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Author Archives: Guest Contributor
Wildlife corridors – paths of connection and hope
Wildlife corridors are used by lions, elephants & other large creatures. If humans avoid those corridors they can reduce loss of lives & livelihood
Madikwe adventure – a boy in the wild
My name is Luka and I am ten years old – I spent my school holidays learning what it’s like to work as a game ranger in Madikwe Game Reserve
Furore over Namibian community-based conservation
Journalists target Namibia’s community-based conservation program. This is what 76 affected entities have to say – decide for yourself
Demand for sustainable travel – what travellers can do to help build back better from COVID-19
Covid has taught us that we should prioritise responsible, sustainable options if we are to make a real difference when we travel. But how?
Tana River primates – on a broken wildlife highway
The critically endangered Tana River red colobus & mangabey are endemic to the forests on the banks of the Tana River
Mobilising Africa’s biodiversity experts to put nature on the decision-making map
African biodiversity experts mobilise to produce a continental map of ‘biodiversity intactness’ for African decision-makers.
In defense of (some) tourism
How do we rebuild travel after the trauma of 2020? Tourism is a conservation asset we can’t afford to lose and Africa is ahead of the game.
White-bellied pangolin pups in Nigeria
White-bellied pangolin pups, rescued from an animal market in Lagos, desperately need help from Namibian pangolin expert Maria Diekmann
Update: Zambia’s Kasanka NP & world’s largest mammal migration under threat
Under threat: The world’s largest mammal migration and Zambia’s Kasanka NP still under threat from a foreign commercial agricultural company
Covid- 19: Devastating impacts, inspiring recovery
COVID-19 has caused a systemic shock to the tourism sector in Africa. The majority of tourism companies have reduced staff and cut pay with seismic repercussions for conservation and local livelihoods.
Crossing the human-wildlife barrier
Crossing the human-wildlife barrier – is it ever okay? Three positive African examples involving a pangolin, a blesbok and a clan of hyenas
Wildlife economy in the Africa – Unlocking the potential
The ‘State of the Wildlife Economy in Africa’ report inspires investment in nature to improve conservation and support economic development.
Why rural communities choose wildlife hunting over cattle
Rural communities choose wildlife over cattle if they see and enjoy long term benefits from trophy hunting – says Namibian community member
Casketts citrus farm debate
Casketts citrus farm on Greater Kruger border – conservationist Trevor Jordan provides some context in this opinion post
The end of SA’s shameful lion breeding industry – what now happens to the lions?
Thousands of captive-bred lions in South Africa – what is to happen to them as breeding facilities are closed down
Under immediate threat: Zambia’s Kasanka NP and world’s largest mammal migration
Threat to the world’s largest mammal migration – The buffer zone of Kasanka National Park is under threat from commercial agriculture
Conservation in action – as a tourism experience
Experience conservation activities as a hands-on tourist – two trip reports from Africa Geographic tribe members
New pack of African painted dogs released
Endangered African painted dogs – a new pack has been released into the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Reserve in another conservation milestone for the species
Community stops avocado farm in the Amboseli region
Success story – avocado farm in Kenya’s Amboseli region loses license after local Maasai people and conservationists protest
Chobe River lions face an uncertain future
Lions in the Chobe River area face an uncertain future – pressured by human farmers to the north and a lack of new blood from the south
Lions bones and bullets – bones for sale
Industrial lion farming and illegal trade – Lions Bones & Bullets uncovers how industrial-scale lion farming has adapted to reduced trophy hunting by exporting lion bones to Asia
The Mundari people of South Sudan
The Mundari people of South Sudan are a fascinating, traditional people with a cattle-based culture forging into the 21st century
The restoration of Gorongosa National Park
Gorongosa: A long-lost doctoral thesis by an ecologist far ahead of his time helps unleash the massive potential of Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique
Elephant hunting – Botswana grants 287 licenses
Botswana elephant hunting: The Botswanan government has granted 287 licenses after the previous season was disrupted by Covid
Rhino poaching in Botswana – is pride hampering prevention?
Is political pride hurting efforts to stop rhino poaching in Botswana? Reports from the field suggest that rhino poaching in Botswana has reached crisis point while the government denies this is the case.
Do fences stop elephant migration in Botswana?
