Africa Foundation supports conservation initiatives at Phinda Private Game Reserve, including our Community Conservation Training Course, endangered species monitoring and research (e.g. cheetah and rhino) and the Temminck's pangolin reintroduction project.
Pangolin Reintroduction Programme
- Pangolins hold the secrets of 85 million years of evolution
- For 1 ton of pangolin scales, an estimated 1,900 pangolins are killed
- In 2018, 48 tons of African pangolin scales from an estimated 91,200 African pangolins, were intercepted by customs in Asia
- In mid-2019, 55.8 tons of intercepted African pangolin scales, the equivalent of about 100,000 African pangolins, had already been reported by the African Pangolin Working Group
- There is one African pangolin taken from the wild every 5 minutes
In partnership with &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, the African Pangolin Working Group (APWG) is re-introducing the Temminck’s ground pangolin to a region where it has been locally extinct for decades. The learnings from this first-of-its-kind project will be pivotal to the future of the world’s most trafficked mammal.
All the animals involved in this initiative have been rescued from illegal wildlife traders and rehabilitated by the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital, under the auspices of the APWG. Each pangolin is actively monitored using specialised tracking tags which require periodic replacement. Your contribution towards these tags will make a fundamental difference not only to this project, but to the long-term survival of the species.
Professor Ray Jansen, Chairman of the African Pangolin Working Group, had this to say about the project:
“The release of pangolins retrieved out of the illegal wildlife trade into Phinda is not only a monumental achievement for the region, but also a pivotal study to monitor the reintroduction of pangolins into a province that experienced a local extinction of the species a few decades earlier. This groundbreaking project is the first of its kind for the species, and likely for the Order Philodata globally.”
Please use the reference 'Pangolin Re-Introduction' when donating!
Community Conservation Course:
Africa Foundation has been working in the uMkhanyakude District of KZN since 1992. The municipality is located along the coast in the far north of the KwaZulu-Natal Province, and is home to andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, Mkhuze Game Reserve, Tembe Elephant Park, Thanda Safari –Big 5 Game Reserve and the Isimangaliso Wetland Park. The District is 99% black African and more than 50% of the population is below the age of 35 years. It is documented as a municipality which ‘requires great investment in resources to improve living conditions’ for its people. Unemployment and poverty are high with 90% of average income coming from Government grants and subsidies. Community leadership structures frequently raise their concerns regarding the lack of opportunities for youth in the area, which leads to increased drug and alcohol abuse and crime.
Phinda Private Game Reserve, located in the Munyawana Conservancy in Northern KwaZulu Natal has a long standing, comprehensive conservation, research, and monitoring program. The course attracts conservation students from around the world, but until now, due to the cost of running the course, has not been accessible to students from neighbouring communities.
Africa Foundation partnered with the Phinda Conservation team to create, and fund, the Conservation and Research Skills Development programme, which aims to make the experiences and resources of the Phinda team accessible to enthusiastic local naturalists and conservationists from the surrounding communities, through a substantial training course. Not only is this increasing the opportunities for youth in the area, but also recognises that these communities are critical for effective conservation in the long-term, and their engagement with the reserve and conservation as a whole can only improve the opportunities for the protection of the areas natural resources.
Once funds were secured for 5 students to be enrolled on the course, the opportunity was advertised in the communities of Mnqobokazi, Mduku, KwaJobeand KwaNgwenya in July this year. A total of 47 applicants from the four communities were interviewed in August. After selecting the five best candidates, the course officially started on the 1stof October 2020. The students live onsite within Phinda Private Game Reserve for the duration of the course which will run through until March 2021
The goal of the course is to empower local people with the tools and experience required to pursue careers in wildlife, conservation management and tourism, while also developing and cultivating the future custodians of the wildlife and wild areas.
The course is divided into four modules:
•Research and Monitoring
•Field Guiding / tourism
Upon completion, certificates will be issued and learners will also have the opportunity to obtain an accredited FGASA Level 1 qualification (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa). Donations to this course will go towards a rolling fund for the course candidates.
Please use the reference 'Conservation Course' when donating!