Archive for IUCN

Organization of The Day: Grevy’s Zebra Trust

Posted in Organization of The Day with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Grevy’s Zebra Trust

Over the last 30 years, experts estimate an 84-87% decline in the world’s Grevy’s zebra population, with only about 2,000 left in the wild today.  They are now only found in Kenya and Ethiopia.  Their demise is attributed mainly to poaching (for meat), as well as the effects of domestic livestock on essential resources such as food and water.  Disease and drought in northern Kenya has further accelerated their decline in recent times.  The Grevy’s Zebra Trust was created in 2007 to stimulate conservation efforts for this imperiled species.  The Trust contributed to a social movement that was born when Kenya Wildlife Service implemented a nation-wide conservation strategy in 2008.

The strategy leaves the responsibility of carrying out conservation efforts in the hands of stakeholders and envisions a goal that encompasses a healthy and viable future for the Grevy’s Zebra population.  The Grevy’s Zebra Trust unites the conservation strategy with the people.  The first step in the process was to identify the current status of the Grevy’s Zebra population and was executed by conducting a national survey.  As part of the survey, the team was able to unite with IUCN’s Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) program to conduct aerial surveys to count zebras while simultaneously searching for poaching activities.  Ultimately, the results would provide the information necessary to identify key areas to target conservation efforts on in order to accomplish the goal of the strategy, and also provides a basis on which to evaluate the effectiveness of their endeavors.

Part of the survey involved gauging local pastoralist communities’ interactions with and knowledge of the zebras.  The organization recognizes the value in educating these communities on the main issue and directly engaging them in their efforts.  The Trust trains nomadic peoples how to recognize various biologic and ecologic variables of these animals.  In so doing, these people become committed to data collection, protection, and appreciation for the zebras.  They are also educated on alternatives to the use of these animals, improved livestock management that reduces competition and conflict with the zebras, and are encouraged to spread these messages to other communities.  The integration of pastoralist communities into conservation efforts is critical to achieving the goals of the conservation strategy.  Though a young organization, the Grevy’s Zebra Trust is already making enormous strides in ensuring the future of this endangered zebra species.

To learn more, visit their website

Loss of nature = damaged world economies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2010 by kendickjerkins

The third Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3) says that some ecosystems may soon reach “tipping points” where they rapidly become less useful to humanity. Such tipping points could include rapid dieback of forest, algal takeover of watercourses and mass coral reef death. Last month, scientists confirmed that governments would not meet their target of curbing biodiversity loss by 2010. “The news is not good,” said Ahmed Djoglaf, executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). “We continue to lose biodiversity at a rate never before seen in history – extinction rates may be up to 1,000 times higher than the historical background rate.”

The 2010 target of significantly curbing the global rate of biodiversity loss was agreed at the Johannesburg summit in 2002. The relationship between nature loss and economic harm is much more than just figurative, the UN believes.An ongoing project known as The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) is attempting to quantify the monetary value of various services that nature provides for us. These services include purifying water and air, protecting coasts from storms and maintaining wildlife for ecotourism. The rationale is that when such services disappear or are degraded, they have to be replaced out of society’s coffers. TEEB has already calculated the annual loss of forests at $2-5 trillion, dwarfing costs of the banking crisis.

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UN Helicopters Successfully Rescue Baby Gorillas

Posted in Africa: Primates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2010 by kendickjerkins

UN peacekeepers from the Congo have successfully airlifted endangered baby gorillas out of the conflict zone where they were rescued.  The four babies were flown from the conflict zone in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Kasugho Sanctuary in the North Kaivu province on Tuesday.  Six other gorillas are to be flown into the sanctuary on June 10 in an attempt to help the the other four form a sustainable, viable population back in their natural habitat.  The illegal trade in bush meat and live baby gorillas has been a boon to local militant groups, and this rescue mission is hoped to be a first step in both saving the gorillas and helping to stop the war.

Human conflict in Congo is constantly claiming casualties

A gorilla mother and her baby.

Baby gorilla rescued from Illegal trafficker

To read the full article about the air lift click here

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The last stand of the Apes: On the brink of Extinction, Humans Vs Apes.. on the front lines of the biggest battle on our planet

Posted in Africa: Primates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2010 by kendickjerkins

If someone were to destroy your grandmother’s house in order to sell the materials for a profit would you be OK with it?  Unfortunately our race, the  human race, is doing that exact thing to our closest living relatives in Africa.  Habitat exploitation, poaching for bush-meat  as well as the introduction of new diseases is destroying the last hold out populations of chimpanzees and gorillas.  At the current rate, soon there will no longer be any wild chimpanzees or gorillas and according to experts minimum of  $30 million dollars is needed if we plan on conserving these species on our planet.

“This devastating mix of threats leaves us on the brink of losing some of our closest living relatives,” said Russell A. Mittermeier, president of Conservation International and chairman of the Primate Specialist Group of IUCN-The World Conservation Union’s Species Survival Commission. “Protecting gorillas and chimps is not just important in its own right. These animals are also flagship species, important symbols for vast areas of forest that are among the richest on Earth. Protecting them protects many other species as well.”

A western lowland gorilla

A western lowland gorilla baby with a silverback male.

A baby chimpanzee.

PLEASE NOTE: Photos Below are of explicit nature

Dead Chimp on to be sold in the local market for bushmeat

Gorilla head to be sold in local market

A monkey split in half; common fare alongside the logging roads of equatorial Africa

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Rare Congo Otter being Poached for Witchcraft Purposes

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2010 by kendickjerkins

A Skye-based animal charity has come to the aid of an abandoned rare otter being cared for by missionaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to the IUCN Otter Specialist Group, this extremely rare species is hunted for bush meat and for the use in witchcraft in parts of Cameroon as well. The locals also use part of the body as a witchcraft material and as an aphrodisiac, as well as the skin for drums.

African Witchcraft Doctor

The Congo clawless otter cub was found in the remote area of Kikonga and handed over to Rita and Glen Chapman.

A Congo clawless otter cub

A full grown adult clawless otter; their thick warm fur, rich meat, and use in witchcraft practices have drastically reduced their numbers.

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Almost half of all primates may soon be extinct

Posted in Africa: Primates with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2010 by kendickjerkins

A new report has preservationists scrambling. The Independent reports that an international coalition claims that as much as 48 percent of the world’s 634 primate species are threatened with extinction. The group just released a list of the top 25 most endangered primates.

How has this happened? Destruction of tropical forests, illegal hunting and poachers have contributed to the rapid decline of indigenous primate populations around the globe. The report calls on governments around the world to take serious action against mass extinction. Otherwise, our closest relatives in nature will soon be gone.

A poached chimpanzee

A dead and gutted chimpanzee

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Giraffes fitted with GPS collars in pioneering conservation project

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Their necks on the line from poaching and habitat loss, giraffes in west Africa are being fitted with satellite-tracking collars in a bid to help conserve their numbers.

Threatened giraffes in west Africa have been equipped with satellite collars for the first time in a bid to protect the species. Eight animals were last week fitted with the GPS-tracking collars in Niger as part of a £25,000 research project funded by the British Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF).

A giraffe being fitted with a collar.

A giraffe struck and killed by a plane.

To read the full article click here

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