Matias Cox

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About Matias Cox

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    Understanding the challenges facing the conservation of species and biomes in Africa.
  1. After the "eradication of the musketeers," with his last member dead on 04/14/2017, I see the news that Kebbel (male Orowau) had his head on the prize. This is an animal about 10 years old - possibly the oldest man in Koakoland / Damaraland whole. Dr. Stander in his project never mentioned that Kebbel had been involved in HWC conflicts. Excluding Rosh (father) was the only male lion that the five musketeers had contact throughout their life. Created largely after the death of the last musketeer, the MET is about to announce new measures to reduce such conflicts. When Dr. Stander started 20 years ago, the number of lions was extremely low, his numbers increased exponentially in his first 08 Project years, however, after 2009, a large number of deaths from hunting and trophy hunting (Males) again threatened the population. There was a bias, when we thought that the consolidation of this region as a successful international tourism product would consolidate this population of lions, the opposite occurred and again their numbers are again threatened. New actors want to participate in the rescue of desert lions, and there seems to be some organized movement for new NGOs operating in the area. The situation is very confusing. It is likely that certain practical positions of the Desert Lion Project do not satisfy community grants and private concessions, and both may have new guidelines, interests, and ambitions. I suspect that in the next renewal of the project license coordinated by Dr. Stander there will be a rupture or installment. It seems that not only are lions pressed but also those who protect them and Kebbel imminent death will be the most visible image that "Namibia" no longer values desert lions and wants to put an end to the lion's ongoing conservation efforts in the region. It is very sad to see the whole effort of a lifetime go away. At the time, the change in attitude regarding the periodicity of the disclosure of information on the site was a symptom that something has changed. A new ingredient emerged last year: Desert Lion Conservation Foundation - - which began exploring lions' social media (facebook) and Dr. Stander's project. In its pages there is no distinction in realizing that they are two different Projects, as well as the Project of Conservation Lion of the Desert does not divulge any information on the existence or not of some partnership between both. There is discomfort with this situation. I fully rely on the practices of approach and monitoring of the Desert Lion Conservation Project. By not using social media, nor any approach to the sentimental appeal, the same runs the risk of isolating himself in his "scientificity." People want to participate, want to follow and are hungry for information, and in the absence of an official channel, others take on this role. As for internal conflicts, unfortunately I have only one opinion, many of them by the way, but nothing concrete can say. Something is going to change, hopefully lions will survive such changes For those who read on the site "NEWS 2006 to the latest news," it is clear that over the years the MET has not given due importance to the routine deaths of lions, including entire clans have disappeared (Hoaruseb !!!). There are so many deaths that it is not worth trying to rank in order of importance ..... and witnessing the "institutionalized" death of Kebbel is a mortal blow to all who work and support the conservation of the unique and magnific lions of the desert.
  2. @jeremie his optimistic opinion regarding the existence of lions in Yankari is salutary. However, it is not prudent to rely solely on WCS NIGERIA reports. Despite its good arguments, disregarding lion surveys makes any conclusion narrow and restricted. As we know the lion research of 2011 came to the conclusion of the existence of only two adult lions, that's just two lions. After an absence of 5 years, we have the research of Mr. Martial Kiki, it is worth mentioning that he received a scholarship from the WCS to research lions in Yankari and Kainji Lake, so he had all the logistical support and all the practical orientations of where and how Find lions in Yankari. The result of this research finding no evidence of lions, regardless of any analytical optics to be used, is bleak, catastrophic. How important it would be if such a research report could substantiate the WCS reports! It is possible to criticize the study methodology of this research, but to ignore the result is not relevant from any point of view whatsoever. From the moment that Mr. Philip Henschel report quantitatively mapped the existence of lions in 21 areas of West Africa, I followed Yankari's situation. The marginal / peripheral areas of the reserve are not suitable for lions because the Rangers do not patrol much of that area due to the absence or lack of maintenance of the road network, including bridges, these areas are fully known for their high poaching rates. There is also an aggravating factor that is the trade of lion pieces for religious rituals. Let us remember the lion cub who was accidentally killed by a vehicle and his body soon disappeared. Establishing a uniform balance: research x reporting WCS is a task that depends not only on the study of the Yankari lions situation, but also on the overall view of the accelerated process of ongoing lions' extirpation in the other protected areas of West Africa. It is a unique, multifaceted more repetitive recipe, and in all other areas where today it was found that lions were "probably extirpated", went through periods of doubt and denial. There are many practical conservation actions for elephants and none for lions. "No one protects something that no longer exists." Anyway, I'd like to share your optimism and your enthusiasm. I very much wish the future will prove my mistake and the lions will recover in Yankari. Regards, Matias
