Category Archives: Green Army

Encounters of the ‘LARGE’ kind

The “Big Five”. So called because they were apparently the most difficult and dangerous African mammals to hunt. Nowadays, things have changed slightly but they still remain some of the most difficult to conserve.

Here on the Stanley and Livingstone Game Reserve (SALGR) we’ve had our fair share of “Big Five” encounters lately. Lions roaring almost every night and recent sightings of brand new cubs, the buffalo herd exploding in numbers after the rains, a very cheeky elephant nicknamed “kloppers” by the rangers, an old tom leopard who occasionally allows you a glimpse as he slinks back into the bush and of course, our resident rhinos.

It’s these experiences, exciting and often heart stopping at the same time, which keeps us doing what we do. It’s not just the famous species that need protecting though. In order to save one, you have to work from the ground up. Literally. That’s why this is a very important time for us out here. Once the rains stop and the temperature begins to drop, we enter a new season and a have to tackle a new threat… wild fires. Grading the roads, controlling erosion and making sure that our fire guards are well maintained is a big part of the work that needs to be done in the coming months. Uncontrolled fires can have a huge detrimental effect on a property such as this one. They spread quickly through the dry grass, removing food sources for the game and exposing the soil to the harsh sun and winds. This can lower the quality and quantity of next year’s growth and it may be years before we’re able to restore things to the natural balance needed. No soil equals no plants, which equals no animals. It’s as simple as that.

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We’ve progressed well with our vegetation study, and now it’s time to put some of that work into action. We couldn’t have done this of course without help from all of our volunteers to whom we owe huge thanks. Their hard work and dedication has allowed us to thrive and continue on with our goals. So from the IAPF, the SALGR staff and all the animals here in the bush, thank you.

You can keep up to date on everything happening at the IAPF through this blog. For those of you who would like more information on the Green Army program or want to make a commitment, please head over to our website or email steve@iapf.org or james.slade@iapf.org. Come and join us, and see what all the excitement is about for yourself.

James Slade

Game Ranger & Green Army co-ordinator

The IAPF are proudly supported in Zimbabwe by:


The Green Army

Our first course of 2011 on an early morning run with our Green Army.

March 21st will mark the first anniversary of our upgraded ranger training academy here in Victoria Falls.

Throughout the past 12 months we have trained a number of recruits, with varying degrees of experience and backgrounds, and turned them into fully-fledged rangers, ready to tackle the task of securing Africa’s wildlife.

At the academy, we have also run specialist courses, including advanced medical training for members of local anti-poaching units, equipping them with medical kits to take back to their units.

Coinciding with the upgrades first birthday, our Green Army program will turn one year old in March.  From humble beginnings this time last year, we have managed to grow the program into one of Africa’s most unique conservation activities for enthusiastic travelers from around the world.  Participants are given the opportunity to get involved as much as possible, from patrolling and learning bush craft with our skilled rangers, to assisting and in some instances, running training exercises for our ranger recruits.

The experience is an unforgettable one, and several of the guys have returned for their second trip, spreading the word and bringing back their friends to take part.

The Green Army on Patrol

For our part, Damien, James and myself have enjoyed seeing supporters returning home inspired and determined to assist with the hardships on the ground. They have donated various equipment, stores and supplies, and much needed funds, which has enabled us to continue the fight. It has been a humbling experience seeing the generosity of these individuals and it just drives us even more to achieve our goal, knowing we have so much positive support back home.

Let me take this opportunity from all of the IAPF staff to say thank you to everyone who has been out here and been a part of the Green Army.  We hope to see you back here sometime soon.

For those of you who would like more information on the program or want to make a commitment, please head over to our website or email steve@iapf.org or james.slade@iapf.org.

And please sign up for our regular blogs in the top right-hand column.

Regards,

Steven Dean

IAPF  Operations manager


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