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Bushlife Safaris July 31, 2020

Bushlife Conservancy Update: July

Fundraising Update

Bushlife Conservancy is the funding partner of our conservation unit, Bushlife Support Unit and Painted Wolf Conservancy. They are tireless in their awareness and fundraising work to raise much-needed funds for anti-poaching, collaring and research projects in Mana Pools. They put out a very informative monthly newsletter if you would like to sign up here, and receive it in full. Below is a summary of the main points:

An Invitation to Support our Funding Match Campaign – Impact of Covid 19

We are facing dual challenges from the Covid-19 impact. As safari operations are shut down, poachers, “gold panners” and others perpetrating illegal activities want to take advantage of this lack of visitors who would normally be present throughout the Park. This puts the wildlife at an increased risk especially as the local community struggles with unemployment, lack of food and now additional health threats. Secondly, safari guests are the largest source of our funding, as they witness first-hand our work on the ground. Fewer safari guests mean fewer donations!

With this in mind, Bob and Mara Perkins, loyal volunteers and donors of BC, have offered $20,000 in matching funds, to start a Covid-19 Impact Campaign. Donations will be matched 1:1. Mara and the rest of the volunteer board take great pride in the stewardship of your donations. Be assured that your funds are used effectively and efficiently for anti-poaching, community support, and other vital projects in Mana Pools and the surrounding area.  We hope you will help us now, by joining the Perkins and making a special donation.

Nick and Jed share a short video update from the garden at their home in Harare

This is how your generous donations are used by the Bushlife Support Team in the field:

$18                Bus fare to send an anti-poaching patrol driver into the field
$25                New pair of boots for a ranger or driver
$90                One month’s rations for a ranger
$300              Reward for poacher arrest & conviction
$450              Cost of two replacement tires on a vehicle
$1,500           Fuel for 5 anti-poaching vehicles for one month
$2,500           Cost of a lion collaring
$4,000           Darting equipment for wildlife collaring.

Anti-Poaching Update

Our anti-poaching patrol teams are still very active even in these hard, challenging times. We are making sure that wildlife and the ecosystems are safely guarded. These men and women are possibly working in an environment that is the safest from Covid-19, and talking to them one can see that inside, they are indeed feeling blessed to be here rather than in cities and towns. Nevertheless, with less Park revenue due to the lack of tourism, we are worried about their welfare in the near future. If conditions carry on like this their salaries won’t be coming from National Parks, which will result in starving their families. Bushlife continues to supply food rations for anti-poaching teams and the rangers’ extended family community.

We are very much indebted to the hardworking volunteers and donors from across the globe, your generosity is indeed appreciated. Thank you for your continued support. We reassure that you will find these animals still safe and waiting for your return.

bushlife conservnacy
Goat

Pictured above are a few of the farmers who are receiving partial compensation for the loss of their livestock.  Each case is investigated before compensation is offered.  Freedom is in the baseball cap, ZimPark’s rangers are in green uniforms, and in blue are Bushlife drivers who support the rangers.

Human/Wildlife Conflict

More people have lost livestock than have been killed by Covid-19 in the Hurungwe District of Northern Zimbabwe, at the edge of Zambezi Escarpment. Since January, 63 goats have been killed. More than 12 incidents of leopard and elephant conflict with humans have been reported, and this month alone, 38 goats were killed by a leopard in Hotel village in Marongora, at Mana Pools’ southern boundary. A goat is valued at $40 and an expensive asset to villagers.

Human-wildlife conflict is defined by the World Wildlife Fund as “any interaction between humans and wildlife that results in negative impacts on human, social, economic or cultural life, on the conservation of wildlife populations, or on the environment.” Examples of negative impacts include carnivores attacking and killing livestock, herbivores raiding crops, and resource competition between animals and humans including water as a resource.

On the 21st of July, a report was received that a leopard was terrorizing the local village community and killing goats. Due to local resource constraints and lack of trained personnel, ZimParks and Bushlife were asked to intervene by trapping the leopard and relocating it to the National Park. We are working on this now.

The immediate solution we are implementing is game capture and translocation. Retaliation killing by villagers is not a solution but an emotional response, which will not conserve the species or support the villagers. We are also identifying ways to support the farmers and implement methods to humanely prevent future conflict.

Thank you to the Bushlife Conservancy team for all of their efforts! Be sure to sign up for their monthly newsletter here.

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