  3. Very good to have put together these documentations @jeremie In the January-March 2016 quarterly report of WCS NIGERIA (period in which Mr. Martial Kiki research was conducted), a controversial fact caught my attention: the quarterly report clearly informs that there have been several lion activities reported during this period. The Yankari survey data do not match the allegedly regularity reported by the WCS NIGERIA reports (including quarterly reports for 2015, as well as the latest quarterly report - January to March / 2017) in which lions continue to be sighted and Even frequently heard. In these reports the lions are only mentioned as gifts, there is no information on their numbers or any analysis that addresses such divergences of information, as well as no practical conservation measures are disclosed. There seems to be a clear attempt to demonstrate that Yankari still has lions (in the plural). Difficult is to understand its permanence without any effort to install radiocolar or any other type of identification / monitoring. Mr. Martial Kiki's account of the countless encounters with poachers, whose behavior impresses, an atmosphere of confrontation, indicates that the environment in Yankari is very dangerous. Therefore it is difficult to know the real situation of these lions. Lacking clear and objective information is minimal and not only informing which lions are present. Giraffe, lycaon, cheetah, leopard, western Kob (Kobus kob), Korrigum (Damaliscus korrigum) and Bohor were eradicated from the area. I think it is unlikely that WCS NIGERIA would disclose information of a dubious nature, however, assuming local extirpation implies many practical and other financial consequences for the conservation of this area as a whole. As genetic diversity is rapidly lost in small populations, keeping the population at a genetically sound level requires making reallocation decisions. Yankari lions are genetically closer to the lions of Cameroon, the lions of Kainji Lake are genetically close to the lions of the WAP complex. Anyway, I have no doubt that the lack of practical lion conservation actions contrasts unequivocally with his frequent sightings. In Mr. Martial Kiki's report regarding research at Kainji Lake he presents four photographs of a solitary lioness. Observing well, if you see a repeated character in the photographs, at the base of the tail has a small curvature / deformity that is repeated. For lack of evidence there is no attempt to establish any quatitative of lions currently in Kainji Lake park. Excluding Nigeria, West Africa will only have lions remaining in the WAP complex and Niokolo Koba. It is the sad portrait of an extinction already announced since 2009. In order not to appear that certain findings regarding lions extend to the work of WCS NIGERIA as a whole, I would like to add good evidence of their work in Yankari. WCS NIGERIA tries, in a slow pace, due to scarce internal and external financing, to promote a better management of Yankari, through improvements in roads, bridges, guard training (including increase in numbers, improvement in armaments, provisions And social incentives and incentives for certain economic activities in the permanent communities bordering border areas, new vehicles, the new Elephant Guardian program in 6 communities around Yankari (an attempt to improve communication Between local communities and the reserve), stepping up patrols and directing them to more problematic areas of the reserve, enforcing and improving laws (they are trying to put into practice an old law that says any individual caught in Of Yankari, regardless of whether or not he is committing crimes, is held in prison for six months), zero tolerance of grazing activities within the reserve etc. Despite all this effort, the counterpart funding to WCS by the Bauchi State Government for conservation management are continuously reduced down and much of the work continues to be funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2014 WCS signed a memorandum of understanding with Bauchi State Government to take full responsibility for management, law enforcement, patrols, and all conservation activities at Yankari Game Reserve.
  4. The Desert Lion Conservation Project - - Coordinated by Mr. Filip Stander is the only one authorized by the Government of Namibia to research, monitor and investigate the man / lion conflict in the area known as Kaokoland / Damaraland. This project does not have social media platforms, all information about the project is made available to the public on its website. Facebook that openly discusses issues in the area, advertises, and "responds to project information" is from third parties. I remember two occasions when the Desert Lion Project posted a note on its website explaining this, including warning that the information contained in this social media platform is distorting facts and provoking unnecessary conflicts. The public domain information - suggesting the death of Tullamore / lioness / cubs should be true, There are many sources for such (LODGES + TOSCO + PALWAG + WILDERNESS SAFARIS + PUROS CONSERVANCY + SESFONTAIN CONSERVANCY + IRDNC and MET) and everything indicates that it occurred in the month of April. It is now time for all those interested in the conservation of this region to press the Namibian Government, aiming at changes in the maintenance / planning of these three villages: Tomakas, Omiriu, Ondudupi, and a few others. It is necessary to establish a differentiated policy for them. In this region where the musketeers resided are common areas, without a formal conservation status, governmental domain. In 2014, the XPL 73 lions (Rosh - the father of the musketeers) and the unbelievable XPL 68 (Terrace) were shot in the vicinity of Tomakas. In time the surroundings of the Tomakas are notoriously an area hostile to lions, and despite the innumerable Efforts to appease the moods in these villages, no measure was able to stop this murderous attitude. We can not forget that we are talking about adapted desert lions, a unique organism in biological and physiological terms and its conservation value is immeasurable.
