Wildlife Conservation | African Wildlife Foundation

What we do saves more than just Africa's wildlife

Wildlife Conservation

Protecting an astounding diversity of species. (Humans included.)

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.

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Challenges

The survival of Africa’s wildlife depends on its relationship with people.

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.

Wildlife_Conservation

Solutions

Our solution to the wildlife conservation crisis is hands-on, up close, and personal.

Here are some of the ways the African Wildlife Foundation provides solutions that balance the needs of people and wildlife:

  • Using sniffer dogs to help prevent poaching.

    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.

  • Creating community conservancies.

    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

  • Implementing community projects that benefit both people and wildlife.

    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. 

  • Applying research to all AWF work.

    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.

Projects

Many of our conservation solutions have helped wildlife thrive, big and small. These are just some of the projects threatened species benefit from.

  • Mountain Gorilla Rangers
    Gorillas face peril

    Fewer than 900 mountain gorillas exist today.

    Mountain gorillas remain exceedingly endangered and live in only one area—the Virunga Heartland. This landscape spans...

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  • African Wild Dog Scouts
    Monitoring vulnerable wild dog populations in Kenya

    Wild dogs in danger.

    The African wild dog is seriously endangered due to human-carnivore conflict. Hunting and habitat loss has left fewer than 5,000 wild dogs in all...

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  • Rhino Sanctuary at Hluhluwe iMfolozi
    Protecting white rhino at one of their last remaining refuges

    Even protected areas are not completely safe from poaching. 

    Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, in South Africa, is one of the flagship protected areas of the Ezemvelo KwaZulu–Natal Wildlife,...

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  • Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary
    Protecting black rhinos from poaching

    Black rhinos in danger of extinction.

    The black rhino population in Kenya’s Tsavo ecosystem was estimated at 6,000 to 8,000 in the 1970s. By 1989, there were no more...

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  • Canine Detection Unit
    Sniffing out illegal wildlife trafficking in Kenya and beyond

    Poaching epidemic threatens elephants and rhinos.

    Illegal poaching in Africa is at an all-time high, with elephants and rhinoceros the most popular targets for well-...

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