18 December 2015
Training and skills development
- In collaboration with the South African Police Services (SAPS) and local authorities, detectives and prosecutors have been trained in wildlife crime scene management and processing;
- Key field staff, who rely on such skills to counter-track illegal entries in rhino reserves, attended micro-tracking and counter-insurgency tracking courses.
- Ezemvelo is collaborating with the Southern African Wildlife College on a comprehensive training programme for field rangers and patrol leaders, to be commenced early in 2016.
Security and Protection
- Improved gate access control is being rolled-out that will increase surveillance and identification capacity at reserve gates. This information will be used to assist investigations, as well as provide alerts on high risk visitors and vehicles, thus increasing the chance of known suspects being apprehended when attempting to enter the park.
- New guard observation towers are being placed at strategic positions in Ezemvelo rhino reserves to allow for more effective monitoring of high risk entry points and monitoring of wildlife.
Veterinary and Rhino Orphan Care
- Resources have been provided to strengthen the capacity of Ezemvelo wildlife veterinary teams to treat the rhino that survive the brutal attacks by poachers. These resources also assist veterinary staff in processing crime scenes for the purposes of evidence collection and tactical research.
- New capacity and facilities have been put in place to rescue, care for, rehabilitate and release the increased number of rhino orphans.
- Management and law enforcement staff throughout all Ezemvelo rhino reserves have been equipped with new digital two-way radios that allow for encrypted, secure communication with much improved sound and legibility. With advanced repeaters and radio systems being deployed throughout the reserves, it is anticipated that the new digital communications system will in most instances overcome problems with poor signal or so-called “dead-zones” that currently hamper alert and rapid response capabilities as well as ensure that important conversations are not able to be intercepted by poachers.
- A test group of rhinos have been fitted with sensors and the relevant reserves equipped with tracking systems, in order to provide staff with enhanced capability to monitor the daily movement of rhino throughout these areas. This new tracking, early warning and rapid response systems will assist in improving response times to incidents of poaching - hopefully leading to more rhinos saved, as well as more arrests and convictions. The technology will be thoroughly tested so as to identify successes or shortcomings, and then to adapt methodology and practices accordingly before rolling it out to the larger rhino populations. Throughout the process, the well-being of the animals remain the first priority, and all of the rhinos fitted with sensors will be individually supervised so as ensure the absence of any adverse effects on their health and daily activities. This project also involves research into various rapid response and tracking systems so as to develop a system best suited for the environment within which Ezemvelo has to work, and the challenges faced by staff.
- Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were deployed on a trial basis to test the capability of an assortment of UAV technologies as instruments to support Ezemvelo’s conservation, law enforcement and anti-poaching operations in varying environmental and operational conditions. The use of UAVs is specifically intended to provide law enforcement officers with aerial support at night and thus reduce the risk faced by ground staff. Following positive feedback from the initial test period, processes are being put in place to continue operating such aerial support and response systems in selected rhino reserves.
27 November 2017Protecting the 'birthplace of rhino'
The birthplace of rhino” – this is the name often given to Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park (HiP) in KwaZulu-Natal where the southern white rhino was saved from the brink of extinction half a century ago.read more
27 July 2017'We can make a difference,' says Vietnamese Youth
The continued senseless killing of African rhino for their horn, is driven by the demand for horn in primary consumer countries in Asia, such as Vietnam and China. More than 90% of horn goes to or thrread more
6 July 2017Lions poisoned for bone trade
[Maputo, 5 July 2017] On 3 July 2017 the tracks of three poachers were detected in the Intensive Protection Zone of Limpopo National Park, Mozambique. These were followed and it became clear that theread more
28 June 2017Dynamic alliance established to bolster rhino anti-poaching efforts
On the western boundary of Kruger National Park (KNP), private and community-owned game reserves - represented as the Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Foundation (GKEPF) - have joined forces wiread more
12 May 2017More than 10 000 Vietnamese businesspeople reached
Quang Ninh, Viet Nam, May 2017—Since June 2015, more than 10 000 businesspeople across 45 Vietnamese cities and provinces have gained the tools and methods to adopt corporate social responsibility (read more
11 April 2017In order to stop the killing, we have to stop the demand.
The demand for rhino horn in Asian countries remains one of the main driving forces behind the escalation in poaching of rhinos in Southern Africa, with more than 80% of illegally trafficked rhino horread more
16 March 2017No more ‘hiding in the dark’ for poachers entering Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park, South Africa – A group of three poachers move silently through the bushveld, hidden from the naked eye by the darkness of night. Armed with a rifle and carrying a grim collectiread more
19 January 2017 Cooking up a storm to encourage legal and sustainable foods for the Lunar New Year holidays, instead of threatened wildlife
Hanoi, Viet Nam — TRAFFIC and the Centre for Women and Development (CWD) held a cooking competition in Hanoi in January where nearly 100 people showed their commitment to wildlife protection.read more
12 January 2017TRAFFIC brings hospitality enterprises together to stop illegal wildlife trade
Hanoi, Viet Nam— In December, nearly 50 representatives from hotel and tourism enterprises were equipped with the tools to adopt corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies that reject the consumread more
29 November 2016 Prescribing the balance of nature to traditional medicine schools
Some of the Traditional Medicine "champions" trained during one of two workshops held by TRAFFIC and the National Centre for Health Communication and Education © TRAFFIC Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, 2read more