pemby123

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About pemby123

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    Ecologist

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  1. I'm I often think the same about the increasing number of sites which GPS tag populations of wildlife. I'm a huge fan of technology in conservation, particularly that which engages the public but the ease at which GPS points are taken and immediately communicated online is potentially a danger. Poachers may well use UVA's but fighting fire with fire as much as we can morally and legally do so may not be a bad thing.
  2. This title is a classic but it is so outdated now. It's a 1991 with most of its sources being 70s and 80s. I've used it a lot and the species I've used it for are not accurate accounts any more given research over the last couple of decades.
  3. That's not the pic I have seen, the one I saw is definitely a lion, or some kind of hybrid. Probably taken in south Africa, but was a lion type animal. Expensive hoax, choppers etc.
  4. I've seen these a few times, always in South Africa, the Pilanesberg, Kruger often (they tend to raid the tourist bins in some of the tented camps), I saw a pair chase off a mature waterbuck and I met a safri guide who watched one take down a sub adult bushbuck.
  5. A total travel time of around 18 months in Africa and I still havent seen these guys in the wild. Does that hyena have mange? Oris it just an old girl?
  6. Apologies, I did see that but when attempting to register it accepted my current username. I shall register as a voluntary worker for the NGO. Ihave seen that interview but it is very old now and outdated for our current work, I thought an update would be useful.
  7. The Wildlife Action Group (WAG) is an NGO, who co-manage two governmental protected areas Thuma Forest Reserve and Dedza-Salima Forest Reserve which are located in the Central Region of Malawi between Lilongwe and Lake Malawi on the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley. Together the two forest reserves cover an area of app. 500 km². The main project of the Wildlife Action Group is the "Thuma Forest Reserve Eco-system Rehabilitation Project” which began in 1996 and in 2007 was extended with the "Dedza-Salima Forest Reserve Eco-system Rehabilitation Project". It hasn't always and sometimes still isn't easy but we are on the right track: Thuma F.R. is now, without doubt, one of the best, if not the best, protected forest reserve in Malawi. W.A.G. emphasizes on training its own scouts to assure 100% dedication and efficiency. And in 2006 W.A.G. has reached the target of employing one scout for almost every 15 km2 of Thuma; a very high protection level compared to most other reserves in Africa. And our scouts do spend their time in the field: about 25 days per month in a row, because that is where a scout should be: in the field, protecting wildlife! As a result, in the last 10 years poaching pressure in Thuma F.R. has reduced significantly, wildlife numbers are increasing, elephants returned to Thuma F.R. in 1999 after they left the area due to severe poaching in the 80's, and buffalo, previously split up in small groups of 3 to 4 animals to escape the poaching pressure, now form herds of up to 30 animals. However we still suffer significant problems with poaching and elephant crop raiding due the reserve only being partially fenced, this has significant impacts on local communities; loss of crops, injury & even death as well as impacting education as it is not safe for children to travel the long distances to school when elephants are present. We have come to rely heavily on international volunteers who have been deployed to supervise and assist with the construction of roads, scout- and volunteer accommodation as well as conducting game counts, biological surveys and taking part in the scout training. By implementing conservation micro-projects in the communities around Thuma, W.A.G. targets to make its conservation efforts to be of the benefit of both people and wildlife. An Important Biodiversity Hotspot In Malawi Thuma FR and Dedza-Salima FR contain significant numbers of the remaining large mammals of Malawi, including several key populations identified by the IUCN. Thuma F.R. and Dedza-Salima F.R. are one of the few protected areas in Malawi which give still home to elephant and buffalo. Other (larger) game include greater kudu, bushbuck, baboon, vervet monkey, bush baby, leopard, cerval, spotted hyena, genets, African civet, warthog, bush pig, porcupine as well as a number of smaller antelopes like Sharpe's grysbok, common duiker and klipspringer. But Thuma F.R. is not only of interest for these mammals. There is a variety of trees and plants, birds, insects, and other animals which make the two reserves an important biodiversity hotspot in Malawi. Poaching Of African Elephants The most immediate threat to most elephant populations in Malawi is illegal hunting for ivory. WAG works very closely with Department National Parks & Wildlife and other government agencies to bring about the effective enforcement of these laws. This activity will not only curtail the operations of those illegal forest/ wildlife exploiters who are prosecuted, but as awareness spreads it will act as a deterrent and reduce the overall level of illegal hunting and trade. However uncontrolled illegal activities in the two reserves (mainly poaching, charcoal burning and illegal harvesting of bamboo and timber) threaten to destroy its habitats and the environmental services it provides the region and the nation, which is why our scout work and presence is so important. Primary Task Of Scouts And Other Field Staff Is To Protect And To Secure The Wildlife Most NGO's working in conservation receives funding for starting micro-projects in villages, for putting up an electric fence to keep elephants out of the fields of farmers, for putting up direction signs, for buying GPS's for mapping natural forest resources, for conservation awareness projects and so on. Most people acknowledge that these activities are extremely important in conservation, as do we, at the same time often hardly any funding is made available for paying the staff, who do a crucial and dangerous job. We hope this programme will raise interest to contribute directly to the conservation of Malawi's wildlife and environment. @WAGMalawi http://www.wag-malawi.org/
  8. I am currently planning for this years volunteering trip and have decided (largely due to the flight costs) to spread my wings away from Africa (Im taking my students there in 2013 anyway) and am looking at India. I ahve been approached by NatureTrails India to volunteer on their conservaiton programme at Bandhavgarh NP. Does anyone have experience of either the park, the company. the camp (Tiger NGO camp) or even the volunteering itself? This would be my 1st time to Asia and am hoping to get some camera trap surveys done but want to make sure it is the right placement. Thanks all (been a while since I have been on here, apologies for the absence)
