Poaching is threatening wildlife conservation in South Africa. The demand for the bushmeat trade, Ivory, and Rhino Horn all contribute to the decline in animal populations. This demand puts enormous pressure on wildlife and is the cause of death of thousands of animals every year through snaring and hunting with dogs and firearms. Due to existing poverty, the challenge of poaching is immense; thus Anti-poaching and crime prevention are of top priority in the protection of protected areas.
A crucial part in developing a Big Five game reserve, is a world-class Anti-Poaching Unit (APU). With elephant and rhino on a reserve, an APU is up against fully financed and organized crime syndicates. It is critical to prepare and train rangers to contend with the high level of threat. Law enforcement is often shunned by communities and may fall under attack, verbal and physical on a regular basis. It takes a lot of discipline, courage, and bravery to be on the front line of defending and protecting a reserve.
The APU consists of three members and will increase with the growth of reserve. Duties consist of patrols of property; most patrols are done on foot. Each member of the APU is armed with a firearm and is fully compliant and competent. The teams will patrol the property, removing any old snares and searching for any signs of suspicious activity. The APU also records information such as game sightings, snares found, activity along the fence lines, and hunting with dogs or firearms.
Investing in our Anti-poaching unit is directing investing in the future of the reserve and the protection of its animals. Ven-Africa has started to upgrade its APU structure with the construction of Ranger Housing and a dedicated base for operations.
We require additional support in the form of:
– 3 off-road motorcycles – valued at R198 000 / USD 14 670
– 3 binoculars – valued at R10 000 / USD 740
– 6 camera traps – valued at R27 000 / USD 2 000
– 3 communication radios – valued at R8 000 / USD 590
– Recruitment and training of more staff – valued at R132 000 / USD 9 780
– Staff uniforms – valued at R4 500 / USD 335
Our goal is to raise: R380 000 / USD 28 115