ForWildlife

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About ForWildlife

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  1. The 11% seemed odd to me as the estimate in 2016 was 587 (according to the 2017 report), now 607, which would be an increase of 3.4% However, when looking in the 2016 report the estimate was 547, not 587. However, in the 2016 survey they observed 300 giraffes and estimated 547. In the 2017 survey they observed 616 different giraffes of which 9 died. It seems the population might have grown a lot more than they report. The compare an estimate (based on numbers seen and individuals not seen, as they know that every year they miss some individuals which are then seen the next year again) against the minimum number seen. It's a bit odd though, they have the data to estimate the number of giraffes they miss. They also report 11 new adults and subadults (never previously seen) and 32 juveniles (classed 6-18 months old, so quite a few should have been born during or before the 2016 survey). With data like that you can estimate what you don't see and can come with a more realistic population estimate. Clearly the giraffes are geographically spreading, but the survey is done very patchily. There must be giraffes in between, probably very few, but the fact that the number of giraffes in Dingazi area doubled in a year either indicates they didn't survey that area well in 2016, or animals immigrated from there from the core area. This they should also be able to see in their database of individually recognized individuals. Either way, good news, and potentially undersold.
  2. I think @Antee eliminates a lot needing of luck in his great preparation and dedication to finding animals. He sees an incredible diverse array of animals on all his trips.
  3. So according to your logic there is no wildlife at all in any place where there is no legal wildlife based economy in operation? Zakouma before AP still had lots of wildlife. Dinder, Alatash, South Sudan have good numbers of wildlife, large swathes of the russian far east have wildlife but no tourism. Liuwa had plenty of wildlife and very little in terms of protection before AP. Many of the lesser known areas in Africa have wildlife but see very very few tourists. That can be because of many reasons. They're unconveniently located, located in countries where travel isn't so safe, the chance of seeing wildlife is low, 'better' parks are located nearby. No safari operator will operate in Lukusuzi, the park was gazetted to protect black rhinos (which have long been gone), it nearly completely consist of scrub and mopane. You can create game drive loops what you want but much better game viewing can be found near the Luangwa river, even outside the parks, so why go to Lukusuzi? DNPW doesn't have the resources to protect all their parks properly, hence they've entered a number of PPP' for several of Zambia's protected areas. It might be that Lukusuzi will be managed under such a partnership in the near future too, which will be great as it could recover quite easily as it's within reach of most animals from the better known parks in the Luangwa Valley. However, it will never be a good tourist attraction. Who would want to McDonalds if you can have 2/3 star michelin food just around the corner for almost the same price?
  4. Fantastic! The crested kingfisher looks like a cross between African pied and giant kingfisher. Looking forward to the rest!
  5. Very nice report! Keep it going, looking forward to the northern and Liuwa sections!
  6. @inyathi Thanks for your post. Some animals seem to make it from Zambia to Malawi's parks. One young male lion showed up in Vwaza Marsh last year (although snared and dragging a log, they didn't manage to desnare him) and another showed up in Kasungu. As for elephants using a corridor between Kasungu and Lukusuzi. During the great elephants census 0 elephants were observed in Lukusuzi NP (see https://dfzljdn9uc3pi.cloudfront.net/2016/2354/1/GEC_survey_data.xlsx from the Great Elephant Census report)...This is concerning as they're present very close by in North Luangwa, South Luangwa, Luambe and the GMA's around those.
  7. @douglaswise I fully agree that any (wildlife) researcher should have real field experience and that computers and models should be used as a tool, not as a solution, and should be based on emperical data and used sparingly. Models can be a great tool if properly used, but I sometimes, indeed, wonder if the researchers fitted a model to his/hers expectations of the outcome of the model rather than creating a model from empirical data and then objectively interpret the outcome.
  8. Maybe slightly off-topic here, but I think this article carries some important messages and brings it in a well-balanced way. Elephant conservation debates need to be more constructive It's based on the following scientific paper: Breaking the deadlock on ivory
  9. Here's a good article I came across today which relates to elephants, ivory poaching and elephant management: Elephant conservation debates need to be more constructive It's based on the following scientific paper: Breaking the deadlock on ivory
  10. Do elephants have an effect on their environment? Certainly! Do they destroy it? That depends on what you want. If you consider alteration destroying, then yes. If you consider a reduction in primary production destroying, than most likely yes too. Does removal of elephants have an effect on the environment too? Yes, many areas which used to have a lot of elephants, which were poached heavily in the 80's have been encroached by shrubs since then. Where people who have worked in those areas for decades talk about areas once very open, they are now very dense. An example is the Luamfwa sector in South Luangwa. According to Phil Berry this used to be a very open area, much like the main game area in South Luangwa. However, now it's mostly consists of very dense combretum scrub. Once elephant populations get high, their breeding intervals become longer and their age at first birth becomes higher, slowing the population growth rate. However, since elephants are so long lived, and breed slow anyway, it take a long time for this to have effect. So once the populaiton reaches a point at which it's having a big impact on their environment and the population growth rate slows down, it will be years before the population stops growing, and thus, the effects from elephants in that area will accumulate for years to come. This effect could be diminished if elephants have room to move to, but this is often not the case anymore. Although...if security in the Selous, Ruaha and Niassa systems for elephants is restored, there's room for tens of thousands of additional elephants there. But then it comes down to costs, moving elephants is no small task and not cheap.
