While elephant population dwindles as the demand for ivory grows, the Wildlife Action Group Malawi‘s scout team is working tirelessly to tackle illegal poaching and save animals lives. We support conservation and anti-poaching activities in Thuma Forest Reserve, Malawi, to provide a save future for its remaining endangered elephant population and habitat.
The long term project “Thuma Forest Reserve Eco-system Rehabilitation Project” started already in August 1996 with the objective to protect the reserve’s flora and fauna and to restore its ecological balance in co-operation with the surrounding communities. At present 12 scouts and rangers are responsible for anti-poaching and law-enforcement activities, patrolling 19.700 ha of rugged terrain in the African Rift Valley.
WAGI is providing financial as well as material support to pay for scout and ranger salaries, allowances and field equipment (like boots, binoculars etc) and in addition supports a snare removal project. Over the past 10 years thousands of wire snare were located and collected.
Most of those snares are made from wires and used in areas with long grass cover and forests, often near rivers or springs. The animal gets trapped with its head or a leg. When it attempts to escape the snare loop tightens even more and the animal will die a slow and painful death. Occasionally also large game like elephants and buffalos gets caught in those loops. A young elephant was found in Thuma with a snare around its leg.
This is a unique way to contribute to conservation and poverty reduction in Malawi at the same time. For 750 Euro a scout can be trained and deployed for a year. This amount not only covers the monthly salary of approx. 55 Euro (the average monthly salary of a Government scout in Malawi is 35 Euro), but also pays for uniform and other needed equipment to have another scout in the field protecting wildlife!
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