Archive for Human-Wildlife Conflict

IUCN Species of the Day: Asian Elephant

Posted in IUCN Species of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2011 by Bush Warriors

 

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(tm)

Photo credit: Goldy Rajiv Santhoji

 

The Asian Elephant, Elephas maximus, is listed as ‘ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. It is found in isolated populations in 13 tropical Asian countries. The Asian Elephant is smaller than its African savannah relative; the ears are smaller and the back is more rounded.

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IUCN Species of the Day: Cuvier’s Hutia

Posted in IUCN Species of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by Bush Warriors

 

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(tm)
Cuvier’s Hutia photo credit Eladio Fernandez

Photo credit: Eladio Fernandez

 

Cuvier’s Hutia, Plagiodontia aedium, is listed as ‘ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Continue reading

Organization of the Day: Bear Research and Conservation Nepal

Posted in Organization of The Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2011 by Bush Warriors

 Asiatic Black Bears are considered ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN, and are suffering a rapid decline largely due to habitat loss, illegal trade in bile and paws, and conflict with humans.  These bears are known to invade and consume farmers’ crops, especially that of corn, and can cause significant income loss in the process.  This has resulted in a negative view of these animals and a lack of conservation in its range.  Quality research and effective conservation efforts are needed to ensure their future.

Photo via bearsoftheworld.net

Biologists and researchers concerned with the plight of these predatory mammals, and other wildlife living in Nepal, have come together to form a small, grassroots organization known as Bear Research and Conservation Nepal (BRCN).  Continue reading

Organization of the Day: Living With Lions

Posted in Organization of The Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2011 by Dori G

Living With Lions

Until recently scientists believed there were 100-200,000 lions living in Africa, but a recent survey has found that the number has dropped dramatically to approximately 23,000 and most of these are living in protected National Parks. Howeve, outside these areas and even some from within, lions are being killed at an alarming rate.  Unless urgent action is taken, they may be completely wiped out.

Living with Lions is a research and conservation group that works to save the remaining wild lions and other predators outside protected areas in Kenya. The organization currently has five projects: Lion Guardians, Mara Predator Project, Laikipia Predator Project, Amboseli Predator Project and the Kilimanjaro Lion Conservation Project. The Lion Guardians program was created in response to the slaughtering of over 200 lions in the Amboseli-Tsavo Ecosystem since 2001.  The group monitors lions, educates communities, and provides tools to mitigate human-wildlife conflict. The Laikipia and Amboseli Predator projects study the threats posed to lions outside protected areas and uses this information to develop practical measures that encourage coexistence between people, livestock and predators.

The Mara Predator Project (MPP) is monitoring the lions in this area, identifying key trends and shifts in population, and building an online database of individual lions so that effective conservation methods can be applied. Lastly, the Kilimanjaro Lion Conservation Project (KLCP) was established in early 2004 to try to use some of the lessons learned in Laikipia to halt the massacre of these big cats in an area of Maasailand between the Chyulu Hills, Tsavo and Amboseli National Parks in southern Kenya.

Living With Lions is lead by Dr. Lawrence G. Frank and his outstanding team of project biologists and coordinators. To learn more, click here.

Photo of the Day

Posted in Photo of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2010 by Caroline Thompson

 

“Peace and Tranquility”

Photo credit: Fred von Winckelmann

 

Painted Dogs (also called African Wild Dogs) are the second rarest canid in Africa, after Ethiopian Wolves.  Fifty years ago, these beautiful predators could be found in 39 countries south of the Sahara desert. Today, they are found in only 19, and are considered ‘endangered‘ by the IUCN.  Their populations have suffered an extensive and rapid decline due mainly to habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as conflict with and persecution from humans.  For quite some time, many who share the land with these animals have viewed them as vicious, vile, livestock-killing mongrels.  As a result, many have been shot, trapped, and poisoned.  Zimbabwe-based NGO, Painted Dog Conservation, has made significant efforts to save this species from extinction and has been very successful in changing perceptions of these fascinating creatures.

Historically, packs of over 100 could be seen in the savannah, but the reduction in their range and numbers has resulted in smaller pack sizes averaging between five and twenty individuals.   African wild dogs differ from their canid relatives in that they have four toes on each of their front feet instead of five.  Their long legs and lanky body aid them in speed and endurance.  They have large round ears that help to keep them cool and provide excellent hearing. Their coat is adorned with splashes of black, white, and varying shades of brown, hence the name ‘Painted Dog’.  Each dog’s markings are unique, helping researchers differentiate between individuals.

 

Please click here to see ALL of our Photo of the Day winners and for more information on the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day Contest, including how to enter.  Enjoy the beauty of nature, just as it was intended to be!

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Organization of the Day: Bear Research and Conservation Nepal

Posted in Organization of The Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2010 by Rene Valdez

 Asiatic Black Bears are considered ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN, and are suffering a rapid decline largely due to habitat loss, illegal trade in bile and paws, and conflict with humans.  These bears are known to invade and consume farmers’ crops, especially that of corn, and can cause significant income loss in the process.  This has resulted in a negative view of these animals and a lack of conservation in its range.  Quality research and effective conservation efforts are needed to ensure their future.

