Tomas

Chinko Project

57 posts in this topic

The Chinko project in Central African Republic is locking to be a real success story! In one of Africa’s most conflict torn countries this project that started as a hunting concession but evolved to a hunting concession in the core area and a protected area around it with community work and conservation hand in hand. A lot of research and anitpoaching is under way and the wildlife seems to be on the rise. This is wonderful new because the central African wildlife and the unique nature has been under enormous threat and in risk of total or almost total extinction.

This project seem to be a good example of conservation and what I think the only way we are going to save big parts of the African wildlife and nature. Without giving wildlife areas and wildlife a value for the local people and for the government this last wild areas will succumb to farms of different kinds poaching or other ways of making money and food. And no wonder, food is a necessity and if an area is not economical viable then no one is going to protect it.

Soon serious photgraphers and tourists can come here and experience a African wildlife that is unique


Here are some links to both the hunting company that initiated the hole process and to the Chinko project

 

http://www.chinkoproject.com/

 

http://www.cawasafari.com/?p=home

 

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

~ I'd looked at this Web site about one month ago.



It interested me due to the forest species concerned.



I'm not the most astute reader or analyst of on-line information.



My cursory reading suggested that at present they offer hunting safaris, but not yet wildlife photography safaris.



I could well have overlooked a page or misread.



If wildlife photography safaris were offered in periods when no hunting was going on, it might be of considerable interest.



Nevertheless, as I felt one month ago, I continue to feel uncertain today.



Tom K.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Tomas Thanks for posting details of an example where sport hunting has a positive benefit for wildlife. Another is Humani Ranch in the Savé Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe and you can read my interview with Roger Whittall here.

 

In terms of the Chinko project, what would have become of this area had not sport hunting driven revenue income? If non consumptive tourism is not supporting such areas, NGOs aren't funding such land areas and little or no investment is being made, what, realistically, would become of both the wildlife and ecosystem?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

 

~ I'd looked at this Web site about one month ago.

It interested me due to the forest species concerned.

I'm not the most astute reader or analyst of on-line information.

My cursory reading suggested that at present they offer hunting safaris, but not yet wildlife photography safaris.

I could well have overlooked a page or misread.

If wildlife photography safaris were offered in periods when no hunting was going on, it might be of considerable interest.

Nevertheless, as I felt one month ago, I continue to feel uncertain today.

Tom K.

@@Tom Kellie

Well the jungles of CAR are different than those of south and east Africa, it is not as much wildlife and the area has been heavily poached for a long time to make it even less, cattle grazing does not help either. The Idea is that the area around the hunting block shall be for example tourism and research and bring in money for keeping this area, together with money from the tourism hunting, and hopefully this will be the case soon. They are hoping for a bigger increase in wildlife to make the area interesting for other than hunters. For a hunter it is ok to walk around a couple of days without seeing that much wildlife or shoot anything. For an ordinary tourist they would not be to happy just seeing birds and plants for the whole day and some animal spoor but no big mammals.

 

This jungle and plains of Chinko are never going to be as popular with tourists as in south or east Africa, this area is for the real adventures that want to experience true wilderness, 17 000 square kilometer of it! Unfenced and truly wild. People that would like to see something really unique and species not often seen, very different from an east African safari.

 

If you call them at Chinko or give them a email I think that they would be more than happy to guide you as one of the first tourists in this area.

 

@@Game Warden to answer your question I think that Erik or one of the others running this project could tell a lot more maybe we should give them an email and invite them to safari talk and see what they have to say.

 

Don’t forget to watch the movie at the link about the Chinko project and remember no one else wanted to do anything with this area so the Chinko project are wildlife heroes. I have talked and visited Erik and he is truly passionate to save this last bit of jungle and wildlife as it was.

Edited by Tomas
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the jungles of CAR are different than south and east Africa it is not as much wildlife and the area has been heavily poached for a long time to make it even less, cattle grazing does not help either. The Idea is that the area around the hunting block shall be for example tourism and research and bring in money for keeping this area together with money from the tourism hunting, and hopefully this will be the case. They are hoping for a bigger increase in wildlife to make the area interesting for other than hunters. For a hunter it is ok to walk around a couple of days without seeing that much wildlife or shoot anything for an ordinary tourist they would not be happy just seeing birds and plants for the whole day and animal spoor but no big mammals.

This jungle and plains are never going to be as popular with tourism as in south or east Africa this is for the real adventures that want to experience true wilderness 17 000 square kilometer of it unfenced and truly wild. People that would like to see something really unique, and species not often seen. To see something exclusive and very different from an east African safari. If you call them or give them a mail I think that they would be more than happy to guide you as one of the first tourists in this area.