  9. I think I disagree that some of the points on here are welfare points. The ethical arguement over whether it is ok to kill animals is not necesserily a welfare issue (many may disagree), I view this as a worthy ethical debate but I would consider the welfare side of things to be more focussed on the methods of euthenasia and whether these are "welfare friendly". I agree that conservation should not be science and nothing else but my point was how much is judgement clouded when too much emotion is involved and/or when decisions in one area are made by non experts i.e. welfarists making conservation decisions and vice versa. I think any conservationist who stops caring about culling animals should throw in the towel. I genuinely get upset by killing an invertebrate but I have also been actively involved in the culling of wildlife.I dont enjoy it, I wish it didnt have to be done but in my opinion there is a greater good to it. Not to sound too flippant but you cant make an omellete without breaking a few eggs
  10. I dont necessarilly disagree with this point but it does depend on the reasons for the conservation of any given area or species. If it is to maintain a functioning ecosystem then emotions are not apropriatte. If it is species specific conservation then emotions much more frequently the trigger for conservation. I agree that most conservationists get into the field dor emotive reasons, as did I. I also think, however, that emotions cloud judgement. Good conservation should be scientific. This requires them to be objective which means removing emotion. In my experience this isnt always easy but necessary.
  11. Very interesting topic. As a wildlife (in the wild) conservationist who has a chunk of experience in captive "conservation" i.e. zoos this is a subject close to my heart. Im not going to go into the captive side as I think it would be going off topic. One thing I would like to say firstly is that animal welfare is not the same as animal rights. The challenge here is conservationists (as a rule) dont understand the in depth concepts of animal welfare and animal welfare specialists (as a rule) dont understand conservation. Im basing this on my personal experience of both groups. This arguement is based on huge generalisations across specialists in 2 different fields. Animal welfare is concerned with the wellbeing of individuals. Conservation is the promotion of long term persistence of wildlife, habitats and ecosystems. Conservation then is led by natural and wild processes which directly conflict with individual wellbeing. Life in the wild is hard. That said there are aspects of animal welfare which I think even the self proclaimed non welfare-ists would agree withn eg. Over crowding of animals by tourist vehicles, This is both a welfare and a conservation problem. Individual wellbeing is impacted as is fecundity via persistent elevated stress levels in many species (conservation problem). I also think that the trend I have seen in conservationsists to dismiss welfare can be dangerous. Trapping methods, tagging methods,viewing practices, vaccination techniques (think Ethiopian wolves) should all be led by welfare to have conservation benefits. That said conservation is obviously just as much about removing animals as it is increasing their numbers and this will always conflict with staunch animal welfare advocates. In that sense the methods of removal can, however, be as welfare friendly as possible. Im sure no one here would argue with reducing suffering in animals during culling (all things, i.e. cost, being equal). Look at the arguements against whaling, other than threatened species the only anti whaling argument which stands up for me is the welfare of killed animals (long death times). Should welfare dictate conservation practices? No Should welfare be considered with high priority in conservation practices? Absolutely
  12. we have tried for funding through save the elephants before and will again. Dont know Tusk, thanks I'll look at them.
  13. Hi All, For a couple of years now I have been working with a small NGO in Malawi working at managing a protected area. We have particular problems with elephant conflict. Does anyone know of any organsiations which provide grant support to conservation projects? International Elephant Funnd is the big one but we are in desperate need of funds and often with funding there are obscure poorly advertised pots of money available.
  14. Cutting off the supply is the key. Im no expert on Eastern cultures but China followed by the middle east seem to be key areas. How much can we really expect to change until the political culture, particualry in china becomes more open and less insular. Education will solve this problem quickly but many blame Chinas "wacky beleifs". Plenty of Western cultures had equally crazy beliefs but education remedied these. The closed nature of these societies as a result of many factors including religion, tradition corruption/dictatorial nature of government
  15. There are many solutions to this problems. 99% of which are borderline of not completely inhuman. Stop controlling malaria to prevent population. Was that suggested by someone who lives in a malarial area or who cant afford a mosquito net. What about refusing medical treatemnt for terminal or genetic problems? Or self inflicted health issues like smokers or drinkers? How about we stop health care a the age of 50? I am an animal lover, a conservaitonist and care passionately for wildlife but I am also human and care about my fellow man. The only way I can see the growth in human pressure being alleviatted is by mving away from what we in the UK call "little Britain". Our actions as a society affect others globally. We are no longer many isolated peoples. We are one society. There are many cultures in our society but we are one. I am a Scot who has lived and worked in Malawi, Seychelles, Tanzania, Swaziland, england, Wales, Greece but my actions have affected/contributed to people globally. I have bought priducts from Asia, flown on flights pumping CO2 out globally. If we lived outlife without borders then we could do much more. A global cooperative economy. Even the EU cant function because everyone cares about their little plot of land. This attitude is what will ruin this planet. In the UK we are a nation who demonises a man who kills an animal to feed his family yet we find it impossible to give up the plastic bag. I realise that this is probably a dead argument as it will never happen but if nothing else being a conservationist means you have to be an optimist in the face of the worst reality! Long term I think in many parts of the world and especially Africa unless there is a revolution of the like we have never seen in modern history aroud our attitudes then I think fenced fortresses may well be the future. Wow, now Im depressed

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