23 Feb 2017
NOTE: Donations from the USA made via our partner organization – Empowers Africa, are tax-deductible.
General Donations & Fundraising
First and foremost, Wildlife ACT exists to save our endangered wildlife and wild places from extinction, and are working tirelessly 365 days a year to achieve this goal. Integral to this, is establishing new protected areas for conservation throughout Africa in the face of rapid urbanization. To achieve our ultimate goal (which is no small matter) requires the ongoing challenge of recruiting volunteers and raising much-needed funds and awareness on a global scale. We stretch every cent to make sure it is utilized in meaningful conservation operations.
Endangered Species Emergency Response Fund
WHAT IS IT FOR?
The Emergency Respond Fund is a fund that allows an emergency response to African Wild Dogs and other endangered species (such as vultures and rhino), which have been snared, injured, dispersed, or broken out of a reserve. It allows for the payment of critical veterinary costs, the rapid retrieval of dispersing wild dogs using helicopters and vehicles (to prevent livestock loss and human-wildlife conflict) and the emergency retrieval of individuals in serious danger of being killed.
HOW DOES IT WORK? WHO MANAGES IT?
The Fund is managed through KZN-WAG and the Zululand Vulture Project by Wildlife ACT Fund to allow for simple efficient deployment once decisions are made. The decision makers are made up of the official entities from the respective projects, i.e. Wildlife ACT Fund, Wildlands Conservation Trust, Endangered Wildlife Trust and EKZN Wildlife. The process is meticulously recorded and reported on.
Being able to respond rapidly to injuries, snaring events, and break-outs will directly lead to the saving of multiple animals per year. It will also strengthen the trust between reserves and local communities and improve the tolerance of having predators on reserves. The unnecessary suffering of these endangered species, whether it’s a snared Wild Dog, an orphaned rhino, or poisoned vultures, will be alleviated, as vets and experienced personnel can react immediately. It has been proven to work and taken more than 50 years of experience and research to have reached this point where our endangered species can be given extra support to allow their populations to grow.
- Helicopter Time: R8000 an hour
- Wildlife Veterinarian Costs: R7000 a day
- Travel Costs for Vets and Staff: up to R3000 a day
- Target Amount per year = R1 000 000
- Minimum amount required per year = R250 000
Endangered Vulture Conservation
Southern Africa’s vulture populations are in serious decline. Of the five Savannah species found in Zululand, all are classified as either endangered or critically endangered. Current trends suggest that all breeding pairs of Lappet Faced and White Headed Vultures will be locally extinct by 2020. These birds are literally teetering on the edge of extinction.
HOW DO WE SAVE OUR VULTURES?
To aid in halting this decline, Wildlife ACT has teamed up with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the Endangered Wildlife Trust to create the Annual Vulture Tagging Project in Zululand. The project endeavours to capture vultures throughout Zululand to attach identification tags and rings as well as collect important biological data. The identification tags and rings allow us to track vulture movements when the public report sightings. In addition to this, some vultures are fitted with high-tech GPS backpacks in order the gather more detailed data about their movement patterns.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Aside from much-needed donor support, you can help this cause by reporting tagged vulture sightings. If you see a tagged vulture in Southern Africa, please record the identification number and species (if possible) along with the GPS (or physical) location. If you can, snap a photograph of the animal with the ID tag displayed. This information can be passed onto firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The more information we are able to accrue, the better equipped we will be able to understand the status of our vulture populations and improve our monitoring of this critically important species.
Community Outreach Conservation Program
While anti-poaching and rhino rescue efforts are crucial to the immediate fight, the rhino war will ultimately be won through community education. When communities that live on the borders of rhino reserves understand why rhinos need to be conserved, how they can benefit from rhino conservation, and why poaching is unsustainable, a buffer zone of friendly forces is created around each rhino population, making poaching less and less likely, until one day poaching is a thing of the past.
WHAT DO CONTRIBUTIONS PAY FOR?
- US $20 – feed a child at the bush camp in Somkhanda Game Reserve
- US $80 – cover the transport & airtime of a Community Conservation Educator for 1 month
- US $150 – send a kid to the bush camp in Somkhanda Game Reserve
- US $400 – cover fuel for in-school conservation lessons for one month
- US $1800 – fund a 4-day conservation education bush camp for local children
Satellite Tracking & Anti-Snare Collars
Over the years we have helped develop and improve anti-snare and tracking collar technology which are proving to be hugely successful. These collars can not only help monitors find individual animals on a daily basis, but also gives an animal trapped in a poacher’s snare a fighting chance of survival.
These specially reinforced and riveted collars (which cost roughly $600 each) can prevent the animal from choking to death, and also send out an emergency signal once a dog is stationary for an unnatural amount of time – giving monitors and rangers time to respond to an emergency. This means that a collar can literally save an animal’s life! Our hope is to collar each and every African Painted Dog in South Africa.
Why else do we need to collar and monitor African Wild Dogs?
- To study the animals and record behavioural, social and feeding patterns for research purposes
- Monitoring is an effective way of keeping track of these animals’ movements and demographics and learning about their ecology and population structures
- Monitoring these animals intensively allows us to predict future movements and possible dispersals of individuals from their packs
- We are able to detect if animals have left the confines of the park – allowing us to act immediately to bring them back – preventing conflict and interaction with humans and domesticated animals
- By being in the field with them on a day-to-day basis we pick up on poaching incidences quickly as well as animals dispersing from the confines of the reserve and also injuries from fighting and predation
African Big Cat Conservation
Our conservation work with Africa’s big cats that are under serious threat involves monitoring, studying, collaring, tracking and trans-locating Leopard, Lion, Cheetah and Caracal to ensure their protection. We are affiliated with the global big cat authority, Panthera, to conduct the largest leopard survey of its kind in the world and have been campaigning alongside Blood Lions and others to put a stop to canned hunting and the captive breeding of lion. We are monitoring important cheetah populations across multiple game reserves and are studying the behavioral ecology and genetic health of the urban Caracal. We monitor these species 365 days a year along with other endangered or priority species such as African Wild Dogs, Rhino and Elephant and Hyena.
The Wildlife ACT Wishlist
We are often asked by volunteers if they can bring anything along with them to further support the work our field teams are doing, or to make camp life more efficient. While our camps are already equipped to operate at full speed ahead, it is access to the shops that stock many of the items listed below that makes it difficult to replenish or upgrade our supplies.
Thank you as always to those generous souls who have brought items along with them time and time again. We honestly feel like we have the best supporters in the world. Our work would not be possible otherwise. Please see the Wildlife ACT Wishlist here to see exactly what each camp / project is in need of.