Dr Erik Verreynne discusses the claim that fences are an underlying cause of the elephant mortalities in NG11/12 in 2020 in Botswana. His assessment, based on observation of elephants, the habitat and the actual state of the fences, concludes that there is little evidence to suggest fences stop elephant migration in Seronga or that they had a measurable effect on the 2020 die-off.
Boycott Africa – good intentions with unfortunate consequences?
Boycott Africa! is the demand by some who dislike the wildlife policies adopted by some African countries. Is boycott bad for conservation?
Stories in the night sky
For centuries, African myths and legends have been recorded in the positions of the celestial bodies in the night sky. Starry starry night
GORONGOSA IN IMAGES
Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique is a place of abundance; one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth – for the safari connoisseur
Confiscated parrots fly free again over DR Congo forests
39 poached & confiscated African grey parrots released in eastern DR Congo after being rehabilitated at Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre
Africa’s Wild Dogs – A Survival Story
Africa’s Wild Dogs – A Survival Story is a photographic book celebrating these charismatic predators and telling their story
Strawberry leopard – a first for Gauteng
Photos: The ‘strawberry leopard’ is a genetic rarity that seldom occurs, and is almost never seen. Well, one has now been seen in South Africa
The Power of Unity – Cheetah coalition in Maasai Mara
This is the story of a cheetah coalition of five males – the Tano Bora coalition, meaning ‘The Magnificent Five’ – in Kenya’s Maasai Mara
Ignorant complicity amongst some safari guides
This refreshingly honest opinion editorial looks at eco-ethics amongst safari guides as they go about finding animals for guests
On the south-western tip of Africa, a bee conservation group has spent the last seven years discovering the wisdom of our wild honeybees
Lion farming – Lord Ashcroft submission to South African High Level Panel
Lion farming presentation by Lord Ashcroft to the High-Level Panel looking at the management of lions and other species in South Africa
Kruger waterhole problems
Kruger waterhole problems are being reported, and it is not clear which waterholes are closed as per the Kruger ecosystem management plan
Africa’s Wild Dogs – A Survival Story
Africa’s Wild Dogs – A Survival Story is a photographic book celebrating these charismatic predators and telling their story
Swimming blind – why critically endangered blind cave catfish needs research
The blind cave catfish, only found in a cave in Namibia, lives in total darkness. It is one of the rarest freshwater fish species in the world
Why are elephants dying in Zimbabwe and Botswana?
Elephants dying: Professor Keith Somerville investigates the mysterious deaths of more than 300 elephants in Zimbabwe and Botswana
Domestic cat predation on wild animals in Cape Town
The domestic cat is a honed killing machine whose impact on biodiversity in South Africa is only now being fully revealed
Counting lions: new study shows the importance of good counts for lion conservation
Counting lions using correct techniques is vital to understand how many lions there are. Historical surveys have not resulted in good data
Roan antelope conservation challenges
Roan antelope populations have dropped to perilously low levels, and there is every chance they could disappear from the areas such as Kruger National Park
It’s not about the worm
Mopane worms are a popular source of protein and delicious snack for rural people in Limpopo – read about a sustainable Kruger harvest program
North Luangwa in Zambia is remote and wild, accessible only by air or tough 4×4 vehicle – the perfect place for walking safaris
Rescued pangolins given a rare second chance
Seven rescued pangolins rehabilitated and moved to a new home that is secure and ready to once again play host to pangolins
Why are rhinos important for ecosystems?
Learn about why rhinos are vital ecosystem engineers & why Africa’s wild places would never be the same again if rhinos were to disappear
Not just any walk in the park: 160 kilometres through Zambia’s Kafue National Park
Two conservationists braved lions, hyenas & pythons on a 160km walk to raise awareness about poaching in the vast Kafue National Park, Zambia
Coronavirus has finally made us recognise that illegal wildlife trade is a public health issue
The global Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic may prove to be an important moment in the attempts to address the illegal wildlife trade.
This travel diary to Busanga Plains in Kafue National Park (Zambia) will have you contacting Africa Geographic to arrange your next safari
Leopard raids ground-hornbill nest
Video: a leopard raids a ground-hornbill nest in the Greater Kruger – yet another threat facing this threatened species
Bangweulu – where the water meets the sky
Bangweulu, where the water meets the sky. This conservation success story is owned by a remote Zambian community of fisherfolk
Baboon kidnaps lion cub
A baboon kidnapped a tiny lion cub in the Kruger National Park, and was seen grooming the dying cub in a large tree
Humans not always to blame for genetic diversity loss in wildlife
People are not always to blame for loss of genetic diversity in wildlife, says new study.
