Nancy and I are headed to Zambia (again) this fall, leading a safari of 21 people for nonprofit Dazzle Africa to the beautiful South Luangwa National Park, where lions, painted dogs, giraffe, elephants and other wild African animals live. We're expecting some great wildlife sightings, but the truth is, the numbers of these amazing creatures, so important to the ecosystem, are dropping due to poaching. In some parts of Africa, a just-released, exhaustive census funded largely by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen showed elephant numbers have dropped THIRTY PERCENT in just 7 years, which is shocking and unsustainable for their continued existence. We view this wildlife as a world heritage, immoral to let disappear.
To do our part to help preserve this wildlife, through nonprofits we and Dazzle Africa have personally vetted and work closely with (and will be taking the guests to visit on the safari), we have started a project called "180 for Wildlife" to help fund a Cessna 180 aircraft used in anti-poaching patrols. It fits in with our knowledge of African wildlife conservation, but also dovetails into our life as pilots. The airplane is up and flying, donated by others, but needs continued operating cost donations.
We are asking you personally to help us in this battle by making a tax-deductible donation to our fundraiser to directly help provide the operating costs of this airplane.
This is not donating to something vague. You will be funding anti-poaching patrols to directly save the lives of elephants, lions, hyenas, giraffe, and countless other keystone species. Local Zambians around the wildlife area, who we find to be some of the most kind , generous, resourceful people we've met anywhere, depend upon wildlife tourism for their living, and you'd be helping them as well with your tax-deductible donation.
This quote, specifically about the patrol pilot, was taken from a comprehensive report by our partners in Zambia: "Critical to [preserving this wildlife] is an experienced pilot who understands the poaching situation and coordinates well with ground teams. The Conservation South Luangwa (CSL) pilot is an experienced bush pilot who has a sharp eye for illegal activities. Aerial patrols regularly turn up evidence of poaching activities which include elephant carcasses and other large mammal carcasses, illegal meat drying racks, camp fires, poacher’s camps and at times poachers themselves. On a number of occasions, the pilot has detected a fresh poaching incident or a live poachers’ camp with people present, and has been able to secure the area without losing the poachers and accurately directing ground patrols to the scene, resulting in the successful arrest of wildlife perpetrators." - from "Combatting the Ivory and Bushmeat Trade in Zambia’s Wildlife Stronghold:Collaborative Anti-Poaching and Large Carnivore Research in the Luangwa Valley", Prepared by Rachel McRobb (CEO, Conservation South Luangwa) and Dr. Matthew Becker (CEO, Zambian Carnivore Programme).
Please consider helping the wildlife in Zambia "Make a 180": away from extinction and toward a thriving existence.
Thanks so much,
NANCY AND MIKE
Expected Outputs from Aerial Support, compiled by Conservation South Luangwa (CSL) and Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP)
+ Supporting law enforcement activities through streamlining anti-poaching operations + Increasing the arrest of poachers by 30% + Increasing effectiveness of anti-poaching patrols and area of coverage + Reducing incidences of poaching in South Luangwa (Zambia) by 30% +Supporting and enhancing DPNW’s law enforcement efforts in monitoring the illegal killing of elephants in the area surrounding the South Luangwa National Park through the Community Resource Board (CRB) village scouts (the park has no fences, much like National Parks in the U.S., so wild animals wander in and out freely) + Ensuring MIKE (Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants) program receives sound and reliable information regarding elephant mortalities. This will be achieved through elephant carcass detection and accurate recording. + Expanding patrol and surveillance coverage of park and game management areas + Strengthening the darting and veterinary program by locating snared and injured wildlife + Aerial game monitoring + Aerial habitat assessment + Various survey assignments + Monitor and assess scout movements while on patrol + Detection and evaluation of fire dynamics + Detection of other illegal activities in addition to poaching such as wood-cutting + Intelligence gathering outside park boundaries including map appraisals and illegal road mapping + Carcass detection. Special mention should be made of the value of the role the aircraft plays in the detection of animal carcasses where a poaching incident is suspected. From time to time scouts on patrol hear shots in the park, or else vulture activity is seen in an area and personnel are deployed on foot and in vehicles to attempt to ascertain whether in fact an animal has been poached. + Identification and monitoring of snared animals and assisting the darting team in tracking snared animals + Ability to quickly and easily locate collared animals throughout the year by air, as well as obtain visuals, counts, and data on prey selection, etc. + Ability to document and monitor dispersing animals key to population exchange + Ability to rapidly detect and determine the cause of mortality for collared animals before scavengers + Ability to monitor animals potentially coming into conflict with humans + Ability to conduct frequent and rigorous aerial surveys of prey species and species of concern, such as elephant and buffalo, throughout the year + Ability to dramatically reduce staff time, expenses, and vehicle costs by concentrating ground efforts on data collection and expansion into additional areas of the study system compared to conducting most of operations time on searching and monitoring collared study animals. + Ability to detect game species (via collared carnivores and sightings) locations likely to be the target of poachers and coordinate with anti-poaching effectively + Ability to provide real-time locations of carnivores in order to deploy anti-snaring teams to areas of high risk for these species + Ability to effectively institute a research and monitoring program for the Luangwa valley on key wildlife species