Docstoc

The Search for a Lonely Pachyderm

Document Sample
The Search for a Lonely Pachyderm Powered By Docstoc
					A stewardship manual for the Western Cape will be refined and tested during the early stages of the pilot phase. Already training has
taken place in the form of field days that allow conservation workers and landowners to interact. The development of extension
personnel as a career in conservation is essential in order to sustain stewardship Programs. Martens emphasizes that "extension
personnel are most effective when they live and work in the communities they aim to serve. Long-term local support, which is
essential for successful stewardship, will be most effectively generated through a community-based approach."

Other stewardship initiatives taking place are the land consolidation process started by the South African National Parks (SANParks)
on the Cape Peninsula, fine scale planning projects in the lowlands, led by the Botanical Society, and the Provincial Department of
Agriculture's Area Wide Planning Initiatives.

Gregor emphasizes that if there were no tax concessions it would make it more difficult to justify keeping land free of development.
He is therefore encouraged by the recent biodiversity and protected areas legislation that will allow sites with conservation merit to
qualify for rates rebates, and give statutory recognition to private reserves. The Property Rates Bill, currently being finalized, makes
provision for rates incentives.

Dale Parker's correspondence shows that he tried from the early Eighties to get some form of recognition for landowners who protect
the land. "This is the first time the government has come to the party," says Gregor. "So in spite of it being widely stated and
acknowledged that the current government has other priorities, it is in fact the first one that has given serious thought to encouraging
and rewarding private landowners for utilizing their land sustainably."

It is an exciting time in conservation. All that is needed is a realization of the value of our natural heritage and then for everyone to play
their part in ensuring that we keep it that way for future generations. For more information contact Chris Martens, CNC Stewardship
Program Manager, (028) 314 0173.e-mail chriscip@maxitec.co.za



                                 The Search for a Lonely Pachyderm
                                                       By Claudia Schoene
                                            Kigali, Rwanda, E-mail: c.schoene@berlin.de


During the year 2003 reports by herdsmen grazing their cattle in the vicinity of Akagera National Park in the east of Rwanda were on
the increase strongly indicating the presence of at least one black rhinoceros still persevering in the area.
In early 2003 Mr Vernon Booth, a consultant in community-based wildlife management, visited the Projet de Protection des
Ressources Naturelles (PRORENA / GTZ), which is concerned with the rehabilitation of the Park. After his return to Zimbabwe he
informed Mr Raoul du Toit of WWF Zimbabwe about these reports. Raoul then also alerted Dr Richard Emslie, Scientific Officer of the
IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group. Raoul and Richard have been amazing in their support and advice during the preparation of the
search and eventual location of the (presumably) last remaining black rhinoceros in Akagera National Park.
Raoul du Toit organized for Dr Peter Morkel, Rhino Specialist of the Frankfurt Zoological Society, to come to Rwanda twice, once in
search of the rhino and a second time to dart it and implant a radio transmitter.




                        The Akagera National Park offers some excellent black rhino habitat.

After Dr Peter Morkel's first visit to Akagera National Park from August 10th to 17th, 2003, resulting in the strong indication that there
were still rhinos present in Akagera National Park, it was decided to invite Mr Jackson Kamwi, an experienced rhino tracker from
Zimbabwe, to Akagera National Park to assist in the search for the remaining rhinos. Mr Kamwi is working for WWF Zimbabwe at the
Save Valley Conservancy. His visit was kindly supported and organised by Mr Graham Connear, owner of Save Valley Conservancy,
and Raoul du Toit, WWF Zimbabwe. Mr Kamwi was accompanied by Mr Rees Williams from the VIP Safari Club in the Serengeti,
Tanzania, who acted as an interpreter for Mr Kamwi and helped with the tracking. Mr Williams' visit was kindly supported and
organised by Mrs Lorna and Mr Rian Labuschagne, Managers of VIP Safari Club, and Mr Paul Tudor-Jones, owner of VIP Safari Club.
Game guards from the Akagera National Park accompanied these two to gain experience in the tracking of animals. Jackson quickly
succeeded in finding the rhino.

For a second time Dr Morkel flew to Rwanda in his plane owned by the Frankfurt Zoological Society on Sunday, September 7th, 2003.
On September 8th, 2003, the rhino was tracked again by Jackson and his group and darted by Pete Morkel.

The rhino turned out to be a young female individual, with an estimated age of about nine years. She shows an about two-year old
snare injury at her right tarsal joint, which seems to be causing her quite considerable pain and discomfort. Blood samples were taken
and have kindly been analysed free of charge by Dr Felicia Nutter, the veterinarian of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Group, who also
accompanied us during the "operation rhino".




                                       The two trackers: Jackson Kamwi and Rees Williams.
Logistical support and assistance to facilitate Dr. Morkel's visit to Rwanda was generously and most efficiently provided by Dr Patrick B.
Habamenshi, former Minister of State for Investment Promotion, Tourism and Cooperatives and now Minister of Agriculture,
Livestock and Forestry in Rwanda. Further kind support was given by Madam Rosette Chantal Rugamba, Director General of the
Rwanda Office of Tourism and National Parks (ORTPN). The itinerary and general organisation of Dr Morkel's, Mr Jackson Kamwi's,
and Mr Rees Williams', visits as well as the actual operation in Akagera National Park were arranged and organized by Miss Claudia
Schoene, then Technical Assistant of the PRORENA project.




                        Dr Peter Morkel is drilling the hole for the antenna of the radio transmitter.
Save the Rhino International very kindly and generously donated US $ 1 400,- to cover various costs, e.g. Mr Jackson Kamwi's return
ticket from Harare, Zimbabwe to Kigali, related with the visit of Dr Pete Morkel, Mr Jackson Kamwi and Mr Rees Williams. Mr Paul
Tudor-Jones, owner of VIP Safari Club very kindly and generously covered the costs of Mr Rees Williams' transport and return flight
from Tanzania via Nairobi, Kenya, to Kigali. He also very generously covered the costs for Mr Jackson Kamwi's and Mr Rees Williams'
overnight stay in Nairobi before their connecting flight to Kigali. Raoul du Toit very kindly and generously advanced the costs for Mr
Jackson Kamwi's air ticket from his WWF Funds. Dr Mike Cranefield and Dr Felicia Nutter of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project
kindly and generously and without any charges lent their Dan Inject dart gun and darting equipment to ORTPN and the PRORENA
project for the immobilization of the rhino. Dr Felicia Nutter furthermore very generously analysed the rhino's blood samples for us
free of charge. The PRORENA project provided two 4x4 vehicles, fuel and additional equipment as well as the service of two drivers to
support the work on location. All remaining costs in Rwanda were covered by Miss Claudia Schoene out of her private budget.

During the last four months the rhino has been radio tracked and followed at regular intervals and is doing fine.




                                                      It's all over:
                                                 "Up, up and away…!"

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:17
posted:1/21/2011
language:English
pages:3