 

~ @@Tomas

 

It's very nice of you to take time to write such a full explanation of the situation to me.

Thank you so much!

I'm definitely a most ordinary, run-of-the-mill safari tourist, the kind who wanders about looking bewildered, camera in hand.

However, I would be satisfied “seeing birds and plants for the whole day”, having done so with pleasure throughout my professional life.

Larger grazing or browsing mammals aren't a must, nor are predators.

I'm excited by the occasional glimpse of a grasshopper, or a skink, or a dark plumage thrush.

If they'd consider such a visitor, but with low risk of being where hunters were tracking their prey, then it might be of considerable interest.

As I wrote above, I had looked at their Web site one month ago, but wasn't clear whether or not they were 100% hunting or ever took a non-hunting guest through the forest.

Your most kind reply is especially encouraging, causing me to dream a bit.

With Appreciation,

Tom K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Tomas Please do feel free to invite Erik and I would be very happy to do an interview with him.

 

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting @@Tomas .

 

There was a report and discussion on this on ST in April 2015 which suggested that hunting had been suspended there for up to two years. So does your post mean that hunting is now offered again ?

 

Here is the link to the previous thread http://safaritalk.net/topic/14990-safari-hunting-stopped-in-chinko-project-area/?hl=chinko

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will do @@Game Warden

I just talked to his wife and to answer @@Tom Kellie about wildlife photo safaris in Chinco they are not done right now, the reason is security it is not safe enough! But gladly the wildlife is coming back big time right now.
They gave me some alternatives in CAR where it is safe and possible thou.

Some more info here in their news letter

http://us3.campaign-archive2.com/?u=6da01d64147ee79181cbb168c&id=92f03528f0&e=ef5e063b89

 


Cheers
/Tomas

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just talked to his wife and to answer @@Tom Kellie about wildlife photo safaris in Chinco they are not done right now, the reason is security it is not safe enough! But gladly the wildlife is coming back big time right now.

They gave me some alternatives in CAR where it is safe and possible thou.

 

~ @@Tomas

 

Thank you for talking with Mrs. Mararv. That's so thoughtful of you to do so.

It's understandable that Chinko Project security isn't yet what it might be.

May I please ask what those CAR alternatives might be?

It surprised me to read that they suggested other possibilities.

Tom K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Tom Kellie They said that this alternative is not bad
Bayanga National Park.

You can contact Rod Cassidy or Sangha Lodge on Facebook for more info.
Excellent elephants, lowland gorillas, bongos and other animals.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Tomas Or you can contact @@Rod Cassidy here on Safaritalk... ;)

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Chinko and APN as far as I know are not encouraging tourist just yet for a multitude of reasons. We down at Dzanga Sangha on the other hand are open for business and will love to get as many people in as possible. This sends a great message to the population about what conservation is about and how it can be a benefit etc.

Check out some of the recent trip reports on this forum and also stay tuned while we put together a ST special for ST members in the coming weeks. Not only do we get the regular forest mega aune, like Gorillas and elephants, but I personally like to search out the harder to find yet equally charismatic animals like Pangolins, anomalures, Pottos, etc.... The rainforest is so much more than just Mega fauna.

FYI Dzanga Sangha throughout the crisis in CAR was never a dangerous place to live and we stayed throughout most of the crisis. Now that peace has come to the greater part of the country Dzanga Sangha is far ahead of the rest of the country and calm and peaceful and receiving some more adventurous guests.

Do consider this as an option.

 

Rod

10 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@wilddog I do not think that the hunting has opened up yet but is supposed to do so soon I think. The work they have put down is exceptional, and the time and money to. Erik and his wife has put down a big part of their life in this project, to really save one of the last true wilderness in CAR and Africa they are heroes no less!
.
I read the link to the other discussion you posted and are sad to see that there is people who’s biggest concern is why someone is shooting an animal rather than the conservation of nature and wildlife.


I still struggle to understand how people has so strong beliefs that they refuses to see reality. If we do not give this wildlife areas economical value other than transforming them to cattle land and farms there will be no wildlife! How can anyone be against eating meat or get money to schools and anti-poaching from a renewable resource that preserves the area and give yields every year without polluting or damaging the nature?
-Ohh many says but they hunt for the thrill and to get a trophy! Yeah and so what?

The meat are used, the skin and the horns to and it does not damage the population at all. Why the hunter pulls the trigger is not important, that we can keep this areas wild and with a good wildlife population in them is important. Just because some people think that nature is only for watching and that we should factory farm all the meat we need we have problems conserving some areas because of public outcry of someone shooting an animal that are surplus!

