ForWildlife

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  1. Don't you just love this. Science should prevail, yet it is politics which prevails. New president installs new director and the whole organisation swings the other way. Yet the underlying science stayed the same. Previously USFWS wanted to see proof that hunting contributed to the protection of elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Poaching was increasing, number of poisoining incidents in Zimbabwe was increasing, so obviously hunting did little to prevent that. Elephant poaching is far from being under control in those countries, yet now it's deemed ok.
  2. Green season = wet season. The bushcamps usually close in the first week of November, although much of the park is often still accessible until early December (but in some years it's not and they can't chance it that guests get stuck for a week). January is usually the month with the most rain. In December you can expect that many roads outside the main game area are impassable but grass is still somewhat low and there are many young animals about. November can have good rains, or can be bone dry, but usually there has at least been some rain. February, March have rain and thick bush. By April most European birds have left and local birds will lose their breeding colors (on of the best things about the rainy season). May is usually dry, but this year they had rains up to June. So during the rainy season rates are lower (but maybe not around Christmas), the bush is thick and green (animals can disappear easily), birdlife is fantastic, many of the predators prefer to walk along the roads to keep their feet dry so lion, leopard and dog sightings tend to be pretty good (but dogs start denning and becoming less visible in May/June), fewer roads are accessible (but there are also fewer cars in the park). The high season, shoulder season and low season are mainly directed by the European and American school holidays.
  3. The fact that the attack appeared out of nowhere for people doesn't mean that the elephants didn't give warnings, it could well be that those warnings weren't noticed by the people. The latter is more often the case than an attack truly happening without any early warning signs.
  4. These weren't your average tourists. They were experienced lodge managers working in Tanzania, and were on their time off in Zambia. It shows all the more how dangerous wildlife can be, even for people experienced in living around wildlife.
  5. A sad story for a long time. It started back in 1984 when it was thought there were about a 1,000 left in the wild. It was decided to set up a captive population. 40 were captured and send to different zoos, but it didn't work and the last surviving one was sent to Way Kambas in 2015. https://news.mongabay.com/2016/11/from-indonesia-to-ohio-the-struggle-to-breed-sumatran-rhinos-in-captivity/
  6. Great report! Was the snared lion reported to GRI and/or ZCP?
  7. I must have touched a sore spot. @Bugs I know you're big time in favor of trading, but here once again. I never said demand reduction would or wouldn't work, I was talking about increasing supply. A big argument for trade was that it would flood the market and drive down the price. But the demand is so overwhelming, that even with increased supply (from less than 20 rhino horns in 2007, to over 1,200 in 2016) the price hugely increased. Stockpiles can only temporarily increase the the supply, and the total stockpiles are less than a few years worth of current supply, hence can't flood the market. Furthermore, you state that the speculative demand, which according to you is the biggest driver of the price, can be controlled by trade. Yes, it can, but not in the way you depict. Just as with ivory, and with diamonds, the supply will be controlled by a few big players. They'll sit on most of supply (hmmm...isn't that currently already the case, isn't most of the rhino stockpile in the hands of just a few players?), and as they control most of the stockpile, they'll control the supply to the market and hence, control the price. That's the biggest reason while diamonds have always been so expensive, De Beers controls the supply, or why ivory prices skyrocketed after the ivory auctions. A few players bought most of the ivory and then trickled it to the market, increasing the demand, while controlling the supply and hence vastly increasing the prices. The majority of rhinos are on public land, with not-perfect protection, so with a high value of rhino horn they stay attractive to poachers. The only way out is a complete ban (implementing smart trade effectively in corrupt countries will never work), making law enforcement much easier to implement, stiff penalties (let the government show commitment) and increased protection (let the bigh NGO's show their money where their mouth is). After the 80's the ivory and rhino trade was greatly reduced, almost completely halted, by this, why can't that be done again? Yes, I don;t really see a difference, from an ecosystem perspective between a cow bred for meat and/or milk products and a rhino bred for horn. Different species, but in both cases the owner is called a farmer, and the practice called farming, hence they're both livestock, just different species. And it's an ethical question, or should be an ethical question, if wildlife from national parks can be auctioned off with the goal to raise money. I suspect that actually violates the IUCN rules about national parks.
  8. Michael Eustace is a retired investment banker, so clearly very much focused on money, and with no formal training in ecology, conservation, population biology, disease ecology, wildlife crime etc. He's done great work for conservation though and lots of experience from a management perspective. It's clear where he comes from, and how he comes to his conclusions. Rhinos on small private game reserves, or worse, on breeding farms, aren't part of an ecosystem, don't fullfill an ecological role, and aren't actually anything more than a different species of cattle. Even if you argue that rhino horn trade will save the species, it won't save the species as a wild animal, part of working ecosystems, as the rhinos living in those areas will still be very attractive to poachers. Private individuals won't use the money they make the horns they harvest to protect rhinos on public land. And the demand is so big that trade won't bring the price down (hence the rhinos on public land will remain attractive to poachers). I've followed this discussion for the last several years and it keeps going round and round.
  9. Wildlife camp is considerably further from the gate than Marula and Thornicroft. Right next door to Marula are Track & Trail camp and Croc Valley, which should also be mentioned in this list.
  10. South Luangwa has been really good for dogs this year. Check out the trip reports of Edward Selfe: Here or the blogs of Kaingo camp Here (pretty much every Big Cat Roundup mentions dogs) or Remote Africa's Game Viewing Diaries Here or the BushCamp Company's sightings Here. I spoke to a guest last week who saw 4 packs in two days in South Luangwa.
  11. Do you know other people in Tanzania or Arusha who could give you some more objective information about this guide?
  12. It was big storm, I heard some camps in Lower Zambezi had some chalets completely destroyed. Glad you got out!
  13. @offshorebirder I hope it's not that bad! Contrary to that, often the strategy is too produce as much seed as quick as possible before dying. So instead of not flowering, they might flower as abundant as possible.
  14. People grossly underestimate the benefits of deflating tyres in sand.
  15. Well, it was near the hide which people frequent, so people would walk by regularly to get to the hide. They could inform tourists of its presence and how to behave in a way to minimize disturbance. This relocation is a huge disturbance, and it looks like it has to cover a large area without cover if it can't find a suitable hiding spot in the termite mound it was released at.

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