After more than a year of training and field experience, the first round of AWF Conservation Management Trainees has already amassed a wealth of experience.
Once believed to be a subspecies of the western red colobus, the Niger Delta red colobus was only discovered in 1993 and declared a full species in 2007.
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.
The mountain gorillas of the Virungas are often described as living in a giant salad bowl. The lowland gorillas also live in the midst of their favorite food source—the broad-leafed marantaceae scrub.
In Africa, getting access to a good education isn’t so easy if you live in the bush. Meanwhile, these rural areas are where you find the rich habitats and wildlife.
Through the AWF Conservation Schools (ACS) program, AWF has leveraged education as a way to encourage conservation among rural communities: In exchange for target communities agreeing to take certain conservation actions, AWF is building, or rebuilding, primary schools.