Endangered Species Conservation Project

Endangered Species Conservation Project 

- KWAZULU NATAL , SOUTH AFRICA

Wildlife ACT was founded and has always existed to support real conservation work where it is needed most. Numerous Game Reserves within South  Africa cannot afford to fund a dedicated  monitoring  team  within  their  boundaries,  due  to  budget  limitations  and  staff shortages.  Wildlife  ACT  has  come  to  these  reserves  with  the  proposal  to  provide  this priority species Monitoring service, free of charge,  in order to ensure  the safety of these endangered species. 

Our  projects  on  each  of  the  five  different  Game  Reserves  on  which  we  work  have  been approved  and  contracted  directly  by  the  Management  authority  of  each  Reserve,  to perform this critical and essential conservation work for those Reserves, at no cost to the reserve themselves.

Getting  involved  with  Wildlife  ACT  means  that  you  can  actively  help  endangered  and priority wildlife  species  conservation.  The reserves on which we work mainly focus on research  into  African  Wild  Dog,  Cheetah,  Black  Rhino  and  Vultures;  however,  Elephant, Lion, Leopard and White Rhino are also monitored.

 

PROJECT LOCATIONS

Wildlife ACT projects are located across 5  different locations in Zululand, Northern KwaZulu-Natal:

• The iMFOLOZI SECTION of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park 

• The HLUHLUWE SECTION of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park 

• Manyoni Private Game Reserve [- PREVIOUSLY KNOWN AS Zululand Rhino Reserve (ZRR)]

• Mkhuze Game Reserve

• Tembe Elephant Park

 

WHO CAN JOIN THE TEAM?

Anyone from the ages of 18 to 70+ is welcome to join us; there is usually a wide mixture of ages within the participants joining our projects. As far as possible, we do our best to place participants of similar ages together, as we find that this best facilitates group cohesion. All you need is to be in fairly good physical condition, be able to understand and communicate in English, and have an open mind and enthusiastic attitude with the passion to make a difference! All training and supervision will be provided, so no prior qualifications, skills or previous experience are required. 

We only accept a maximum of 5 volunteers at any given time on each of the reserves on which we work. We find this keeps the team small and efficient providing you with insights into real conservation work.

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

Volunteers will assist the wildlife monitor in all day-to-day aspects of monitoring, including (where necessary):  

  The daily tracking and locating of priority species wildlife in the wild, seated on an open 4x4 vehicle, using radio telemetry equipment. 

  Mapping the sightings using GPS equipment. You will be taught how to use the 

  equipment. 

  Observing animal behaviour (e.g. wild dog pack dynamics) for research purposes. 

  Photographing and creating identity kits (for recently reintroduced/relocated 

  animals). 

  Periodically setting up camera traps at watering holes and game trails. 

  Assisting with ongoing game counts if needed. 

 

Depending on how long you join our team for and the time of year you visit, you could be fortunate  enough to  participate  in  one of the  following  activities,  which  occur  strictly as and when the need arises:

  Radio collaring of animals. 

  Notching (identity marking) of animals such as Rhino. 

  Night tracking excursions – for example Hyaenas. 

  Animal Call-Ups (for example Lion) 

  Relocation or re-introduction of endangered species. 

  Vulture counts and nest surveys. 

  Bird ringing & alien plant control.

 

Each Reserve has a different focus in terms of the work being done. While the project does 

plan  and  follow  basic  schedules,  the  nature  of  the  work  being  done  dictates  that  the 

animals and their environment are our number-one priority, and therefore our schedules 

may at times have to be altered due to unforeseen circumstances or incidents within this 

wild and dynamic environment.

 

Every day in the bush is different. 

We have a saying here: "This is Zululand, not Disneyland!" Some days you could try very hard to find certain animals, and not see them – other days, you could go looking for certain animals, and end up seeing all “Big Five” in one morning. There are no guarantees! 

 

Some days can be a stretch and even laborious at times, like when we track one animal for a whole day, and cover large distances without success. But it is important.  This is not a safari operation, and we don’t want to romanticize the work we do. It’s not always pretty or easy, but it is always exciting and wonderful to be out in the beautiful reserve, enjoying the sights and smells of the bush, and knowing you are being part of something significant.

 

Our starting dates for 2018, are as follows: 

  07 or 21 May

  04 or 18 June

  02, 16 or 30 July

  13 or 27 August

  10 or 24 September

  08 or 22 October

  05 or 19 November

  03 December.