Who is who? Elephant identification tips and tricks
This is how researchers in Greater Kruger identify individual elephants.
Trophy hunting: rural communities respond
Opinion: Rural communities are the custodians of African wildlife and deserve to have their voices heard in the trophy hunting debate.
Communities delivering conservation impact & wildlife recoveries
Opinion: Communities are delivering significant conservation results equivalent to those of government parks and reserves.
Conservation needs diversified approaches – opinion
Scientists suggest alternative land-use models to trophy hunting – models that are more inclusive of local people.
Survival against the odds – 2 special elephants
The touching stories of two wild elephants whose struggle for survival will amaze (and humble) you, and provide a sense of perspective into the wonderful journey of life.
Using ‘chilli balls’ to reduce human-elephant conflict in Zambia
Crop-raiding elephants in Zambia are being deterred humanely through the use of ‘chilli balls’ which are fired at their rumps.
Opinion: Zimbabwe’s shameful export of baby elephants under the guise of ‘sustainable use’
Opinion: Export of baby Zimbabwe elephants to China in defiance of CITES is shameful, and makes a mockery of ‘sustainable use’.
Samanyanga – the legendary big tusker of Malilangwe
A moving tribute to the magnificent tusker known as ‘Samanyanga’, of Zimbabwe’s Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve – by wildlife filmmaker and photographer Kim Wolhuter. Samanyanga died of natural causes.
Katavi National Park takes radical action on hippos
Opinion by biologist: Controversial dam being built in Tanzania’s remote Katavi National Park to save hippos may have negative environmental consequences.
The Greatest Spectacle on Earth – Crossing the Mara
The energy in the air is feverish, filled with anticipation and burgeoning adrenaline. The chorus of thousands of voices echos through the dust as the herds make their way towards the banks of this legendary river, signalling what’s to come. If the conditions are favourable, what follows will be the breathtaking pinnacle of nature’s greatest spectacle, …
Continue reading “The Greatest Spectacle on Earth – Crossing the Mara”
Skilful climbers: Lionesses scale near-vertical cliff in pursuit of prey
A great sighting as two lionesses show off their athletic climbing skills as they make their way up a near-vertical cliff face in pursuit of potential prey.
Collaring elephants in Gilé National Reserve – wilderness at its best!
Elephant conservation in action: Collaring elephants in Gilé National Reserve in Mozambique.
Gonarezhou – Land of Giants
GONAREZOU – a conservation success story and iconic wilderness destination for those seeking true wilderness
Opinion: Approval of citrus farm on Greater Kruger border puts the region’s Protected Area Expansion Project at risk
Citrus farm approved on the border of Greater Kruger. Concerned protected area managers believe that this will threaten the entire region.
Poor fencing has devastating effects on roaming elephants
Elephants are being shot because poor fencing results in elephants roaming into communal lands outside of Songimvelo Nature Reserve in Mpumalanga, South Africa.
A walk of discovery through Zanzibar’s Stone Town
Stone Town: Exploring the history, architecture and culture through a guided walk in Zanzibar’s oldest town.
Do elephants affect vulture nesting success? Ongoing research
Researchers highlight the complex relationship between elephant impact and vulture nest survival in the Greater Kruger National Park.
Large-tusked elephants are in decline, need to be protected from trophy hunting and poaching, says researcher
The need to protect large-tusked and potentially large-tusked elephants from poaching and excessive selective hunting pressure is more apparent than ever as the progressive decrease in average tusk size over the past three decades is potentially leading to over exploitation of older bulls.
Video: The rise of the matriarch – women making a difference on the conservation frontlines
Women are making a huge difference on the frontlines of conservation. Join the Rise of the Matriarch community, which uses film and photography to inspire change, and help make a difference for these women.
Elephants are sentient and conservation strategy should adapt, says researcher
We struggle as humans to understand our own actions. How can we begin to understand and provide possible interpretations for the actions of other species such as elephants?
Opinion: Selinda Reserve in Botswana was not hunted out, say former owners in reply to Dereck Joubert
Previous leaseholders of NG16, also known as Selinda Reserve, respond to Dereck Joubert’s article on the state of the Selinda concession.
Opinion: Europe first plundered elephants for ivory – should Western countries preach to China?
