About Wildlife ACT
Wildlife ACT is an award-winning non-profit organisation set up in 2008. Their conservation projects, which extend across the Zululand area of South Africa include uMkhuze, Tembe, Manyoni and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.
Wildlife ACT is unique in that they actively advance conservation by initiating, implementing and managing monitoring projects on reserves which do not have existing monitoring programmes in place; or by taking over existing monitoring projects on reserves that can no longer fund or manage them.
Wildlife ACT’s focus is to help save Africa’s endangered and priority wildlife species from extinction, thereby enabling broad-scale biodiversity conservation.
They achieve this by:
- Conducting professional and strategic monitoring and research to enable and inform effective conservation management of wildlife in Africa;
- Securing existing protected areas, driving range expansion of African Wildlife, and combating illegal wildlife poaching;
- Identifying and developing programmes within surrounding communities to support biodiversity conservation and socioeconomic development.
For Wildlife ACT, international volunteers and conservation expeditions have been the cornerstone of their funding stream. They depend on this support to conduct vitally important endangered and priority wildlife species conservation work of endangered wildlife species such as African Painted Dogs, Cheetah and Black Rhino, as well as priority species such as Elephant, Lion, Leopard and many more, including their anti-poaching initiatives.
About Painted Dog Conservation (PDC)
PDC is a non-profit making Organisation registered in Zimbabwe. Its mission:
“Create an environment where painted dogs can thrive”
PDC evolved out of scientific research conducted in Hwange National Park in the mid-1990s, when it became apparent that painted dog deaths outside the Park were mostly due to human causes; snares, traffic accidents and shootings, led by general ignorance and prejudice towards the species. PDC’s core approach is to identify the critical issues and find a way to make a significant and lasting contribution to painted dog conservation, the conservation of nature and the lives of the local community with a special emphasis on the individual.
PDC’s sustainable conservation model is making a significant, long-term difference to the painted dog population in Zimbabwe:
- More than 10 packs of painted dogs are monitored daily. Last year alone, this
saved the lives of five painted dogs caught in snares.
- 30,000 plus snares have been removed by the PDC Anti-Poaching Unit (APU)
- The rehabilitation facility with 8 enclosures and a veterinary clinic has looked after
more than 80 painted dogs since opening in 2002.
Community – Education - Outreach
- More than 60 people from local villages are employed to run the various projects. It has created a strong bond between PDC and the community. Some villages are now implementing their own conservation measures, like voluntary APU’s.
- Nearly 14,000 children have attended the PDC conservation bush camps, inspiring a love for painted dogs and conservation in general. Several are now back, working for PDC.
- Art centre, community gardens, health facilities, conservation clubs; all contribute to people regarding the welfare of painted dogs as being of vital importance to their communities.
… and research
A deep understanding of painted dogs underpins everything PDC does. Tracking with radio and satellite collars determines distribution, behaviour and hunting patterns and identifies causes of injury or death as well as enabling monitoring of packs deemed particularly vulnerable or in unsafe areas.
Why are Anti-Poaching Units so important?
Snares set by poachers are a key threat facing painted dogs today. Zimbabwe’s economy has been struggling, which has increased illegal hunting of wildlife to sell for profit or bushmeat. Painted dogs, although not the primary target, are particularly vulnerable because they cover relatively huge distances each day compared to most species and encounter many more snares. The scouts of PDC’s highly trained APU, including two tracker dogs, work closely with the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority and Forestry Commission and patrol the danger areas bordering Hwange National Park daily, guarding against poachers.