Thirty staff members and supporters of the African Conservation Trust (a member of IUCN) will bravely put aside their fear of heights and jump out of a plane to raise awareness and funding for anti-poaching activities and the protection of South Africa’s remaining black and white rhino populations. They will also be accompanied by Andrew Zaloumis, CEO of iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Jabulani Ngubane, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s Rhino Conservation Officer.
The Skydive for Rhinos jump will be held in August 2011 in Eston, South Africa; and will be done by ordinary people who have had enough of the escalating rhino slaughter.
ACT canvassed a range of rhino conservation experts and with their assistance, identified high priority anti-poaching interventions that need assistance. These include equipment for anti-poaching patrol teams such as boots, flak jackets, 2-way radios, tents, sleeping bags, and hi-powered binoculars, among others..
GPS tracking technology is another area that ACT would like to focus on. This technology can be painlessly inserted into a rhino’s horn and sends a continuous signal to a monitoring station and alerts anti-poaching patrols if a rhino’s movements become erratic.
A significant number of rhinos urgently need to be individually identified by ear-notching and micro-chipping. This is an area that resources from the Skydive initiative will also be directed to.
It has also been recognised that poachers do not target rhinos in reserves under regular air patrol. ACT will therefore look into improving aerial surveillance to deter poaching and track poachers’ movements. This will assist the South Africa Police Service and conservation officials with capture and arrests.
ACT has been a member of IUCN since 2010 and has a growing reputation for implementing innovative and dynamic programmes that conserve southern Africa’s magnificent natural resources and heritage. Its projects incorporate innovation, education, training and job creation as part of our focus on sustainably alleviating critical environmental and heritage needs.
For more information on the Skydive for Rhinos, please click here for a detailed flier. Also contact Sheelagh Antrobus, Micah van Schalkwyk or Anelisa Ngwenya at the ACT offices in Pietermaritzburg (telephone number: 033-342 2844) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.