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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
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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Mambas and some of their young community members
Mambas and some of their young community members

When we are advocating and supporting the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit in South Africa, often we don't pay enough attention to the Mambas themselves. Most of these intrepid unarmed women are mothers, and if not that, they are sisters, daughters, friends, and community members. All of who they are and the roles that they play in making their communities better places shoudl be acknowledged.

Recently, the coordinators supporting the Mambas Program created a family day to celebrate the women and allow them to bring their familiy members on patrol with them. The  Mambas, their children, and young cousins enjoyed a drive around the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre near where the Mambas patrol. The kids saw all the animals that their moms and aunties are striving to protect - rhinos among them. 

The idea of this day out is to enable children to see where their mothers work and to allow them to spend more time together. The Mambas show their kids what they do, the reason for doing so, and allow them to better understand why they spend so much time away from home.

The idea was successful and will be continued by the Mamba support team. By engaging the children of the Mambas in this way, they are furthering the idea of behavioral change among theie home communities and help people realize the value of wildlife, protected areas, and conservation. 

Yours in conservation

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Belgian Malinois dog with an elite Mamba
Belgian Malinois dog with an elite Mamba

Thanks at least in part to all the donations that our supporters on GlobalGiving have provided, The Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit has been able to expand to another area!

The Mambas program has been brought into another area of the Balule Game Reserve nearby world-famous Kruger Park and has added an entirely new group of 6 Mambas to the fold! As such, the world's only all-women unarmed anti-poaching unit has expanded to cover the Makhushane region as well!

In addition, three of the Mambas have been trained on using Belgian Malinois as tracker and canine protection for the Mambas while on patrol. These dogs will bring an additional level of safety, security, and detection abilities to the Mambas while they are searching for evidence of poachers.

We are incredibly proud of all the work that the Mambas are doing, and are equally grateful to you all for all that you have helped these amazing women and men make happen. 

Yours in Conservation,

Happy canine, happy Mamba!
Happy canine, happy Mamba!
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Organization Information

Helping Rhinos USA

Location: Escondido, CA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @HelpingRhinos
Project Leader:
James Danoff-Burg
Palm Desert, CA United States
$45,087 raised of $100,000 goal
472 donations
$54,913 to go
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