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.
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.
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.
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!
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.”
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.
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.