The Elephant Protection Initiative takes a long view and considers the changing role of China in the illegal ivory trade.
Bull elephants – their importance as individuals in elephant societies
It has long been recognised that older female elephants are pivotal to elephant ecology and herd survival, but what of older males?
Become an Eco-warrior and donate towards educational conservation comics for children
Become an ‘Eco-warrior’ and help the Southern African Conservation Trust educate the less privileged children by making a small donation towards their educational conservation comics.
Opinion: Trophy hunting in the Greater Kruger versus broader conservation priorities
Trophy hunting in the Greater Kruger – biodiversity conservationist provides perspective, and suggests that well-funded groups opposed to hunting have a disproportionate voice in social media, compared to local communities that are affected by living amongst or near wildlife, and carry the costs.
Wildlife vet: the Botswana elephant debate is actually about a bigger conservation issue
Botswana elephant debate: Wildlife vet says that this is NOT about too many elephants in Botswana, it’s about too many elephants in areas where humans, livestock and elephants overlap.
Why identifying individual elephants is important, and the pivotal roles matriarchs and older bulls play
Understanding the importance of identifying elephants and the pivotal roles matriarchs and older bulls play.
Addressing Malawi’s deforestation crisis
On the International Day of Forests the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust addresses Malawi’s deforestation crisis.
Opinion: Put down the petitions – help create alternatives for Botswana beyond elephant hunting
Botswana elephant debate: Tourism marketing manager urges the tourism industry to create alternatives beyond elephant hunting.
Opinion: Dr. Mike Chase on elephant poaching in Botswana
Dr Mike Chase, from Elephants Without Borders, provides a statement on the elephant poaching in Botswana.
Opinion: Activist exposes South Africa’s lion park scams
Lion activist says let’s call a scam for what it is.
Opinion: Pro hunter responds to our CEO regarding hunting in Greater Kruger
Professional hunter Paul Stone has responded to Simon Espley’s opinion editorial questioning whether the trophy hunting industry will ruin Kruger National Park’s expansion plans.
Opinion: Ecologist responds to Guardian newspaper article against trophy hunting
Campaign against trophy hunting – a western urban cultural imposition on rights of rural African communities: arrogant cultural superiority or ignorance?
Opinion: Why trophy hunting is counter-productive as a ‘conservation tool’
Trophy hunters target the largest or rarest animals they can find – or those with the biggest horns, tusks or manes. Yet both science and common sense tells us that that goes against nature’s law of survival of the fittest.
Graphic video: Hippo commits infanticide
Dominant male hippos can engage in brutal fights to defend their territory, and can even commit infanticide to secure their dominance over the pod.
Saving trafficked pangolins, one release at a time
A story about releasing trafficked pangolins back into the wild, thanks to a dedicated team of people fighting to ensure the survival of these threatened creatures.
Discovering the forest birds of Maasai Mara
The banks of the Mara River in the Maasai Mara of Kenya offer ideal habitat for birds – and for bird-watchers, especially if you find a puddle of water, and especially during the heat of the day.
Botswana elephant poaching debate: Wildlife vet speaks his mind
Botswana elephant poaching debate: Wildlife vet speaks his mind.
Scientists question BBC reporting over elephant poaching crisis in Botswana
A group of prominent scientists have questioned the reporting by the BBC of the elephant poaching crisis in Botswana.
Sierra Leone’s Turtle Islands: The ultimate digital detox
A journey to Sierra Leone’s Turtle Islands provides a technology-free escape like no other.
Researchers use “biological passport” to monitor whale sharks – Earth’s largest fish
A new study has revealed endangered whale sharks inhabit smaller geographical scales than previously documented, which suggests they may be at increased risk of local extinction if good conservation management is not in place.
The demise of the baobabs – a climate change warning?
Climate change is one of the biggest threats to life on this planet, and there is a sad irony that baobabs which are known as ‘the trees of life’, are amongst the first casualties.
My fight to save Liberia’s pangolins
Two steps forward, one step back in pangolin conservation. Liberia is a country in West Africa that has overcome civil war, battled through the Ebola crisis and is currently recovering from the impacts. But there is one more issue to confront – the illegal wildlife and bushmeat trade.
Opinion: Like the fossil fuel industry, trophy hunting is unsustainable
Trophy hunting is like the fossil fuel industry. They’re both messy, unsustainable, in need of an alternative approach and, ultimately, fail to deliver on their promises.