As a result of a fortunate chance meeting in a Kenyan coffee shop between GVI’s Limpopo Programs Coordinator and a wildlife tracking entrepreneur, one of the reserves where we work has since been the recipient of some very high tech rhino tracking implants, thanks to your donations!
These implants are GPS enabled; They have GSM, or cellular, communications onboard; Additionally they include a tri-axis accelerometer which senses the rhino’s head movement and can be programmed to send an alarm sms based on specific stationary time constraints and/or a specific unnatural head movement such as that resulting from a bullet’s impact.
Obviously, our aim is to stop poaching before it happens but if a rhino is unfortunately killed and the horn removed and carried outside the reserve, there is a very good chance an alarm will be raised to enable a rapid response, possibly even before the horn has been separated from the animal’s head. This is important to try and stop the supply/demand chain for rhino horn. It also means we can catch those responsible!
There was one catch to the new tech implants: The signal they transmit is Ultra-high Frequency (UHF), and not Very High Frequency (VHF) as is the case with all the other tracking devices on the reserve, so we required a new and totally different receiver and aerial in order to be able to track these implanted rhinos on the ground. Thankfully the Charitable Trust's supporters were yet again, able to step up to the mark and we now have the UHF receiver and aerial to follow these animals.
Thank you for continuing to support Rhinos in South Africa!
All the best
We are happy to bring news that the brand new GVI Charitable Trust Mahindra (4x4), that was purchased thanks to your donations, have been put to good use already!
Unfortunately, the Limpopo region of South Africa receievd exceptionally heavy rains during the month of March, which in turn, destroyed a number of sections of the Karongwe reserve fence, especially near the rivers. This meant that a large proportion of the reserve was unprotected both with regards to stopping our wildlife leaving the reserve and become free roaming in a public area and also with stopping poachers enter the reserve easily.
As such, the Mahindra was put into action! It was used extensively for getting these breaches remedied quickly and new fences put into place. As a result, we kept our animals safe and protect.
This was all possible thanks to you and your donation that made purchasing the Mahindra a possibility. Thank you for continuing to support this project.
2014 has started poorly for the plight of the White Rhino across with South Africa, with 87 already poached since New Years. Thankfully, the herds protected, in part with the globalgiving funds, are yet to suffer a poaching loss. $4000 has been used to pay a large deposit for a brand new, bespoke anti-poaching vehicle. The Mahindra Bolero 4x4 Pick-up truck is currently being customized for the reserve, getting re-sprayed, livery added and upgraded body protection. It is due to arrive on the reserve by the end of February 2014.
The vehicle will provide additional support to the anti-poaching teams, significantly improving the vehicle presence on the reserve, acting as a major deterrent to would-be poachers. It will also act as a response vehicle, able to traverse across most of the reserve’s terrain, transporting equipment, personnel and canine units.
The vehicle will also be used in general reserve maintenance tasks, including patrolling and maintaining fences. This frees up other resources for anti-poaching while also providing a pro-active deterrent while out on regular maintenance tasks.
It is vital that funds continue to be raised for this project, allowing the reserve to continue paying off the loan for vehicle and to implement more initiatives to boost their anti-poaching capacity. In the pipeline, there are plans for more rhino DNA sampling and micro-chipping of horns as well as radio telemetry implants for tracking purposes.
We look forward to sending you photos of the final vehicle when it arrives. Thank you so much for your help in protecting our rhino.
Limpopo Project Manager
Some exciting news! The funds raised so far for anti-Rhino poaching will be used to pay for a brand new 4x4 vehicle that will be used as a dedicated anti-poaching vehicle on the Karongwe Private Game Reserve. The vehicle will become available immediately and will then be sent off for custom modification. This vehicle will do daily patrols of fence lines, checking for incursions and serving as a deterrent to potential poachers. The vehicle will also be a response vehicle in emergencies and will be capable of pursuing poachers off road. Not only will this vehicle help reduce the threat of Rhino poaching, but all forms of poaching and criminal activity targeting the reserve.
With a large deposit paid for the vehicle, the monthly payments for the vehicle will be reduced, improving the reserve’s cash flow, allowing the reserve to free up funds to employ new local staff members and afford more fuel to run the anti-poaching vehicle.
Photographs and report of the vehicle’s first deployment will be posted as soon as it arrives. Thank you for your support and we hope this will go some way to protecting the Rhino population on the reserve.
Limpopo Program Coordinator
I bring you fantastic news on a great fundraising event that has helped us raise additional funds for this project. On the 11th and 12th of August, the GVI Karongwe staff and volunteers undertook a challenge helping this cause by climbing just under 50 km’s of the Fanie Botha Trail in the northern Drakensberg Mountains. This is a normally a five day hike that they took on in just 2 days!
The starting location was the Ceylon Hut where they climbed 24 km’s to the Stables Hut. The next day they started the second leg of their adventure by hiking another 22 km’s to their destination, the President Burger’s Hut, where they celebrate with a BBQ! They essentially did a half marathon each day, through mountainous terrain, tackling Sections 1 and 2 in day one and Section 3 and ‘Link B’ on day two. Through their fantastic efforts, they raised an additional $2500 for this project which is fantastic news towards a great cause!
668 rhinos were illegally killed in SA in 2012, Over 400 have already been poached in the first half of 2013. This project aims to assist cash-strapped game reserves with rangers and equipment they need to effectively protect these rhinos.
Rhino poaching is a huge problem. In Limpopo, the financial incentive to rhino poachers combined with very high unemployment figures in rural communities, mean that poachers will force entry into the reserves to get a shot at a rhino, often at high risk to themselves. Many reserves are also partly funded by eco-tourism, so viewing these magnificent creatures is critical to the success of these lodges who employ many local staff, targeting unemployment figures and preventing poaching.
Thank you for your support to this project.
Charitable Trust manager
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GVI Charitable Trust Manager