Expand the Black Mambas Rhino Anti-Poaching Unit

by Helping Rhinos USA
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Expand the Black Mambas Rhino Anti-Poaching Unit
Expand the Black Mambas Rhino Anti-Poaching Unit
Expand the Black Mambas Rhino Anti-Poaching Unit
Expand the Black Mambas Rhino Anti-Poaching Unit
Expand the Black Mambas Rhino Anti-Poaching Unit
Expand the Black Mambas Rhino Anti-Poaching Unit
Expand the Black Mambas Rhino Anti-Poaching Unit
Expand the Black Mambas Rhino Anti-Poaching Unit
Expand the Black Mambas Rhino Anti-Poaching Unit
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

Links:

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Mambas on parade with food to share.
Mambas on parade with food to share.

At this time where conservation is being negatively affected all over the world, remarkable things are still happening. We remain concerned that the drop of tourism and the funds that they bring to conservation efforts will harm the care of wild spaces and protection of wild species.

We are seeing initial impacts along these lines, including around the Balule Nature Reserve where the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit are most active. There have not been increases in poaching, but it seems that desperate times are leading to desperation among the extremely poor. 

To address this desperation, the Mambas are working with Olifants West Nature Reserve, one of the largest and most politically important components of the larger Balule Nature Reserve to fundraise for food for the surrounding comunities. Amazingly, these selfless women and men of the Mambas and their support institution Transfrontier Africa are gathering funds and food to share with poor people in the surrouding area at this desperate time.

Not only does this help to address hunger in a region where 70% unemployment is the norm, it also helps to build good will between the Mambas and the community. Given that the Mambas are so strongly associated with conservation and the protection of wild places, this can only help to improve the perceptions of people in the area to be even more supportive of conservation. The likely outcome should be a reduction in the number of poaching events where the Mambas are working. 

Building goodwill through kindness and generosity is always in fashion.

Please consider helping support the Mambas at this moment, as they need it more than ever!

Thanks for supporting our amazing Wonder Women of the Bush!

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Rhino Love
Rhino Love

Greetings all,

Even though the rest of the world is self-isolating, we can learn a great deal from our heroes in the Black Mambas and act accordingly. The women of the Mambas continue to be out in the field, patrolling the fence lines, repairing the cuts that poachers use to test the defense of the area right after they are made, and generally getting to see the amazing biodiversity that is in South Africa.

Thanks to the work that this project has made possible, and the conrtinued support of the Mambas themselves, their impact continues to magnify and become better and better. Rhino poaching in South Africa is at its lowest level in almost a decade, since 2012. 

The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries in the Republic of South Africa, just released their report on rhino poaching in South Africa in 2019. At the worst of the rhino poaching epidemic in South Africa in 2014, there were 1,215  rhinos (black and white) that were poached. Sadly, this massive number only slightly decreased through 2017 where still over 1,028 rhinos were killed for their horn every year.

In 2018, the number poached dropped suddenly to only 769, and in 2019 - the most recent year that statistics are available - the government said that only 594 were poached! This massive drop by over 51% since 2014 and huge 23% drop since just last year, is a real hope for the future. 

Opinions are mixed as to the reasons why this has been happening, but better patrols, stronger enforcement, and better protective fencing have all certainly contributed. One of the most effective anti-poaching efforts in Africa is certainly the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit, and we are lucky enough to be one of their large supporters.

So, on behalf of Helping Rhinos, The Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit, and rhinos across South Africa, THANK YOU for helping to make a difference. 

Now, returning to the Mambas daily inspiration for us - get outside during this time of self-quarantine. Go for a hike in nature, reconnect with the natural world as the Mambas do every day. Draw inspiration from the wild and natural and beautiful places around you and help to heal your soul.

Our best to you, and our deepest gratitude to you for your support.

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Greetings and Happy Holidays to All!

We are writing at this time of the year to share with you some really great news: Rhino poaching has been dropping! This has been happening steadily over the last four years and it seems that 2019 may be on track to have the lowest number of rhinos poached in nearly a decade. 

During the first half of 2019, the most recent statistics that the government of South Africa has released, the number of rhino poached across the entire country was 318. This number marks a nearly a 25% reduction when compared to the same period in 2018 when 386 rhino were killed for their horns. If this same trend continues through the rest of the year, we will be on pace to have the lowest number of poached rhinos in South Africa since 2011.

The poaching peaked in 2014 with a whopping 1,215 rhino killed. This year we may be about half that, which is a really welcome reprieve.

There are many factors that are contributing to this decline in rhino poaching - better enforcement of confiscation of smuggled illegal rhino horn into China, possibly decreased demand in Asia, better detection in the US, and importantly better anti-poaching patrols the last few years.

One of the most effective and most important of the anti-poaching patrols is of course The Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit of South Africa! 

We are so blessed to be able to collaborate with and support the Mambas, as they have certainly been a part of the dramatic drop in rhino poaching in South Africa.

Thank you for your continued support of their work! All your donations go to them in the field!

Happy New Year to you and your family.

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Social Science Researchers Making a Difference!
Social Science Researchers Making a Difference!

Greetings all,

Dr. James, the lead researcher at Helping Rhinos, was recently speaking with Craig Spencer, the founder and innovator who worked with the local women in Northern South Africa to create the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit. 

At the time, Craig surprised us by saying that the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit has been completely restructured – for the good – because of our research last year! Our research findings, based on 120 interviews in four different communities, were influential on their decision-making and management structure. We found that the community that had the Bush Babies Educational Program present it, teaching only the young school children, were much more supportive of conservation, of wildlife, and of protected areas than were the three other more-distant communities, which did not have the Bush Babies program present.

Craig and the Black Mambas decided what would be best would be to employ Mambas from the nearby communities around the protected area, and to have a Bush Babies program present in the local schools.

We are exceptionally proud of our entire research team who helped conduct this research, and of the Mamba Program and their manager Transfrontier Africa (TFA). The Mamba Program and TFA are a rare organization who are not only receptive to challenging scientifically-grounded information but are willing to act so decisively.

Hooray for the Mambas, for young child education programs, and for social science research!

However, hooray just as much for you all who helped to make this research program even happen!

Yours in conservation.

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Helping Rhinos USA

Location: Escondido, CA - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @HelpingRhinos
Project Leader:
James Danoff-Burg
Palm Desert, CA United States
$51,041 raised of $100,000 goal
 
580 donations
$48,959 to go
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