Safari Club International (SCI) and the Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) today announced the launch of their new anti-poaching campaign, Endanger Poaching. Endanger Poaching was established to help financially support anti-poaching efforts in areas with the highest need.
“Poaching not only threatens the world’s tuskers, but also other biodiversity, local tourism, and community livelihoods,” said Matthew Lewis, SCIF’s Director of Conservation. “Today, poaching is a major threat to wildlife all around the globe. This illegal activity puts wildlife populations at risk and poses challenges to conservation programs, community structures, and national security.”
Through the Endanger Poaching campaign, SCI and SCIF look forward to putting an end to poaching and assisting with conservation efforts. For their inaugural project, Endanger Poaching will be supporting a ranger training program in the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania.
Designated as a World Heritage Site for its biodiversity and unique wilderness landscapes, the Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest and oldest protected areas in the world. Established in 1922, the Reserve is perhaps the most iconic African safari destination, with large herds of elephant, a small but vitally important number of black rhino, thousands of African buffalo, and East Africa’s largest lion population.
“In the 1970s, Selous was home to the world’s largest elephant population. Over the last decade the area has become a hotspot for poachers and elephant numbers have dramatically declined,” explained Lewis. “The Endanger Poaching campaign is going to support areas like Selous that have been identified with the highest need for anti-poaching intervention.”
With the help of the Endanger Poaching campaign, a new class of Selous rangers will be trained at the College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka. This advanced training program is designed to increase the effectiveness of anti-poaching patrols and the use of monitoring technology. This training will increase return on investment in anti-poaching efforts by optimizing deployment in response to field evidence.
The College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka, is the pioneer institution for improving wildlife management in Africa and developing effective ranger training programs. Since its inception in 1963, the college has trained over 5,000 graduates from 52 countries worldwide, including the majority of wildlife managers in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Ghana, and Sudan.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to support the world class education of Selous’ next generation of rangers,” said Lewis. “With this training, these rangers will be prepared to stop poaching and protect one of the world’s greatest wildlife reserves.”