Mar 26, 2021

Mambas are Helping to Drive Down Rhino Poaching

Impressive Black Mambas
Impressive Black Mambas

Greetings all!

Thanks for all that you have done to help us support the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit in South Africa. Despite the challenges of COVID-19 over the last year, they continue to be one of the most effective anti-poaching endeavor in Africa.

They are still unarmed, as they have been since their founding.

They have still reduced snare-wire poaching by over 86%, as they have since their founding.

They still walk over 10 kilometers (6 miles) every day to check fence lines for poacher intrusions, as they have since their founding.

However, one very big and very new thing that has happened over the last two years, is that largely due to their actions and changes in the market forces at work, rhino poaching has plummeted in the areas that they patrol! Prior, they have been able to reduce rhino poaching by over 50%. Things have improved lately so that rhino poaching is down over 80% in all of the Greater Kruger Landscape, but in particular in the Balule Game Reserve where they patrol.

There are many factors that contribute to this notable and very welcome reduction, but the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit is definitely one.

It is possible that the fundamental changes that happened in how the Mambas operate have led to this big reduction in rhino poaching. Thanks to our social science impact research that you helped make happen, there are now Bush Babies Environmental Education Program in each community surrounding Balule. This was found to be the greatest contributor to reducing support for poaching in our study and the Mambas have wholeheartedly adopted it.

Education can be used to build empathy and appreciation for the natural world. Thank goodness for the Black Mambas and the Bush Babies programs, as these good women do all of this.

Happy Women's History Month! Raise a glass in honor of the women of the Black Mambas and of the Bush Babies programs!

Mar 14, 2021

Riding into 2021

Jericho moving into 2021!
Jericho moving into 2021!

As 2020 ends, and 2021 begins, we are doing our very best to remain positive and committed to the Pedaling Against Poaching project.

I have logged more than 700 miles on the bike year to date, and I am on track for my goal of >5000 miles for the year. Fundraising has been a challenge this past year, and I have been working on ways to get creative.

A small group of like minded mountain bikers decided to dig out all of the spare bike parts that they have laying around the garage, and we auctioned them all off online, and 100% of the sales were rolled into a donation that I processed through this GlobalGiving account. it was a much needed spike, and much appreciated by the folks that are working so hard on the ground, protecting, and caring for these amazing Rhinos.

Remember, that every dollar helps. Please give if you can, and make sure to spread the word. updates to follow will have a focus on the 2021 stats from the field. 

Nov 23, 2020

Mambas at The Desert Conservation Summit

Lewyn presenting at The Desert Conservation Summit
Lewyn presenting at The Desert Conservation Summit

The effectiveness in reducing poaching of rhinos by the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit has been demonstrated many times over. In fact, as a side note, rhino poaching in the areas where the Mambas work has has almost completely stopped in the past year! The Mambas are a big part of that, but not entirely, given that COVID has disrupted many aspects of shipping and demand for these terrible "products" derived by killing rhinos.

Nonetheless, the Mambas have hugely decreased how often poaching happens in their corner of South Africa, thanks, as always to their presence being a deterrant to any poacher who may wish to slip in unnoticed. 

As we've discussed, thanks in large part to your funding, we have been able to demonstrate that the Mambas are changing the cultures in which they live through their Bush Babies Environmental Education Programme. The Bush Babies has been working to educate local children of the biological richness in their area, and to great effect! The communities in which the Bush Babies area active are significantly less supportive of poaching, more supportive of conservation, and are more aware that they directly benefit from conservation through employment, alternative livelihoods, and better social conditions. 

The Mambas are improving life for rhinos - and all other large mammals - where they work, and in many ways!

Last week on 14 November, they were invited to participate in the International Desert Conservation Summit, an online gathering of the world's leading desert conservationists, hosted by The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in the USA. Lewyn Maefala the Program Coordinator of the Bush Babies and Craig Spencer, the founder of the Mambas and Bush Babies program presented to almost 150 people to tell their story. 

We will send links to the Mambas' presentation at the International Desert Conservation Summit with our next update!

Yours in Effective, Women-Led Conservation

Craig presenting at The Desert Conservation Summit
Craig presenting at The Desert Conservation Summit
International Desert Conservation Summit logo
International Desert Conservation Summit logo


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