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.
Below is a press release from the Dallas Safari Club in regards to their continued financial support of FCF’s student scholarship program. We thank them for their commitment and value them as a dedicated supporter of worldwide conservation! Asante sana!
DALLAS (July 6, 2011)—Poaching, habitat loss and the complexities of managing Earth’s most diverse collection of game species—all on a continent stressed by civil war, humanitarian crises and corruption—are among the issues awaiting a new generation of wildlife officers in Africa.
An ambitious new class of future wildlife officers now receiving formal education in Tanzania includes four students sponsored by Dallas Safari Club (DSC).
“Our club is very proud to help shape the future of conservation in Africa,” said DSC Executive Director Ben Carter. “There are many challenges but I’m confident that with enough education and appreciation of the benefits that hunting brings to Africa, the challenges can be conquered.”
DSC is partnering with the Friedkin Conservation Fund to help fund the students’ education.
All four students are products of the College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka, in Moshi, Tanzania. Coursework includes wildlife law enforcement and legislation, wildlife policies and strategies, principles and techniques of wildlife management, ornithology, mammalogy, herpetology, archeology, animal physiology, vertebrate anatomy, community conservation of wildlife, tourism management, wildlife resource economics, wildlife population ecology, wildlife nutrition and more.
The DSC-sponsored students include Jacquelin Jordan, Julius Makarot, Veronica Mollel and Frank Riziki.
In a letter, Makarot expressed what scholarships mean to him, his people and the wild resources of his country: “I have been facing a lot of financial difficulties within my studies but I have come to realize that Dallas Safari Club and Friedkin Conservation Fund will bring a lot of changes and solutions through financial aid for my future career. Wildlife management is the course I loved since I was young and through your support my dreams are being fulfilled. The knowledge I am getting will help my Maasai community and Tanzania to be able to take care of the wildlife for future generations. Also, my education will help young Maasai men to have desire to continue with their studies as I will be a role model for them. They will learn the importance of education. This will all bring a big change among Massai towards development of conservation.”
About Dallas Safari Club (DSC)
Desert bighorns on an unbroken landscape, stalking Cape buffalo in heavy brush, students discovering conservation. DSC works to guarantee a future for all these and much more. An independent nonprofit organization since 1982, DSC has become an international leader in conserving wildlife and wilderness lands, educating youth and the general public, and promoting and protecting the rights and interests of hunters worldwide. Get involved at http://www.biggame.org.
About Friedkin Conservation Fund (FCF)
The Friedkin Conservation Fund (FCF) is a registered (U.S. and Tanzanian) nonprofit, nongovernmental organization incorporated in 1994 (Certificate of Registration SO.NO.9807). Our role is to assist the Tanzanian government with the conservation and preservation of more than 6.1 million acres of Tanzania’s protected areas. We achieve this through our internationally recognized anti-poaching initiative, our innovative community development program and our field research projects.
Media contact: Steve Wagner, Blue Heron Communications, 800-654-3766 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Since the beginning of the 2011 academic school year in January, FCF has been improving its system of sponsoring higher-education level (university) students from the villages in FCF project areas. FCF is currently implementing a more rigorous screening and selection process that will be focused on identifying and enrolling students with an exceptional aptitude and motivation to succeed within the wildlife and conservation arena. By streamlining processes and monitoring abilities, FCF will be able to increase the efficiencies of this program and be better equipped to keep its gracious donors updated on the progress of the students. As always, students demonstrating a major financial need will continue to be FCF’s target.
FCF is also developing a new program to send select students to private boarding schools (middle and high school) which have advanced facilities and high quality teachers to provide an exceptional education. This new program will require a higher level of financial commitment from donors, but will also have a much greater long term impact on the individual student’s life.
Maswa Game Reserve
In 2010, FCF completed the construction of a new classroom at a school near the Maswa Game Reserve (close to the Serengeti region). This school opened in March 2011.
This year, FCF started the construction of a medical dispensary in Buturi village. This medical dispensary will provide the only health service available to the population of the area.