  5. The presidential tone is unusual for such matters. Museveni's questionnaire on various aspects of conservation, such as whether or not to adopt fencing scheme in Uganda's national parks, gorilla tracking software, export of pangolin derivatives or corruption to facilitate ivory export, including theft of 1,300 kg of the UWA sheds, provides a very specific knowledge of the problems of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Your actions will determine whether your concerns are in fact real or just promotional marketing.
  6. From what I know the instability continues and the situation is out of control. Invasions in private or communal conservancies, farms and other properties in the region are threatening all conservation projects in the area. Poaching is on the rise, some elephants have been killed, as well as a large number of animals as well. 10% approve conservation, 10% disapprove conservation, and the remaining 80% only want the economic, social, and political benefits of conservation. This new situation in Kenya (armed and organized pastoralists) is stirring the region's status quo. New forces are emerging and, depending on the elections, Laikipia may not return to what it was. 80% of this population has no benefit in this land use policy. It is worth noting that many of these invading groups come from other regions. The drought has cheered the discontented and aggravated the discrepancies experienced by Kenyans. What began as a matter of survival for cattle now seems to have branched out into many "opportunities for the powerful in the region" that today are excluded from the benefits of this land-use model as well as political exploration for the August elections. In this region of Laikipia a considerable increase of new areas for the conservation of wildlife, and consequently less areas for the livestock is in progress. This instability is not unique to Laikipia. A link on the situation and events in Sosian:
  7. Very interesting observation from a large number of Chiru's seen by @@jeremie. Their wool known as Shahtoosh (king of fine wool) is the name given to a particular type of highly valued shawl, reaching extremely high prices of $ 5,000 to 10,000 per unit, depending on the purity of the fabric, in the West and the Middle East Markets . A "commodity". Their possession and use is a symbol of power and prestige. Their commercialization is prohibited, an endangered species under CITES control. Until a few years ago, many of the traffickers went unpunished because of the difficulty of 100% reliable recognition that the shawl contains Chiru fibers. The police "technique" used for identification consists of passing the Shawl through a wedding ring, however, this practice is not recognized in court. A test done in an overseas laboratory is necessary to prove and serve as a procedural test in the courts. Its number in the early twentieth century revolved around one million to less than 50,000 or 60,000 today.
  8. Very interesting article @@janzin. I have read many articles on the breeding of wild animals in South Africa and undoubtedly this is one of the most telling. Almost all of us have a tendency to mirror ourselves in the past, and thus want nature to return to being what has gone. Pioneering in any activity faces many pressures to the contrary. As we have done in the past with our current domestic animals in search of better adapted animals and suitable to our best use, the breeding of wild animals will also lead, at an accelerated pace, to new practical concepts of conservation, as well as to ethical, environmental questions And, in particular, genetic.It is surprising the power that geneticists have in impacting measures positively or not the preservation of subspecies. There are many conservation myths explicit in the report that will be questioned ... Variant colors and subspecies have been in evidence for years awaiting prophylactic measures by the South African government. It is necessary to make adjustments, to follow the unfoldings and tendencies of this economy in ascension and expansion. However, government lethargy only makes it present when actions are already a problem. I have no doubt that this industry, used for practical conservation measures, can reverse this rising wave of numerical animal losses across Africa. The future reallocation / reintroduction market is quite promising. "Nothing more correct than what was said in his final paragraph".
  9. Excellent report @@Tomeslice. Very interesting, it allows not only to understand the dynamics of the place but also to feel its unique nature. It is encouraging to see more and more people set out to visit remote areas. It is also very important to recognize the entrepreneurship of Cassidy couple in the face of political instability, the numerous logistical / operational obstacles, the fickle flow of tourists etc. The valuation of Dzanga Sangha expands with observation reports like this. The more "feedback", the more true promotional marketing we receive. Let's see: Zakouma is up, some Safaritalkers who visited it, propagated its beautiful, unique nature and its increasing population of fauna, allowing to know of its existence and practical means to visit it. Perhaps in the medium term, African Parks, in parallel with Cawa Safaris, and independent of the natural difficulties of visualization, can promote a small flow of tourist visits to the Chinko Project. With regard to the absence of visualization of Bongos and only an elusive sitatunga, we always have in mind the huge problem of Bushmeat (they are the biggest antelopes of this ecosystem, therefore the most targeted ones). Dzanga Sangha is part of a whole forest complex and despite its enormous size, every ecosystem is interconnected. In Cameroon the Bongo trophy hunt is an "aggravating" factor in its quantitative. Although Dr. Andrea Turkalo has already seen 70 Bongos simultaneously in the "Bai" the elusive behavior of these two species is a sign of persecution. "It would be great to spend a night at the Bai, with night vision equipment watching all the animals in their most relaxed hours! Maybe Bongos and Sitatungas will appear in large numbers. "

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