A New Message For Smokey describes how high severity fires create important wildlife habitat in western forests of the US, and explains the need to protect burned forests from harmful logging.
Tarangire's famous white giraffe, named "Omo" by local safari guides, was seen again by Wild Nature Institute scientists during the latest round of scientific surveys. She is now over 2 years old and looking great. She is always surrounded by her large social group and appears to be doing well. Our science, education, and advocacy for giraffes is working to ensure a future for Omo and all her relatives in Tanzania.
In the study, wildlife scientists used machine learning and connectivity algorithms to delineate a previously undefined migratory corridor in order to save this vanishing natural phenomenon. Dr. Derek Lee, principal scientist at the Wild Nature Institute and senior author of the study said, “From a practical standpoint, we need better tools to understand how animals get from one place to another. Our work shows how data from multiple sources and the latest analytical techniques can be integrated to identify, connect, and protect an ecologically and economically important migratory corridor.”
“Given the growing demands on grazing lands in these migratory landscapes, there is an important need to accurately document core habitat used by migratory wildlife, and then provide this information to the policy makers who decide how land will be managed,” said Dr. Tom Morrison, of the University of Glasgow and co-author of the study. “Conserving migratory habitat for wildebeest will have the added benefits of protecting connectivity of rangelands used by Masai pastoralists and their livestock, and will benefit other wildlife species in this ecosystem, as they all use these habitats to move and graze.”
Wild Nature Institute was honored to host a ‘Ranger Appreciation Day’ on Monday for the courageous, hard-working village game scouts from Burunge Wildlife Management Area.
Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are village-run community conservation areas that use proceeds from tourism to fund land-use planning and natural resource protection to conserve important wildlife habitat. The Burunge WMA forms a wildlife corridor and habitat reserve between Tarangire and Lake Manyara national parks.
Village game scouts from Burunge are equipped and trained by our partners at PAMS Foundation. PAMS also plans and funds the patrols, prepares for and supports court cases, compiles reports, and maintains the database. Tourism provides additional funding for the WMA. The scouts patrol the WMA day and night removing traps and snares set by poachers, and apprehend poachers through evidence-gathering. In just the past few months, their efforts have led to the arrest of three giraffe poachers in the area.
Wild Nature Institute hosted a barbeque to thank them for their critical work, which contributes to the sustainability of wildlife populations in the Burunge WMA. We are grateful to PAMS and the village game scouts. We're sure the giraffes thank them, too!
Extra special thanks to Ameir Dahal of PAMS Foundation for organizing this event.
How do you reverse a population decline and save an endangered species? This is the central question in conservation biology and it is the core of my scientific work. In my most recent study, I looked at a giraffe population in the Tarangire Ecosystem in Tanzania to figure out exactly why there were fewer giraffes there now than in the past, and what people can do about it.
Many thanks to Doug, Shaye, and Alex for being wonderful ambassadors for giraffes, owls, and the Wild Nature Institute at the Wildlife Conservation Network's Spring Wildlife Expo in San Rafael, California on Saturday. The table helped raise awareness about threats to wild nature and raised funds to support our work.
We think you'll all agree that it would be pretty difficult to resist buying something from this little cutie pie!
We were honored that our organization was represented and we could share our t-shirts, children's books, hats, and mugs with supporters of wildlife in California. Thanks so much again Doug, Shaye, and Alex for your hard work, and thanks to everyone who made a purchase to help conserve giraffes!
An illustration from Juma the Giraffe was accepted into the 2017 Communication Arts Illustration Annual and won an award of excellence. Communication Arts is a professional journal for designers, art directors, design firms, corporate design departments, agencies, illustrators, photographers, and others involved in visual communications. For over 58 years, CA showcases the current best in design, advertising, photography, illustration, and typography.
Of the 3,995 entries to the 58th Illustration Annual, only 178 were accepted, representing the work of 159 artists, making the Illustration Annual the most exclusive major illustration competition in the world. Big congratulations to Kayla Harren, the extremely talented illustrator of Juma the Giraffe! See more of her images at www.kaylaharren.com.
In response to recent scientific consensus on giraffes’ vulnerability to extinction, five wildlife protection groups today petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect Earth’s tallest land animal under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
The legal petition, filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International, The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and Natural Resources Defense Council, seeks “endangered” status for the species.
Giraffes are facing threats from habitat loss, bushmeat hunting, and the international trade in bone carvings and trophies. Africa’s giraffe population has plunged almost 40 percent in the past 30 years and now stands at just over 97,000 individuals. Based upon our work and the work of all the giraffe scientists in the world, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature recently uplisted the Red List giraffe status from ‘least concern’ to ‘vulnerable to extinction’, and this Endangered Species Act listing will establish legal protections to control the market for giraffe parts in the USA.
The Endangered Species Act is one of the world’s strongest and most effective environmental protection laws and has been instrumental in protecting wild natural habitat for rare species and averting extinctions. As a professional conservation biologist, I believe we must make use of every possible tool in our efforts to preserve the ecosystems that support all life on Earth. The Endangered Species Act is one important tool that will regulate the trade in giraffe parts and bring attention to the giraffe’s precarious situation.
We are excited to report that the distribution of our giraffe-themed environmental education materials in Tanzania has been a resounding success. This month's distribution is a follow-up to the teacher’s workshop we hosted last October, where teachers received advance copies of our giraffe storybooks, activity books, and posters, and learned about lesson plans and activities to accompany the books and posters.
Thanks to Wild Nature Institute’s educational consultant, award-winning science teacher Lise Levy, and a terrific community organizer from our partner organization Masai Advancement Association (MAA), over the past month we have delivered a Swahili version of our Juma the Giraffe storybook and Juma poster, another poster about the amazing physiology of giraffes, and an activity book Twiga Na Rafiki Zake (Giraffe and Friends) to more than 4,600 children in 14 schools surrounding Tarangire and Lake Manyara national parks! We will be monitoring how the books and lesson plans are being used, and making more visits to the schools to help implement the fun learning activities.
The goals of our giraffe-themed environmental education project are:
Stay tuned for the next phase of our educational efforts—a new campaign called “Celebrating Africa’s Giants!” This project incorporates Africa's other two terrestrial mega-herbivores, elephants and rhinoceros, into our education and outreach work, and we'll be producing books, posters, games, and other materials to inspire kids in Africa and North America to celebrate and protect these magnificent savanna creatures.
Very special thanks to Kayla Harren (for illustrating and designing Juma the Giraffe), David Brown and Chris Barela (for producing the giraffe physiology poster), and Megan Strauss (for producing Giraffe and Friends). Thanks also to PAMS Foundation for helping to print and distribute these materials.
Listen into a conversation about giraffes with Alex Shoumatoff, a top naturalist and journalist who recently embedded himself in the world of giraffes in Uganda, and Derek Lee, principal scientist of the Wild Nature Institute, whose research focuses on Masai giraffes in Tanzania, with host Jane Clayson and many callers. A 1-hour discussion originally broadcast on WBUR's On Point radio show.
Science News and Updates From the Field from Wild Nature Institute.
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