I only have real knowledge of Sweden and East Africa and some other areas, and the double moral in Sweden are huge, the people who work and live in cities are quite often the most extreme when it comes to scream murderers to hunters but they happily goes to Mc Donald’s and eat hamburgers from cows that have suffered a much worse fate then to live free for years and then be shoot by a hunter!

I know I seem rather harsh and I do not mean that people should not have their beliefs and live their life’s as they see fit within the law of course, it is ok to be a vegan it is their choice and I respect that. I will not call them cruel or stupid. I also have full understanding why some people do not want to kill an animal but still eats meat, that is ok we are all different. I also are more than happy when there are other way to save wildlife areas, hunting is not the only answer but it is one of the answers and it is a great way to use a natural resource.

We are all wildlife lovers and we need to help save the remaining wild areas on our earth.
The wildlife lovers that spend most of their lives in cement cities have opinions that are worth lessening to and so are the local wildlife lovers that live in the wildlife all the time and go to the cities to shop sometimes. But the management of the wildlife must be by the local people not manage by the people that do not live in the area. Compromises has to be made of course but the wildlife must benefit the locals and given a value to them.

I have trouble with people that thinks that their way is the only way and any other alternative is wrong. To sit at home and complain and accusing people of being hateful murderers that are sick! With that I have a problem. So anyone reading this and hate hunting and hunters why do you not like hunting? And if the answer is because it is wrong to kill and that is more important than saving the wildlife areas then for goodness sake believe that it is a free world at least some of it.

It may seem that I am not open for discussion I really am but only if no one calls another group of people for sick or bad, and are instead ready to discuss the real issue not feelings o beliefs but fact and what we think and our opinions of things. The different with to have an opinion or think something and to have a belief is that a belief is not about fact it is a belief and is something personal while an opinion can be changed and are open for debate. That we could start a new thread for if anyone is interested and continue to discuss the Chinco project here.

So religion and belief is like a penis, it is ok to have one but not ok to wave it around in other people faces (o;


1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Tom Kellie They said that this alternative is not bad

Bayanga National Park.

You can contact Rod Cassidy or Sangha Lodge on Facebook for more info.

Excellent elephants, lowland gorillas, bongos and other animals.

 

 

~ @@Tomas

 

Thank you for the tip!

In the place where I work and live Facebook is not available.

However, you've kindly provided enough information for me to follow up via other means.

I greatly appreciate your kindness.

Tom K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

~ @@Game Warden

 

Hmm...

Hmm...

Post #12 is VERY interesting.

This is something altogether unexpected...yet one month ago I was rummaging on the limited Internet here curious about the small-scale wildlife in the Central African Republic.

Hmm...

Tom K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think hunting will resume shortly at Chinko, next year would be earliest, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if they don't resume before 2020. As far as I understand Erik is now managing Garamba for APN. The majority of funding of APN parks in francophone Africa comes from the EU, so their funding is pretty safe and they don't depend so much on extra income before 'eating' into their own sources.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

@@Tomas - I am one of those people who think (and have mentioned it on the other thread) that while I am a big admirer of the work & attention brought to the area by the Chinko Project by the Mararv's (and an esp big admirer of what he is doing in Garamba), it is a lot of hyperbole to say that a very small hunting company was somehow responsible for saving huge tracts of wilderness from either poachers or transhumants or anyone really. To all the people who are constantly throwing up this project up as the greatest hunting conservation success story, let's look at these questions:

1) how much human or equipment infrastructure did the company have at its disposal before AP came into the picture?
2) how many of these people (rangers) or equipment (aircraft) could the company afford to devote to surveillance & anti-poaching activities?
3) What is the size of the concession (protected areas); how much of this very very vast area has any road infrastructure at all? What sort of anti-poaching activities could be conducted there?
4) what is the remaining population of central African lions? 200 or so, I gather. Does it make conservation sense to hunt them?

5) what about overall wildlife numbers? Were they on an upward trend or a downward trend when AP took over? Esp animals like Lord Derby eland.

I think you will see that the numbers show that the wildlife populations were in decline - not due to hunting, I agree - but due to the immensity of the task - impossible for a small company to keep these transhumants and armed groups of Sudanese out of the area. So the benefits brought by the hunters who came in? Marginal, in my opinion.

On the positive side,
1) I absolutely recognize that without the Mararv's passion, no one would have even heard about this area or cared.
2) They showed their commitment to conservation by handing over to AP when they probably realized that they did not have the funding or infrastructure to properly look after such an immense area
3) Erik Mararv puts his life on the line at Garamba every day - he is a hero in every sense of the word.

