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.”
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.
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.
The months of November and December were very busy for the FCF teams in the field. A total of seven firearms were confiscated during this time period including:
two semi-automatic weapons from a village in the Uvinza Open Area;
four muzzle loaders from the Moyowosi and Ugalla Game Reserves; and,
one .458 used by a gang of elephant poachers operating in the Kizigo Game Reserve.
Other items that were confiscated during the months of November and December include:
41 hardwood timber planks;
1 bow and 30 poison arrows;
1211 head of livestock which were removed from the concessions; and,
12 elephant tusks.
A total of twenty-two arrests were made including thirteen meat poachers, five timber poachers and four illegal livestock herdsmen.
Elephant poaching continues at an alarming rate. In November, six carcasses and ten active camps were found in the northern Moyowosi Game Reserve by our microlight pilot on patrol. Shortly after those discoveries, six more carcasses were found in the middle of the Ugalla Game Reserve. FCF teams are following up and are hopeful they will receive positive feedback.
The dangers of anti-poaching were once again realized during December. An FCF ranger was struck in the forearm while fending off a blow from a machete directed at him by a poacher resisting arrest. The FCF ranger is to undergo surgery to repair nerve damage to his arm and will be off duty for several months. The entire FCF team wishes him a speedy recovery!
Photos from the bush (January 2010)
Lake Natron area, Tanzania
FCF anti-poacher ranger training; building endurance, outdoor skills, and leadership in the field. We are so proud of these men! They help combat the bushmeat trade, wildlife poaching, illegal charcoal and lumber production, etc.
Visit the Friedkin Conservation Fund website for more information – www.friedkinfund.org