condition (we recorded straight line daily covered distances of up to 21 km) and for this reason, they become difficult to track over time. Consequently, we are investigating the possibilities to develop and use new tracking systems such as GPS collars (yet unavailble, not enough miniaturised or powerful to follow such a large-range species) or new technologies (LoRa, IoT) to collect more data, but this requires extra fundings.

Fur For Life – saving leopards in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area

Thousands of leopards are killed each year in southern Africa to fuel local demand for their skins. To address this threat without impinging on cultural values, Panthera created a high-quality, affordable faux leopard skin for use in ceremonies. These faux skins were first tested in South Africa among members of the Shembe Church; 15,000 faux skins have been donated between 2014 and 2017 with encouraging results. Initially, 90% of leopard skins seen at Shembe gatherings were authentic, more than 50% are now fakes. Our aim is now to expand the project to other groups using leopard skins, beginning with the Lozi in southwest Zambia. The Lozi, like the Shembe, wear leopard skins as symbols of prestige. However, what was once the privilege of a select few is now commonplace among the Lozi; hundreds of leopard skins can be seen at a single gathering. Each faux skin donated represents a leopard saved, while the production of faux skins provides employment and business opportunities to an impoverished people. To assess the effectiveness of the project, inform broader conservation policies and demonstrate the negative impact trophee hunting, a regional surveillance network will be established to track leopard population trends across the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.