So in a nutshell, I think it was a mixed bag and I certainly don't think that hunting per se has been of any wonderful benefit here. Most populations have sharply reduced due to a variety of reasons, but the hunting itself has been very detrimental to the lion population.

And now to a matter of personal opinion - I don't see any beauty in animals that have been killed & I am afraid, so called lovely pictures of dead leopards grimacing in pain are not pictures I enjoy and I do feel free to express my thoughts on that.

But yes, the Mararv's have brought much needed attention to a wonderful area and for that they deserve our respect.

Edited by Sangeeta
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for bringing the Chinko project and CAR to the fore again, along with the crucial issues that encompass the region and its sustainability.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Adding a link through to an article on Bubye - another one of those hunting cases that is brought up all the time as a model of hunting based conservation

 

http://www.tourismupdate.co.za/article/108055/What-is-the-real-reason-behind-Bubye-s-proposed-lion-cull?utm_source=Now%20Media%20Newsletters&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=TU%20Daily%20Mail&utm_term=http:%2F%2Fwww.tourismupdate.co.za%2Farticle%2F108055%2FWhat-is-the-real-reason-behind-Bubye-s-proposed-lion-cull

 

I don't know enough about Bubye to necessarily agree or disagree with this article - but I was taken aback to read this:

 

"Christine Macsween, Director and Founder of LionAid asked in a report in January at a time when Bubye was raffling hunting tickets to shoot lions: “Are the Bubye fenced lions offered to trophy hunters’ guns anything to do with wild lion conservation?”

Macsween says the lions “live behind a 2.1m electric fence. The fenced lions do not live in any ‘natural’ environment and are there to be shot”.

She questions whether Bubye is just “another form of canned hunting”. After repeated requests Bubye has declined to comment whether the lions are fenced. "

 

Does anyone have the facts on this? Are the fences referred to here by MacSween just the perimeter fences that surround the entire conservancy, or are they kept penned up in smaller enclosures?

Edited by Sangeeta
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Sangeeta There is already some discussion about Bubye, in this topic, perhaps your questions are better placed there?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure they're just the perimeter fence.

 

@@Sangeeta You're bringing up some very good points! And I totally agree with you. Hunting did not save the area, but the people who were managing the hunting did draw in the attention as they realized their operation couldn't save the area.

 

In their latest news report I read that in 3 months they put in 350 hours of surveillance flights, which is a lot! And in two weeks in February, with the aid of a helicopter, they collared 7 elands and 1 buffalo. That's not really encouraging. If you fly so many hours, you should get an idea where buffalo and elands (and roan and hartebeests) are hanging out. 7 elands in 7 different groups is 1 eland every 2 days. If you can only find 1 eland group every 2 days of flying (maybe even with fixed wing aircraft and helicopter), and only 1 buffalo in 2 weeks than it seems the area is far from being able to sustain any form of consumptive or non-consumptive tourism.

Added to that they felt it necessary to mention that they saw a track of a lion, which indicates they are there, but they're not regularly recorded.

 

When APN takes over management of an area, they're in for the long run, usually at least 20 years. So there is still plenty of years with good management ahead! And wildlife populations will rebound when given the chance. The biggest challenge seems to be the cattle herders.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have the facts on this? Are the fences referred to here by MacSween just the perimeter fences that surround the entire conservancy, or are they kept penned up in smaller enclosures?

 

Lion Aid is 100% anti-hunting in all circumstances. Take that as you will.

 

There's lots of case studies on individual lions and prides here and you can read about the huge distances they are covering:

http://bubyevalleyconservancy.com/lions/

 

An immediate family member of mine was a manager at Bubye a few years ago. There were no lion pens back then, just close to a million acres that was fenced to protect the people from the wildlife and the wildlife from the people. I can't image that has changed, especially given the research projects on lions currently underway.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Egil. As you say, really impressive work APN are doing here & elsewhere. And exciting to read about the new elections and relatively peaceful transfer of power.

 

Can you imagine how terrible the Garamba situation must be so that even with the presence of APN and superb people like Mararv and the rangers there, those commercial poachers are still on a killing spree? I read a really article on Garamba the other day & will try & find & post.

 

If they're talking simply about perimeter fences at Bubye, then that is a very misleading remark by LionAid. I am anti-hunting too but in these terrible times, perimeter fences are good things. I saw on my trip to Zim in 2014 how SVC was suffering from dilapidated perimeter fences while Malilangwe was thriving with its well-maintained electric fences.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt, if you like, please feel free to move that Bubye post over to the correct thread. I did not mean to divert from this thread. Sorry!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


© 2006 - 2017 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.