The world’s appetite for ivory has, for years now, been the driving force behind the catastrophic decline in Africa’s elephant population. A recently completed census revealed that Africa’s elephant numbers have declined by a full 30 percent over a period of just seven years.
A s part of the Serengeti–Mara ecosystem, the Naboisho area in southern Kenya sees tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra pass through the landscape each year. But the area began experiencing pressure from uncontrolled development and overgrazing. With the assistance of a few operators, among them ecotourism operator Asilia, the Maasai landowners in Naboisho formed a conservancy in 2010— eventually transforming a degraded landscape into a prime tourism destination.
In July 2015, the first class of dogs graduated from the African Wildlife Foundation’s (AWF) unique anti-trafficking program, the Conservation Canine Programme. The eight graduates are currently stationed in airports and seaports in Kenya and Tanzania, working closely with the wildlife authorities to diligently detect wildlife products bound for international travel. The enthusiastic canines sniff their way throughout these highly trafficked venues, searching high and low for contraband wildlife products.
In two weeks an AWF delegation will join thousands of people from around the globe in Paris for the 21st Conference of Party on Climate Change. AWF is strongly urging all parties to support a binding and universal agreement on climate change.
It is no way to kick off World Rhino Day. Little Bahati, from Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, had already been the victim of rhino poachers when they shot and killed his mother last year, taking her horns and orphaning the defenceless rhino calf.