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Posts Tagged Southern Africa

Linking Tourism and Conservation

Satao Elerai Lodge in AWF's Kilimanjaro landscape

To some African communities, the presence of wildlife is perceived as a threat to their livelihoods. Elephants are crop eating, water tank tipping nuisances. Lions are cattle attacking predators. Routine chores involve the added danger of stumbling upon a hippo or crocodile at the riverbank.

To others, where there is wildlife, they see opportunity. For many African nations, tourism is one of the fastest-growing economic sectors. In fact, Tanzania’s earnings topped 1.88 billion US Dollars in 2013, superseding gold as their number one foreign exchange earner.

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The ABC’s of Elephant DNA

Stephanie Schuttler collecting a small piece of forest elephant dung to be used for DNA extraction.

My previous blogs have brought up how difficult forest elephants are to see, and therefore study. Much of the research on forest elephants has actually been on their dung to obtain information about the elephant.

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Poachers Find a New Target in Vultures

Vulture in mid flight in Tanzania. Photo by Billy Dodson

On the heels of the elephant cyanide poisonings that happened in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park—which shocked and outraged many of us—comes another poisoning atrocity. This time, poachers are targeting creatures of flight…vultures.

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Cyanide Claims the Lives of More Than 300 Elephants

An elephant herd by a watering hole. Photo by Billy Dodson

If you’ve been following our blogs and recent news, you’ve probably heard about the horrific elephant poisonings that occurred in Zimbabwe early last month. When I first wrote about this tragic situation, I reported on the immediate elephant deaths—41 of Hwange National Park’s majestic giants—which was already a horrifically high number.

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A Conservationist Recalls His Beginnings

 Gwayi Conservancy in Zimbabwe. Photo by Perrin Banks

Two contrasting scenes stand out in my mind when I remember my past as a young boy herding my father’s cattle in the former wildlands of Domboshava, Zimbabwe. Mountains covered with forest full of diverse, juicy wild fruits—this was the common scenery in my early days as a herd boy, unforgettable, and one I cherished and so dearly loved. I remember the scenery changing, my beloved forests and flowing rivers were slowly replaced by bare mountains, lethargic rivers and leafless remnants of bushy trees still standing.

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