Anti-poaching, Community Development, Research & GIS Mapping – Tanzania

Anti-Poaching

Big accomplishments for FCF Private Ranger

Boniphace  Haule has been in South Africa since  the beginning of October completing his microlight pilot training. Boni, as he is known on the ground, is the FCF anti-poaching Mobile Coordinator and was elected by his peers for pilot training in September.

Boni reports back to the Tanzanian FCF office, “I have managed to fly 12.5hrs solo up to yesterday. I have managed to get all my exams done and passed. The stress load is now less in my mind. Will just have to finish up with my solo cross-country for the rest of the hours (2.5hrs) which is not an issue together with the flight test.  I can say up to the moment things are back into good shape.”  In addition to flight training, Boni also completed technical maintenance training such as engine repair.

When he returns to Tanzania, he will be the only current Tanzanian microlight (trike) pilot in the country and we’re very excited to have him back!

FCF would like to congratulate Boni for his hard work and great accomplishments to become a microlight pilot – we look forward to having him back in Tanzania to help patrol the skies!  Photos below of Boni completing his pilot training both in the air and on the ground.


A close call!

Not only do poachers use automatic weapons and high powered rifles to kill elephants for the illegal ivory trade, they also use traditional methods such as poison arrows and spears.  Once an elephant is shot with a poison laced arrow, the poachers track it until it dies from the poison.  This process can take several hours up to multiple days.

A common East African shrub called the Acokanthera spp. (Common poison bush, arrow-poison tree (En). Msunguti, msungu (Sw).), is one of many readily available plants used in producing deadly poisons. The Acokanthera spp. toxins have deadly effects and there is no antidote available for humans or animals.

On September 18, 2011 the FCF anti-poaching Rapid Action Team 3 went on a night patrol in the Tei/Mwajilinga-Kimali area of Tanzania.  They saw spotlights and started tracking poachers through the dense brush.  As the FCF anti-poaching team neared, the poachers started shooting poison arrows and one arrow hit Mawazo Ichimba, an FCF anti-poaching ranger.

Luckily, the poison arrow was caught in his jacket and remarkably did not puncture his skin!  

As always, FCF would like to thank our rangers for being so dedicated.  It is this dedication that enables FCF to accomplish such important conservation work in the bush.


Anti-poaching Update AND Employee of the Month

Bushmeat – poachers will eat some themselves and the rest will be brought into villages and sold for profit.

 

Firearms confiscated from a few FCF anti-poaching patrols.

Fascinating photo of muzzle loading paraphernalia.  Poachers use crude black powder, palm fibers as wads, and create musket balls by melting down old metal screws and other metal bits.  These were some items confiscated during an arrest.

Poached elephant carcass, Simiyu River, Maswa.

Below: Patrol Commander (Uvinza) Joseph Kimaro was nominated for and won Employee of the Month, July 2011.

Joseph was nominated for achieving outstanding results in July, making 43 arrests and confiscation of the following paraphernalia:

·         6 submachine guns and 27 rounds of ammo

·         2 rifles and 3 rounds of ammo

·         1 shotgun

·         13 muzzle loaders and 42 projectiles

Joseph took on quite a challenge when he was deployed to head up this team and has proven that he was up for the challenge.  Congratulations to Joseph and his team for a job well done. Keep up the good work!


Additional photos of our anti-poaching ranger training!

This is hard work!  FCF is so proud of all of our rangers who give it their all – everyday – to help combat illegal poaching in Tanzania!

 

FCF private rangers do not have the power to arrest suspects, but they must learn to help and subdue suspects while the TZ Wildlife Division agents go through the formal process.


Observations from the field…

Illegal grazing of cattle

A note from Mike Beckner, FCF Anti-Poaching Coordinator:

“Of obvious concern is the ongoing elephant poaching problem. Our concessions have all been affected by this and it’s scary to think what is probably happening elsewhere. I have heard that Rungwa has had its share of elephant poaching this year and that the Selous has already been hit hard as well.