  11. While not surprising (obviously lions kill young giraffes, more so than they kill adult giraffes), it's interesting to see the quantification and good use of the experimental setup which presented itself.
  12. @LarsS I was wondering how does this new anti-poaching unit work with GRI? Over the past many years many many people have had a great love for Kafue and wanted to help, but many initiatives have stranded because no consensus was reached between groups. This is one of the many advantages AP could bring. Kafue-wide good management and protection with everybody on the same, AP and DNPW's page.
  13. A big elephant herd like that is often not a good sign. It can be a sign of a population under pressure, seeking safety in numbers. What one often doesn't realize is that poachers kill a lot of carnivores too. Their smoking of meat often attracts lions and hyaenas. I read a dissertation once where they had interviewed poachers in the Luangwa Valley, coming from the Muchinga escarpment. Many of them indicated they killed a lion about every other poaching trip... As for the management of Kafue, it would be great if an organisation like AP can take over the management, the park has a huge potential.
  14. Nakuru might not be the best example, but you stated that Bubye has the highest density, now you bring in total number of animals. And Bubye is fenced, like possibly Nakuru, although I highly doubt Nakuru's fence is predator proof (but neither is Bubye's fence 100% predator proof, evidenced by a male lion from Botswana making it's into Bubye). I'm not convinced if raising funds from portrait rights/marketing rights is the way to go. I do believe however that a) if it's done on a volunteer basis companies can gain a lot of goodwill from it, and b ) that it shouldn't be done on a volunteer basis. In the latter case companies can still use it to create goodwill, but it will require some fundamental changes in animal rights. I don't really see why you see it as socialist claptrap. ING bank has a lion in its logo, arguably ING profits hugely from using the lion, seen as the king of animals, as their logo. Yet, ING pays nothing for it, does nothing to preserve from what they benefit greatly from. I wouldn't deny that wildlife in Kenya has declined, but so it has in most other countries in Africa, including countries which allow trophy hunting like Tanzania, CAR, Zambia, Mozambique. Has the decline in Kenya been greater than in those countries? I'm not so sure about that, and I believe there simply isn't any good data to make such comparisons.
  15. @douglaswise I see the point of assigning a value to individual animals, but there are other ways, and you seem to have a very focused idea about this valuation and habitat preservation, so I'd like to introduce other ideas in the discussion. First off, you stated in the previous topic that has the highest lion density of Africa. They have about 550 lions (maybe some more now) in 3400 sq km, or ~16 lions/100 sq km. There are several places with higher lion density. I'd like to point one out, as this country is often highlighted as having lost and x amount of wildlife. In fact, it isn't known how much wildlife is lost in that country as it wasn't known how much there was. Lake Nakuru NP in Kenya has a density of ~30 lions/100 sq km. South Africa is very proud on their system of privatization of wildlife. It has increased the number of animals of many wildlife species and this is simply seen as success. On the other end of the spectrum is the North American conservation model, where nobody but the state owns wildlife. This is also a successful system, but requires large government wildlife departments on state and/or country level. Both systems aren't perfect however and in both systems predators are of worst. In private wildlife areas owners want to contain what is theirs and fence their properties. Only very few properties are large enough to sustain healthy predator popuations. In the North America model wildlife was primarily managed to be hunted by people, therefore there was (is) a strong drive to manage for a maximum number of deer/elk/sheep and a minimum number of predators (wolf/mountain lion/bobcat/coyote). Arguably the problems African governments are facing are many, and wildlife isn't near the top of their list of things to fix or improve, but also the US struggles to provide adequate funding to manage their National Parks. Yellowstone NP for example has a shortage of over $100 million dollar for infrastructural projects. When it comes to properly funding wildlife areas the argument is often between ecotourism and hunting as if these are the only ways of generating income and as if income has to be generated. Let me focus on the first bit first. Neither ecotourism nor hunting generates anywhere close to what is needed to properly manage large wildlife habitats. And donor money isn't always adequate either, most parks run by AP in francophone countries are funded by the EU. Why not look for different opportunities to fund public lands (i.e. National Parks) or wildlife areas, apart from consumptive and non-consumptive tourism. Why not generate international funding from countries, a world heritage wildlife fund? Or why not generate funding from portrait rights of iconic species? If every company who uses the name or image of a lion in their name or to generate profit, contributes $0.001 to a heritage species fund for each of their clients or products this could potentially generate hunderds of millions each year.

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