Good News Story: 3 Recent Wildlife Conservation Successes

April 30, 2019

Here is a welcome dose of good news in the form of three recent wildlife conservation successes in Africa.

Despite the bombardment of bad news stories – conservation and otherwise – on our media channels, from the end of 2018 into the first four months of 2019 we celebrated several triumphs for wildlife conservation in Africa.

We take a moment to reflect on just a handful of these good news stories:

Also read: African wild dog population success in Luangwa Valley

Mountain Gorilla Status Change

At the end of 2018, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species announced that the health of mountain gorilla populations in Rwanda and Uganda has been improving, albeit gradually.

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A mountain gorilla looks out from the bushes in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda © Sanctuary Retreats

The change to the great ape’s status from ‘Critically Endangered’ to ‘Endangered’ is based on survey results released in May 2018, which showed a fragile increase in numbers in the Virunga Conservation Area and the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

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A mountain gorilla mother and child in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda © Sanctuary Retreats

While this is, of course, good news for the species as well as validating the efforts of wildlife conservationists, the IUCN recognises that this is a small step in a long process to achieving the ultimate goal – an environment where mountain gorillas can survive and thrive without depending on conservation efforts.

The Black Mamba APU

Founded in 2013 by Transfrontier Africa NPC, the Black Mamba APU (Anti-Poaching Unit) is the first majority female anti-poaching unit in South Africa.

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Members of the Black Mamba APU in Balule Nature Reserve, South Africa © Lee-Ann Olwage

Thirty-two women and one man were brought together and trained initially to just protect the Olifants West Region of the Balule Nature Reserve. However, their effectiveness meant that they quickly expanded into other regions. This highly talented team now protects all boundaries of the Balule, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park.

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A member of the Black Mamba APU patrols the boundaries of Balule Nature Reserve, South Africa © Julia Gunther

Together with wildlife protection through the reporting and destruction of poacher camps and bush meat kitchens, the Black Mambas serve as an important conservation action role model for its communities. In four years, the APU has helped reduce poaching levels in the Kruger by up to 76% and received global recognition, namely The Eco-Warrior Silver Award 2017, the UN’s Champions of the Earth Award 2015 and the Rhino Conservation Awards Best Practitioner of the Year 2015. Well done to the Black Mambas!

Namibia’s Increasing Wildlife

Over 40% of Namibia is now under active conservation management, which has had the significant impact of growing healthy numbers of the country’s native populations of lions, oryx, zebras, black rhinos and cheetahs. In fact, Namibia’s cheetahs now form the largest single population anywhere in the world.

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Cheetah in Ongava Game Reserve, Namibia © Dr Olwen Evans

When Namibia gained independence in 1990, it became the first African country to incorporate environmental protection directly into its constitution, passing governmental laws that put the ownership and benefits of natural resources into the hands of local communities.

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A local guide leads visitors on a bush walk in Ongava Game Reserve, Namibia © Dr Olwen Evans

This has resulted in highly effective conservation projects led by communities. Today, Namibia is considered the only African country where wildlife numbers are actively growing year on year. What great news for this magical Southern African country!

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Feature image courtesy of Andy Gooch whilst on safari with Journeys Discovering Africa.


Posted by tfhadmin


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