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!
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 email@example.com
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.
Friedkin Conservation Fund (FCF) played a small but vital role behind the scenes for the release of the cheetahs discussed in the article linked below. At very short notice, FCF and others were asked to assist with transport of the cheetahs because the truck that had been offered never arrived. FCF and a truck was sent to Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) to move the cheetahs to Tarengeri National Park.
Read the full article by clicking on the following link to the ZSL Living Conservation website:
Changes and improvements planned for 2011
FCF is proud to report that our anti-poaching presence has significantly increased in several areas of our operations. We will now have 20 full time rangers based in Maswa (as opposed to between 5 and 10 in previous years). The Ugalla, Natron and Moyowosi South teams have also received an additional 5 rangers and one vehicle each, doubling FCF’s resources in each of these areas. The microlight program has been assigned 5 rangers and a vehicle in an effort to further increase the efficacy of our aerial patrols. We are confident that these changes will significantly improve FCF’s coverage on the ground and are hopeful that this will be reflected by a decrease in serious poaching incidents in 2011.
Anti-poaching ranger training in 2011
FCF has several training interventions planned for the first half of 2011. In early May, the African Field Ranger Training Services (AFRTS – www.afrts.co.za) will visit us once again to provide our patrol commanders with an intensive two week patrol leader course. Immediately after the conclusion of the AFRTS course, the patrol commanders will receive a refresher first aid course. At the end of May and into June, FCF will host Ken Oesterreich from Strategic Articulation Management (SAMTACS – www.samtacs.com). Ken last visited FCF in 2009 to provide our rangers with training in close quarter combat, minimum force arrest procedures for individuals/teams, and unarmed self defense focusing on edged weapon disarming and management. This will be an interesting and informative six week period for our program.