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.

  • Lupani Primary School
    Education for conservation in Zambia

    Education remains one of the major challenges facing Africa.

    In the Sekute community of Zambia, students often had to walk miles a day to attend school. Classes were...

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  • Maasai Olympics
    Replacing lion hunting with competitive sports

    It is Maasai tradition to hunt lions. 

    In Maasai culture, young men who are entering warriorhood traditionally hunted lions to show their physical prowess and...

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  • Banhine National Park Revitalization
    Restoring a jewel of Mozambique

    Banhine is an overlooked but rich national park. 

    Southern Africa’s vast transnational Limpopo Heartland is perhaps best known for the world-famous Kruger National...

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  • African Apes Initiative
    Saving Africa’s great apes from the brink of extinction.

    All of Africa’s great ape species are either endangered or critically endangered.

    Africa is home to four of the world’s five great apes: the...

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  • Land for Livestock
    Balancing the land needs of farmers, herders, and wildlife

    Livestock is a vital livelihood for people in West Africa. So is farming.

    As competition over land and natural resources grows, pressure on protected areas and...

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