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Educational Wildlife Conservation Programs

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the words, “Wildlife Conservation”? Do you picture the majestic African Lion or Rhino? What about a reference to National Parks, Community Conservancies, or Private Game Reserves?

African Lion and Rhino

What is Wildlife Conservation and why is it needed?

Conservation efforts actively protect wild plant and animal species and their natural habitats. This is to ensure that these species and habitats exist for future generations and also recognizes the importance of biodiversity and ecosystems. The current strain on endangered species are caused by loss of habitat due to farming or development, human-wildlife conflict and poaching.

Many people know about the protection of the the large, charismatic species when they hear about wildlife conservation in Africa. Despite these species that tourists want to se, there is a lot more to it. Humans are inextricably linked to the natural world. Protecting the ecosystems that provide us with direct and indirect services for free, must become a higher priority for all. Without healthy, biodiverse ecosystems, we’d have no food, no water, no clean air, and disease.

African penguin and vulture

What do we believe about Conservation?

We love Africa, our diverse cultures, natural landscapes and unique wildlife. Though there are many ways to contribute to conservation efforts we believe that education plays a big role. By educating people about the importance of conserving natural habitats and wildlife, sustainable solutions can be implemented that conserves the environment and benefits the local communities. In areas where people need to decide between the survival of their livestock or a predator, the predator will lose. If land needs to be cleared for farming, the effects of deforestation will not be considered. When the impact of plastic pollution in the ocean is not immediately seen by the majority, education is the only way to bring it to the fore.

How do we contribute to conservation?

We work closely with our local communities and conservation projects across Southern and Eastern Africa. Our Educational Wildlife Conservation Programs are used as a platform for University and School Students to be directly involved in researching endangered species, gaining insight into various successful efforts, and educating the local communities. Through these programs the lives and perspectives of visiting students are enriched, local communities empowered and the wildlife conserved.

University students and faculty members can customize their programs according to their learning outcomes, or join a current service learning project.

Wildlife Conservation Programs

  • Wildlife conservation in Greater Kruger Park, South Africa – Carry out research on endangered animals to provide information for wildlife trusts and reserve ecological management teams and assist the field teams with conservation initiatives.
  • Raptor Biology and Conservation, Kenya –  Run by the “Kenya Bird of Prey Trust”, the Naivasha Owl Centre is the first stop for all types of injured or infirm raptors to heal, regain strength and train for eventual release. Students are exposed to a wide variety of birds of prey and learn specifics on biology, ecological niches and immediate threats.
  • Marine Biology for School groups, South Africa – Students will have the opportunity to learn about and get involved in South Africa’s marine conservation work in different parts of the country.
  • Endangered Species Conservation, Zimbabwe – Through both practical and theory elements of the program students gain an appreciation of field-based data collection and analysis, animal tracking skills, poaching intervention strategies, wildlife population management, fire management, the concept of Transfrontier Parks and their sustainability as well African Lion and Painted Dog conservation efforts.

Ecology & Conservation Programs

  • Forest Restoration Ecology, Kenya – As human populations in East Africa grow and more land is needed for food production, indigenous vegetation is often cleared. The Brackenhurst Botanic Garden and indigenous forest is a real life example of restored biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Regenerative Permaculture, Kenya –   Students are equipped and empowered with methods of design, and the skills to observe and apply practical solutions to the needs of specific target groups. This is accomplished through the implementation of regenerative practices focused on diversity, resource management and energy capture.

Community Based Conservation Programs

  • Savannah Ecology and Community Based Conservation, Kenya –  The creation of several community-owned wildlife conservancies has allowed for regeneration of grass, easing of pressure on water sources and the slow return of Acacia woodland. The Naboisho Conservancy is an ideal location to study human influence on a savanna ecosystem, ecology in general, and challenges to conservation in East Africa.

We hope this inspires you to get involved in a local conservation initiative, make wiser daily choices, or assist you while planning an educational program in Africa.