Understanding Conservation

Today we patrolled from early AM to beat the heat and to look for signs that poachers had been in the area, taking advantage of what is left of the last full moon. Everything was calm and the animals continue to live here unaware of the daily threat on their lives.

Despite the threat it has been another beautiful day in Africa. The sun is now setting over the lake in typical African fashion. We count ourselves lucky for the daily reminder of its brilliance. Elephant are rolling amongst the birds in the shallows, cooling off after a long hot day. I’m also cooling off with an ice cold can of Zambezi lager. Our plan for 2012 has been clearly mapped out. Our main priorities are the academies and anti-poaching operations in Zimbabwe and South Africa and the project in Chizarira. We receive requests for assistance daily from around the world, but available resources limit our capacity to deploy everywhere.

All he needs is a beer!

South Africa’s rhino population was decimated in 2011. 443 rhinos slaughtered for their horn, up from 333 the previous year. JC Strauss is heading up the Eco-Ranger academy for IAPF in South Africa, supported by a team of instructors. Our aim is to train as many rangers as possible in South Africa to be able to protect their rhino. We see the rhino as the hardest animal to protect. If we can protect the rhino we can protect everything in the ecosystem from poachers.

I often find myself wondering how we are ever going to defeat the enormity of the problem we face. As the Far East continues to expand, so does their insatiable appetite for anything we try to protect. As always, with these brief feelings of looming hopelessness, an email will come in offering support in some capacity, be it either a few words of encouragement, a story of success or an offer to volunteer time and services. The selflessness of many people never ceases to amaze me. We must continue to forge together in order to make it through these tough times.

I will leave you with this short quote, written by a well known environmentalist in 1968.

“For in the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught” Baba Dioum

Sunset @ IAPF HQ

We want you to continue understanding about the struggle our world’s wildlife is facing so you can help us with solutions. Please now go to the right hand column and enter your email address to register for our regular blogs.

Thank-you all.

Damien Mander

8 responses to “Understanding Conservation

  • Sarah M. Lawton

    Reblogged this on Journal of an adventurous mother and commented:
    Great quote, so I repeat it here:
    “For in the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught” Baba Dioum

  • Michelle Cogley

    Damo you truly are amazing in all you have acheived. You can honestly say you stand for something in life and that your life has a purpose far beyond the typical back yard matters of the everyday person. You are one of the great people that has blessed humanity with so much inspiration and knowledge. Don’t ever doubt the the worthiness of the IAPF it’s a fight tht will always make a difference in everyone’s life.

  • erna moller

    Damien to you from a nature reserve in Limpopo ” The indifference, callousness and contempt that so many people exhibit toward animals is evil first, because it results in great suffering in animals, and second because it results in an incalculably great impoverishment of the human spirit” Ashley Montagu Keep up the good work!

  • lorlee1

    Reblogged this on lorlee1 and commented:
    “For in the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught” Baba Dioum

    How true…

  • dallas purdey

    Mate thats awesome stuff your up too over there i just showed my young bloke n asked when im old enough id like to help catch these people! What a great little Mt Elizian!, cheers keep up the good work, Regards Dallas

  • sharon

    You are an inspiration and i look forward to coming to help.. ” be the change you wish to see in the world”.

  • gav

    Congrats on getting Chiz, Hopefully you can start to turn it around and this can start to be mirrored around the country..

    Hard work reaps reward and its pretty obvious how much hard work and dedication you guys put in.

    You, Deano, Leon, all the rangers, Hope and all the background IAPF staff are doing us proud..

    Everyone that hasn’t been over and volunteered with the IAPF yet are truely are missing out on a once in a lifetime experience.. (plus Damo gives free hair cuts)

  • Carmen

    Please don’t ever think that your efforts to save the rhino and to help more and more people understand their plight and the need to help them are for nothing. There are many of us around the world who are in awe at the work you do. You’re a great inspiration to so many people, especially children and teenagers. I will continue to support IAPF as often as I can and I will tell more people of your great work. God sees all that you do and He will send you the help you need. May He protect you and all those you train and bless you in your efforts.

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