Category: News

A Four-Part Article on the History of Sumatran Rhino Conservation

Mongabay has finished publishing their latest series of articles on Asian rhinos. This is an excellent and accessible series and offers insights into the challenges, successes, and failures of captive-breeding programs in general and the specific challenges faced by an international captive breeding program for the Sumatran rhino beginning in 1984.


Part One: 1984: the meeting that changed everything for Sumatran rhinos – The untold story of two days in Singapore that launched a wildly ambitious, and calamitous, captive breeding program.

Part Two: A Herd of Dead Rhinos – Capturing Sumatran rhinos was one thing. Keeping them alive turned out to be another thing entirely.

Part Three: The Great Rhino U-turn – After 17 years, researchers finally unlock the mysteries of Sumatran rhino reproduction.

Part Four: The Rhino Reckoning – The Sumatran rhino captive breeding plan is poised for a re-evaluation — and a relaunch.

Newly Recommended Conservation Group: Sea Turtle Conservancy

Sea Turtle Conservancy LogoWe’re very pleased to add Sea Turtle Conservancy, among the most well-known wildlife NGOs in North America, to our list of front-line conservation & anti-poaching groups. Founded in 1956, STC has seen great success in preventing the Caribbean green turtle from becoming extinct and in improving populations of numerous turtle species throughout Central America, the Caribbean, and Florida. Advocacy and policy initiatives backed by scientific research in addition to direct habitat conservation have made STC an incredibly successful organization. Education and outreach programs have reached over half a million children worldwide and continues to teach the importance of protecting the regions’ habitats and beaches. Management and stewardship programs, as well as hands-on volunteering opportunities, allow people of all ages and skill-levels to get involved in sea turtle conservation. Sea Turtle Conservancy is a registered tax-deductible charity in the United States.

Newly Recommended Conservation Group: Orangutan Foundation International

Orangutan Foundation International LogoWe’re extremely pleased to add Orangutan Foundation International to our list of incredible front-line conservation & anti-poaching groups. Since 1986 Orangutan Foundation International has supported the conservation of wild Indonesian orangutans and their natural habitat and built on the successes of its precursor Orangutan Research and Conservation Project, established in 1971. OFI’s focuses involve working with local communities and the government to conserve habitat and employ locals, operating or managing wildlife refuges and research centers, and providing the highest levels of care when rehabilitating and releasing orangutans back into the wild.

OFI is a truly inspiring non-profit in its aspirations and its direct impact on saving wild orangutans from human-wildlife conflict and deforestation in Borneo. Individuals interested in having offers both volunteer programs for persons of varying skill levels as well as eco-tours on a very limited basis. OFI has a consistently outstanding rating on CharityNavigator for transparency, has a great track-record, and has very low administrative overhead compared to many other NPOs and is registered and headquartered in USA.

Field Guides for Bird Watchers and Enthusiasts

Birds of East Asia: China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and RussiaThe Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, BurundiTo celebrate the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere we’ve added a couple of reviews for field guides to birds of the African and Asian continents.

Birds of East Asia: China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Russia by Mark Brazil details roughly 950 species of birds and provides the best possible selection of information and means of accessing that data in book format with not only all of the essential information one expects from a field guide, but also useful glossaries and indexes to help novice and veteran bird-lovers navigate the information and quickly find what they’re looking for whether at a desk or in the field.

Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi by Terry Stevenson covers 1,388 bird species with 3,400 color images and provides a concise overview of their behavior, habitats, resident/visitor distribution, taxonomic classification, and related nomenclature.

Both books are truly invaluable resources for anyone interested in birds. View our reviews of Princeton Field Guides’ Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Birds of East Asia: China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Russia in our Book Reviews section or on GoodReads! Expect more reviews of fantastic birding books for scholars, budding naturalists, and safari tourists in the near future!

Newly Recommended Conservation Group: Wildlife Protection Solutions

Wildlife Protection Solutions LogoWildlife Protection Solutions – An innovative, publicly-funded non-profit organization bringing high-tech remote camera surveillance and rapid alerts to wildlife and plant conservation programs with a dozen projects across Hawaii, Southeast Asia, and southern Africa. Deploys and assists in monitoring cameras which can send infrared, thermal, or color photos back to the US-based HQ and to the project manager or other personnel via mobile device, allowing for near instantaneous alerts relating not only to potential threats such as property intrusions, but also changes in animal movements and seasonal changes for flora management. Volunteers can inquire via this link. WPS is a registered charity in the United States.

South Africa: Elephant Poaching Increases, Rhino Poaching Plateaus

South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs has announced the general poaching statistics for the 2017 calendar year. Rhinoceros poaching has decreased slightly to 1,028, but remains dangerously close to the losses that the rhino populations of South Africa can sustain as a whole, without taking into account the larger burden that the less populous Black Rhinoceros must bear. Kruger National Park, which has historically borne the majority of the poaching incursions and been losing the most rhino, has seen another year of decreased poaching. However this indicates that more rhino poaching is taking place deeper inside of South Africa and outside of the Intensive Protection Zones and heavily defended areas where the majority of anti-poaching forces are deployed. Wildlife trade monitoring group TRAFFIC also has an analysis of this data.

For the fourth consecutive year elephants have been illegally killed within South Africa, most inside the flagship Kruger National Park. In 2017 the number of elephants killed again increased, time time to 67 inside KNP and one occurring in another statistical region.

The various criminal syndicates involved in poaching are likely finding their niches, with foreign and smaller syndicates finding lower-risk elephant ivory a worthy goal, while other syndicates, some operating from within South Africa, are finding new targets to acquire the low-risk, high-reward rhino horn. To see how to make a direct impact on poaching, view our list of conservation groups who operate on the front-line of wildlife conservation and anti-poaching and can be assisted by direct tax-deductible donations, volunteering, and other forms of support.

 

Elephants Poached in South Africa (1980-2017)

Sources: South African Population of the African Elephant report by CITES. SAN Parks. ESPU 1999 (unpublished) Ivory Markets of Africa. Elephant poaching on the rise in Kruger by Oxpeckers. ENS-NewswireZA DEA Progress on ISMR February, 2017, and ZA DEA Progress on ISMR January, 2018.

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‘Stop Poaching’ – A Powerful Message in One Infographic

We’re sharing an amazingly detailed and insightful ‘Stop Poaching’ infographic designed by Mikkel Rasmus Hansen from Denmark. Visit this direct link to the infographic and also check out all the valuable sources that went into its creation. And be sure to use the sharing links at the bottom of this page and on Mikkel’s website. Spread the word and get involved!

His website, Safari Tanzania, is mostly in Danish but expect more creative content raising awareness for high-value and at-risk wildlife in the future!

 

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