Africa is home to certain species that are facing extinction, including mountain gorillas and Grevy’s zebras. By putting safeguards in place like training rangers, using sniffer dogs, and empowering communities, we’re helping to ensure all of Africa’s wildlife survives.
Critical to protecting Africa’s wildlife are the local people. Sharing the land, often alongside each other, can lead to struggles for resources and deforestation. If people and wildlife learn to live together—inside and outside of protected areas—the future for all will thrive.
Whether it’s humans poaching wildlife or wildlife attacking people’s livestock, it’s a problem that cuts both ways: one of the biggest challenges is reducing conflict between people and wildlife. Our programs can, and must, serve both.
Here are some of the ways the African Wildlife Foundation provides solutions that balance the needs of people and wildlife:
By providing funding to organizations like Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), sniffer dogs are trained to detect illegal animal products such as ivory and rhino horns. In some cases, sniffer dogs are also used to locate poachers.
Working directly with communities—and making sure members get direct benefits from conservation efforts—creates a positive impact for all. For example, in Zambia, elephants and other wildlife roam freely outside of protected areas, but development was threatening these historic wildlife habitats. At the same time, communities were having a hard and sometimes attack livestock belonging to pastoralists. AWF has helped communities create conservancies or wildlife management areas where locals agree to protect the natural resources
With a better understanding of specific community needs, we are implementing projects like rainwater tanks, which are deterring people from going into forests to collect water and causing deforestation.
We are putting our research to the test in all of our work. Some efforts include putting GPS collars on elephants in northern Tanzania so we can identify which land must be conserved. We also attach radio collars to lions in order to track population trends, seasonal movement patterns, and mortality.
When AWF arrived in Ilima, the local school was a ramshackle building that failed to serve the educational...
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