In Maswa and in the Moyowosi, livestock encroachment is already a big issue – what’s going to happen in September and October when it is properly dry? Lots to consider…

That said, as always, we are happy to discuss possible ways to combat poaching.  If an idea or suggestion is tenable we will try and make it work.  Your feedback from time spent on the ground is always valuable and much appreciated.”

Regards,

Mike Beckner

Arusha, Tanzania


Intensive training for our anti-poaching rangers!

Poaching remains one of the greatest threats to conservation in Africa. Combating poaching has therefore become a national and international priority. Field rangers (also known as game scouts or game guards) are the front line staff in the anti-poaching efforts. The field rangers are working to protect conservation areas according to established national and international law in the struggle to eliminate poaching.

A well-trained field ranger force is also one of the most effective strategies for ensuring that the integrity of any conservation area is maintained.  African Field Ranger Training Services (AFRTS) was established in 2000 in South Africa to meet the growing demand for well-trained field rangers in conservation areas throughout Africa. The training program offered by AFRTS instills an understanding of basic ecological concepts, introduces techniques for involving communities in conservation, and provides instruction in practical methods of combating poaching and understanding applicable laws relative to the country they are working within.

FCF’s private anti-poaching rangers just completed a two-week comprehensive training program with AFRTS.  Below are some images from the recent program.

Classroom exercises with AFRTS

Practical hands on field training - Tanzanian policy dictates that non-government personnel are forbidden to carry firearms; all of FCF’s anti-poaching personnel patrol unarmed and have done so since the inception of the anti-poaching program. We do provide government employees with additional anti-poaching training such as rifle safety and marksmanship as well as close quarter hand to hand combat techniques.

Group Picture

In addition to the ranger leadership training with AFRTS, FCF’s rangers also recently underwent a three-day first aid course with in-house nurse Sam Roberts.  Below are several images taken during this first aid course.

Sam works with Rangers to provide life like scenarios.

First Aid Training 2011

Group photo! Special thank you to Sam!


New Anti-Poaching Photos Released

April 2011, New Anti-Poaching Photos Released from the Friedkin Conservation Fund (“FCF”)

The following images show confiscation of dried bushmeat, firearms, bicycles, illegally harvested timber planks, vulture heads (used for traditional medicines), illegally grazing cattle, and poachers being arrested.

Baraka Zephania with a confiscated muzzle loader - Moyowosi

Confiscated Muzzle loader - Moyowosi

Busted meat camp - Maswa

Compounded cattle - Maswa

Timber bust - Ugalla

Disposing of confiscated timber - Ugalla

Vulture heads - Maswa

Commercial, illegal and unsustainable poaching for meat and body parts of wild animals is a problem throughout Africa.  Bushmeat is considered any animal meat which is (1) taken by illegal methods such as through use of wire snares, unregistered guns, or poison arrows; and (2) taken from unauthorized areas such as national parks, protected areas, etc.  The bushmeat is usually taken to be used for commercial trade, selling in nearby villages, or non-commercial uses like personal consumption.

Bushmeat is a crisis in Tanzania primarily because of population expansion into rural, uninhabited areas.  Species, which were previously safe, are now at risk because of an increase in illegal timber logging, charcoal production, and trespassing to illegally grazing cattle herds in natural, designated wildlife areas.

FCF takes a two-step approach in its efforts to combat the issue of bushmeat.  First, FCF works within villages located in or nearby wildlife areas to develop community projects that empower the local people to take personal ownership in and see the value of their natural resources.  Examples of these type of projects include: income generating projects like fish farming and organic honey bee keeping, school library support, student educational scholarships, bore hole well drilling, construction of schools and teacher housing, establishment of village community banks (VICOBAs), and environmental and health education, among others.  The second step is FCF’s highly effective anti-poaching work.  FCF provides the bush with eyes and ears, constantly patrolling from the air, land and water.

For more information, please visit FCF’s official website – www.friedkinfund.org or via e-mail.