Wildlife conservation in Africa is directed at saving endangered species. It is a multifaceted effort by a number of conservation groups and individuals, both locally and internationally.
Africa’s biodiversity and natural habitats are threatened primarily by human activities. Habitat loss and degradation are due to alterations of the landscape. Forests depletion are due to logging and climate change. Human and wildlife conflicts are direct results of population growth. And war on wildlife for monetary gain is a direct factor in endangering the species.
Species that are being threatened include, the elephant, the chimpanzee, the rhino, and the gorilla.
The follow includes some land preservation and wildlife conservation groups dedicated to saving endangered species in Africa:
- African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) – focuses on critically important landscapes in Africa.
- The Gorilla Doctors – committed to conserving wild mountain and eastern lowland (or Grauer’s) gorillas through life-saving veterinary medicine and a One Health approach.
- David Sheldrick Trust – devoted to the protection and preservation of Africa’s wilderness and its species particularly endangered species such as elephant and black rhino.
- Wildlife Conservation Society – protecting wildlife around the world including gorillas in Congo, tigers in India, wolverines in the Yellowstone Rockies, and ocean giants.
Main threats to the wildlife of Africa are:
- Loss of habitats caused by agriculture, farming, mining, and logging.
- Hunting, shooting, and road killing.
- Contagious diseases and human conflicts.
- Poaching for illegal trade.
- Environmental changes.
- Deforestation and extraction of resources.
Steps for Saving Endangered Species
For its part, African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) draws on the following principles for saving endangered species in Africa:
1. Fighting Against Poaching
Poaching of rhinos for their horns, elephant for their ivory, and gorillas for their meat will inevitably wipe out the species. AWF train and recruit locals as scouts and rangers for saving endangered species. They use Global Positioning System (GPS) units for preventing poaching and flora damage. Human-wildlife conflicts are also solved by these efforts. Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) works with organizations to train sniffer dogs. The animals are used to help track and deter poachers.
Note: The sustainability of the local people depends on the use of the land and wildlife. Their survival tactics are not categorized as poaching or exploitation of these resources.
2. Working with Communities
World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Save Our Species (SOS), Fauna & Flora International (FFI), and many other communities are working with AWF for saving endangered species in Africa. They are working to prevent and solve the conflicts between people and wildlife. Different projects are applied to manage the areas and take care of the natural resources. Thus, working with the communities gives habitats, wildlife, and the areas protection. Through these efforts jobs too are created for the locals. And tourism enhanced.
3. Use of Technology
AWF uses different technologies in the efforts of saving endangered species. Population trends and mortality of different animals was tracked by attaching radio and GPS collars to the creatures.
4. Alternatives to Deforestation
AWF contributes to the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) plans to lessen deforestation. The groups offer fuel-efficient energy options. And educate local residents on how to best balance carbon emissions.
Article by: Phil Kennedy