Photo via bearsoftheworld.net

Biologists and researchers concerned with the plight of these predatory mammals, and other wildlife living in Nepal, have come together to form a small, grassroots organization known as Bear Research and Conservation Nepal (BRCN).  Established in 2008, the focus of BRCN is to research the way the bears utilize their habitat and their interactions with humans, in order to determine and implement the most effective actions needed to best protect this species and its ecosystem.  Additionally, they are active in educating local communities about living with bears and try to inspire a conservationist attitude for both the bears and other wildlife.

The organization has diligently studied bears in and around protected national parks and reserves in Nepal.   They collaborate with local, national, and international organizations to conserve, restore, and enhance habitat.  BRCN understands the importance of a balanced ecosystem, and seeks to minimize negative impacts on it caused by humans.  Aside from bears, the organization has also conducted research on the endangered Hispid Hare and threatened songbirds, such as the Hodgson’s Bushcat.  This research will ultimately help them to identify and implement the most effective conservation strategies for protecting critical habitat.

Hispid Hare (photo credit: Joanna Van Gruisen)

Many communities see these bears as threats to both their lives and their livelihoods.  As a result of their fear and misunderstanding of these animals, the bears are often killed.  The research BRCN conducts evaluates the bears’ habitat use, in order to identify areas where a clash with humans is likely.  By identifying these areas, the organization can work with local communities to mitigate conflict with the animals.

Photo via cringel.com

Education and outreach are essential components to the conservation of wildlife, especially when human-wildlife conflict is part of the problem.  Bear Research and Conservation Nepal works with government agencies to create education programs that target communities within the range of the Asiatic Bear.  BRCN promotes a peaceful co-existence with these animals by teaching communities about the bear itself, and also what they can do to minimize conflict and crop raiding.

The organization has also been involved with a documentary about these predators.  “Max’s Big Tracks- Nepal’s Yeti” was broadcast globally on the Animal Planet, and explored the history and folklore of the black bear in Nepal.  BRCN hopes to continue developing documentaries and visual presentations in the future, in order bring needed attention to the status of this species.  The organization is also planning to open a wildlife orphanage, which would be the first of its kind in Nepal.  In collaboration with government and non-government agencies, this sort of orphanage would save lives and contribute to healthy wildlife populations.

For more information on Bear Research and Conservation Nepal, please visit their website.

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Organization Of The Day: Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program

Posted in Organization of The Day, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2010 by Dori G

With only about 500 adults left, the Ethiopian Wolf is the rarest candid species in the world and is dangerously close to extinction. While habitat loss and fragmentation are the biggest contributors to their decline, Ethiopian Wolves are also greatly compromised by diseases transmitted by domestic dogs, persecution from humans, and hybridization with domestic dogs. Home to many endemic species, the Afroalpine ecosystem in which the wolves live is also very close to being lost completely. In response to the rapidly declining population, Chris Hillman and Claudio Sillero formed the Ethiopian Wolf Project in 1988, which later gave rise to the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program (EWCP) in 1995.

With Ethiopian Wolves now only existing in small, isolated population, their survival is severely jeopardized by loss of genetic diversity and inbreeding, and the entire population could easily be wiped out by a natural catastrophe or disease epidemic. Understanding as much as possible about their ecology, biology, and behavior is critical to saving this species from extinction, thus research  is at the core of the EWCP’s objectives. The program closely monitors each sub-population of wolves and works closely with sutdents and researchers to understand every element of this endangered species.With ever-expanding human populations, the wolves come into contact with domestic dogs quite frequently. Consequently, wolves are susceptible to disease that the domestic dogs carry (specifically rabies) and mating has occurred between the two dog species, giving rise to hybrid offspring.

EWCP tries to counteract the effects of the domestic dogs. Hybrids are quickly identified and sterilized to prevent further loss of genetic diversity amongst the wolf populations. The program also offers a domestic dog sterilization program and encourages better dog husbandry amongst local communities. Unfortunately, in the 90’s and again in 2003, a rabies outbreak contracted from domestic dogs nearly destroyed the wolf population. EWCP was able to stop the outbreak by vaccinating the wolves. They also vaccinate domestic dogs to prevent this from happening again. EWCP’s education program targets governments, local authorities, farmers, and school children living in wolf ranges and attempts to educate the people and raise awareness about the disappearing Afroalpine ecosystem and its wolves. EWCP celebrated the 12th annual “Wolf Day” with local communities just this last month, an initiative that seeks to increase awareness and foster positive attitudes toward this canid species. The Education Team visits local schools and distributes education materials to over 3,000 children each year.

Their education officers work with adults in the community, trying to spread the word about the problem with domestic dogs, and encouraging them to have their dogs sterilized. They also try to educate communities on the fact that the wolves are not known to prey on livestock, and thus livestock loss must not end in persecution of these animals. EWCP increases the capacity  of Ethiopians in ecology and conservation by training and mentoring aspiring field biologists. To address the biggest challenge facing the Ethiopian Wolves, EWCP seeks to protect what little is left of the wolves’ Afroalpine ecosystem. They are actively working to expand the boundaries of the area’s National Parks, as many wolves are living outide the parks. Preventing further habitat loss from land converted for cereal crop production and livestock grazing is critical to the future of the Ethiopian Wolves. EWCP seeks to ensure a future for these magnificent animals with the help of present and future generations. Without Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme, the wolves would have surely gone extinct by now.

To learn more, please visit their website