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.
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
Observing animal behaviour (e.g. wild dog pack dynamics) for research purposes.
Photographing and creating identity kits (for recently reintroduced/relocated
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