The African Conservation Foundation lost a dear friend and colleague recently as our co-founder John Parkin sadly suddenly passed away, aged 72. John Parkin was a gifted teacher and after taking early retirement he concentrated on developing his strategic information management skills and passing on this knowledge to organisations and conservationists in Africa and elsewhere. Although British born and raised, John literally fell in love with Africa – it’s people, wildlife and environment – from his first visit there in the late 90’s. He was a co-founder of the African Conservation Foundation and became its technical director focusing on the ICT development of the organisation and its local partners.
Monday, 17 July 2017
Categories Great Apes
The Rwanda Development Board’s (RDB) decision to double price of Rwanda gorilla permits from USD 750 to USD1500 has been received with mixed feelings from local and international tour operators, conservationists and also the people of Rwanda. Many looked at the gorilla permits increase as a gamble that is bound to fail in the near future and killing the tour businesses. Rwanda has been selling gorilla permits higher than Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and a decision to double these already higher prices looks like Rwanda is becoming too ambitious and greedy?
Wednesday, 21 June 2017
The still new African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has issued a landmark judgement for marginalised communities across Africa. It ruled that the Kenyan government violated the rights of the Mau Ogiek people by evicting them from their ancestral land in the Mau Forest complex. Before taking their case to the African court, the Mau Ogiek had waged a long battle in a national court against routine evictions which the government has justified on the grounds of concerns about the environment. The court for human and people’s rights rejected these claims. It concluded that eviction from their ancestral forest territories violated the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the founding continental law to which all members of the African Union are party.
The rhino poaching war rages on, and those that offer their lives, their skills, or their support are in it for the long haul. Since 2012, the Rhino Conservation Awards have been held annually, honouring those that put themselves between Africa’s rhinos and those who seek their destruction.
“There is still a window of time. Nature can win if we give her a chance.” In her first ever online class, Dr. Jane Goodall teaches how you can conserve the environment. She also shares her research on the behavioral patterns of chimpanzees and what they taught her about conservation. You’ll learn how to “act locally” and protect the planet.
A King penguin – rare to South African oceans – is currently under the professional care of the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) after being discovered in arrested moult on Hout Bay’s main beach on Thursday, 27 April 2017. SANCCOB was notified of the penguin’s presence by a retired marine scientist, who carefully secured the penguin until a SANCCOB official safely collected it and admitted it to SANCCOB’s seabird centre in Table View.
In South Africa, domestic trade of rhinoceros horn, forbidden since 2008, is about to become legal again. On April 7 2017, a court effectively overturned the national ban. This controversial move was welcomed by commercial rhino breeders, who argue that legalising safe, sustainable horn removal from living animals could prevent wild rhino poaching. But animal preservation groups have warned that any legal trade would have the opposite effect.
Hunting is a major driver of biodiversity loss, but a systematic large-scale estimate of hunting-induced defaunation was lacking until now. In a new study published in Science, an international team of ecologists and environmental scientists warns that bird and mammal populations decline sharply in zones of 7 to 40 kilometers around villages and roads where hunters have access to nature.
The highland rainforests of South West Cameroon are among the oldest forests on the continent. They comprise the richest flora and fauna in continental tropical Africa. The area is one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots. The region encompasses high levels of unique, as well as endangered species. These include the Cross River gorilla, Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees and forest elephants. A new project has set out to engae local people in the conservation of their natural heritage. It facilitates information sharing between forest dependent communities – the eyes on the ground – and satellite images gathered by Global Forest Watch – the eyes in the sky.
New research indicates that juvenile African penguins are continuously foraging in areas of low food availability due to climate change and overfishing. The research conducted by an international group of scientists over the span of three years, highlights alarming results for the already endangered African penguin species, the only penguin endemic to the African continent.
Nonhuman primates, our closest biological relatives, play important roles in the livelihoods, cultures, and religions of many societies and offer unique insights into human evolution, biology, behavior, and the threat of emerging diseases. They are an essential component of tropical biodiversity, contributing to forest regeneration and ecosystem health. Current information shows the existence of 504 species in 79 genera distributed in the Neotropics, mainland Africa, Madagascar, and Asia. Alarmingly, ~60% of primate species are now threatened with extinction and ~75% have declining populations.
Pardon the pun, but it’s time to stick our necks out for giraffes. We have mistakenly taken the world’s tallest mammal for granted, fretting far more about other beloved animals such as rhinos, elephants and great apes. But now it seems that all is not well in giraffe-land, with reports emerging that they may be staring extinction in the face.
I’m a Japanese woman married to a British diplomat. We keep moving places every 3 to 4 years and currently live in Malawi after staying four years in Kenya. Since our Kenya days, we’ve visited a number of national parks and game reserves in Kenya, Zambia and South Africa to appreciate rich African wildlife. The sad thing is that wherever we go, we learn that parks are suffering from a serious problem of poaching. The main victims are elephants and rhinos for their tusks and horns and Malawi is not an exception.
In a context where young South Africans still struggle to connect across entrenched divides, and preserving the environment frequently falls to the bottom of a long national priority list, Limpopo’s Selati Game Reserve has devised an innovative way to approach these problems at a grassroots level – quite literally.
The first documented evidence of wild chimpanzee mothers teaching their offspring to use tools has been captured by video cameras set to record chimpanzee tool-using activity at termite mounds in the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo, according to new research from anthropologists at Washington University in St. Louis.