Help save majestic, endangered African animals!
Despite laws ensuring their protection, many species of African wildlife are still being hunted illegally. For instance, hunting for ivory was banned in 1989, but elephant poaching continues for the booming black market trade.
Unfortunately, poachers often have the upper hand. Under-equipped and under-staffed African wildlife law enforcement agencies are often outmaneuvered by sophisticated crime syndicates operating freely across national borders. In countries where governments struggle simply to protect their human populations, resources for animal protection are slim to nonexistent.
Non-governmental organizations, like the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), are stepping in to bridge that vital gap. In Africa, IFAW has supported specialized anti-poaching training, operations in Uganda that led to the arrest of several illegal wildlife traders, and partners with the Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF), a cross-border investigative agency targeting the criminal syndicates behind trafficking. IFAW has a strong partnership with LATF, and will continue to promote training efforts and other initiatives of the LATF to reduce illegal trade of animals on a continent-wide basis.
Report from the Field
An elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its tusks. This grant supports IFAW’s work to protect elephants and rhinos from poaching as part of IFAW’s tenBoma program which is a collaborative effort with the Kenya Wildlife Service and other NGOs to stop poachers before they kill by collecting and utilizing data on poaching networks. Together IFAW and the Kenya Wildlife Service helped to reduce poaching in Kenya’s Tsavo National Parks by 43% from 2015 to 2017. In some previous poaching hotspots poaching appears to have ceased entirely! Regardless of the improvements in the area the need to continue to maintain anti-poaching activities is imperative.
IFAW’s tenBoma team, working with Kenya Wildlife Service and Tsavo Trust, identified the need to increase law enforcement presence at a ranger outpost, which was lacking in infrastructure. As of the end of October, all ground has been cleared, foundations laid, concrete base slabs in place, upright poles set and construction of ranger blocks is ongoing. This location will assist joint KWS-Tsavo Trust rangers in projecting law enforcement presence in known poaching hotspot areas.
IFAW also led training conducted in Tsavo East National Park (Kenya) to help disrupt and dismantle poison arrow poaching networks. Although poaching of elephants is steadily decreasing in Tsavo, poaching by poison arrow continues to be the most prevalently used weapon for elephant poaching in the ecosystem so full-spectrum training and operational support from the crime scene to the courtroom is required. This training sought to achieve impact against these networks using one line of effort - the training of Kenya Wildlife Service Rangers and Tsavo Trust Community Rangers. In addition, IFAW is mapping source locations for the plant used to produce one form of the lethal poison used on arrows and spears to kill elephants and other wildlife. This ethnobotanical information collected by the team, when aggregated with other geographically-relevant wildlife security-related data (to include from poaching crime scenes), assists investigators in illuminating criminal network connections at the first link of the poison supply chain.
IFAW works to improve the welfare of wild and domestic animals throughout the world by reducing commercial exploitation of animals, protecting wildlife habitats, and assisting animals in distress. IFAW seeks to motivate the public to prevent cruelty to animals and to promote animal welfare and conservation policies that advance the well-being of both animals and people.
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