By Peter Knights, Executive Director of WildAid
Experts in rhino conservation met last week in Nairobi convened by the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in response to a rhino poaching epidemic gripping South Africa and Zimbabwe, which reached a record high in 2011—poaching in South Africa alone leapt up 33% in just a year, with an estimated 448 rhinos killed for their horns compared to 13 killed in 2007.
Augustin Kanyunyi Basabose, one of Africa's leading experts on Great Apes, is now the Interim Director of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) - a coalition of the African Wildlife Foundation, Fauna & Flora International, and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
In the heart of the Virunga Massif, unhabituated mountain gorillas range. Unfortunately, poachers also range there, setting traps called snares for wildlife. In early February, one of those unhabituated mountain gorillas was found dead, after what was likely several days of struggling in a rope snare.
We are pleased to share the news that EugËne Rutagarama, IGCP Director since 2003, will soon lead a task force that will craft a new strategy for the organization. Dr. Augustin Basabose, currently Species Conservation Coordinator, will assist by taking on day-to-day management of IGCP as Interim Director effective April 1, 2012.
We are in northern Cameroon, Boubba’ndjidda, National Park to be exact. We are close to the border of Chad. Boubba’ndjidda connects to Sena Oura National Park. We are on a scoping mission, assessing conservation opportunities with the hopes of being able to provide support to the management and protection of the Binational Sena Bouba (BSB) Yamoussa Complex in coordination with the Governments, Wildlife Authorities and partners.