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  

Restoring hornbill habitats in Arunachal Pradesh

Pakke Tiger Reserve and the adjoining Reserved Forests in Arunachal Pradesh, India are spread over an area of more than 2000 km2 and harbor a diverse array of plant and animal species. It is known as a haven for 4 hornbill species in India. Human activities like hunting, illegal logging, particularly outside Pakke, are negatively affecting hornbill populations and their habitat. Habitat loss due to logging is a major threat to hornbills that are dependent on large trees for nesting. This area has experienced amongst the highest rates of forest loss for India in the recent past.

With the restoration program, we hope to bring back some of the lost hornbill habitats (by bringing back hornbill food and nest trees) and secure the long-term future of these birds and other wildlife. To this end, rainforest nursery was set up in 2013 in a village near Pakke, with an aim of raising native rainforest tree species and using them to restore the degraded forest patches in and around the area. The tree species selected are important food and nest trees of hornbills and for other birds and mammals and also includes economically important species for planting by the local communities. In the past four years, we have raised around 17,000 saplings of 60 native tree species. Planting began in 2016 and a total area of 11 ha has been covered so far. Survival monitoring indicates 45-85% survival across the sites in a year’s time. Some sites show higher survival (84%) due to controlled conditions like fencing and deweeding. With such successful rate of establishment of the saplings, there is a hope for recovery of these habitats in the long-term. We hope to expand this program and cover more degraded patches in and around Pakke in the coming years.

Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Programme

HUTAN is a French grassroots non-profit organisation created in 1996, to develop and implement innovative solutions to conserve orangutan and other wildlife species in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.
HUTAN and the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) initiated the Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Programme (KOCP) in 1998 to study orang-utan adaptation to forest disturbance and to design and implement sound conservation strategies for this species and its habitat.
Today our team is composed of more than 60 highly skilled staff hailing from the Orang Sungai community. To achieve our vision, we have developed a holistic strategy combining long-term scientific research, wildlife and habitat protection and management, policy work, capacity building, education and awareness, as well as community outreach and development. The “Orangutan Research Team” has been running the longest non-interrupted field study of wild orangutans in Borneo. The “Wildlife Survey and Protection” Unit is in charge of alleviating Human-Elephant conflicts, conducting biodiversity surveys and law enforcement activities, and is in charge of our succesfull artificial nest boxes project. The HUTAN “Environmental Awareness Program” reaches out school children and villagers throughout Sabah. The “Reforestation Team” is active in bare lands or encroached areas where forest regeneration cannot occur naturally. The “Pangi Swiflet Recovery Unit” is in charge of guarding colonies of edible-nest swiflets against any poacher. HUTAN has developed a capcity building platform to train various partners ranging from villagers to industry players (timber, oil palm plantation) and civil servants about biodiversiy monitoring and protection. Last but not least, we are using our community-based ground approach to inform policies and management startegies at the local, national and international levels.

Black Rhino Conservation

The Chyulu Hills rhino population is of critical value to rhino conservation at an international level. The population is one of the very few genetically independent populations of Eastern Black rhino (Diceros bicornis michaeli) left in East Africa today.
Of additional significance is the habitat itself, highly suitable to Black rhinos in terms of forage and space availability. The entire hill range represents an opportunity for the growth of the population and offers a significant step in rhino conservation on a national level.
The Chyulu Hills cover an area of over 400 km2, the 4th largest National Park in Kenya, with a huge potential for the future of rhino conservation. This National Park belongs to the Amboseli-Kilimanjaro ecosystem and offers next to rhinos also a large variety of other species feeding grounds during the dry season.
Approximately 80% of the rhinos’ range falls within the Chyulu Hills National Park, a heavily vegetated line of volcanic hills; the remaining 20% falls on the neighbouring Mbirikani Group Ranch, a Maasai collective comprising about 10,000 households and their livestock, which is part of the greater Amboseli- Kilimanjaro – Tsavo Conservation Area. The Chyulus’ rhinos are monitored and protected by rangers from the Big Life Foundation. BLF works in tandem with the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) and has been operating successfully in this area for the past 20 years.
Given the above mentioned facts, the Chyulu Hills represent an exciting opportunity for progress in terms of rhino conservation and growing the Kenyan meta-population to targeted level. During the next year, the aim for the Chyulu Hills is to become an Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ). This step is necessary to facilitate the translocation of other rhino to this unique population and therefore the ongoing survival of the remaining population.

Anti Poaching Units to protect Painted dogs

Poaching presents a huge threat to not only painted dogs but also all wildlife in the so-called “buffer zone” surrounding Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. Large predators such as lion and hyena are also particularly vulnerable as they often scavenge from snare lines and indeed can be targeted deliberately. As the socioeconomic situation in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate, pressures that drive poaching are escalating. Unemployment levels have reached new heights and with the majority of people in the region depending on erratic rainfalls, simply to survive at a subsistence level, they turn to illegal hunting practises.
The situation is deteriorating rapidly as highlighted by the recent outbreak of poaching with cyanide. Indeed a pack of nine painted dogs were recently found dead at a waterhole poisoned with cyanide. This new threat to carnivores is likely to increase as a result of the use of cyanide because of the scavenging done the carcasses left behind by the cyanide poachers.
The lack of recourse available to Zimbabwe’s Parks & Wildlife Management Authority exacerbates this dire situation. Poachers have enjoyed virtually unrestricted access to areas such as Dete, Ngamo and Tchotcholo, from which they have been able to move freely deep inside Hwange National Park. Poaching snares kill large animals indiscriminately, and the practice is threatening to decimate the small surviving populations of threatened species, many of which are already facing pressures of extinction through habitat destruction and climate change. The recent increase in the use of poisons such as cyanide further complicates the issue and there is dire need for a reliable informant network to be established.