Alley Cat Rescue, Inc. (ACR) is commencing a project to map African wildcat (Felis lybica) sightings throughout Africa and surrounding countries. The African Wildcat Project will collect
data from individuals visiting and living in these areas via ACR’s Facebook group and online report form. Those reporting sightings will provide details including the sighting date, location, and notable physical characteristics of the wildcats.
The goal of the African Wildcat Project is to create a visual representation of AWC distribution that will aid ACR and other conservationist groups in monitoring the species’ population, which
has been labeled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as in decline. AWC’s are becoming rarer due in part to habitat loss and hunting, but the most significant threat to the survival of their species in hybridization through breeding with free-roaming domestic cats.
Alley Cat Rescue has been involved with preserving the AWC South African subspecies, Felis l. cafra, for many years. Through their African Wildcat Conservation Action Plan, which
was founded and has been funded to date mainly through grants from the Ayers Wild Cat conservation Trust, ACR works with South African organizations, game rangers, and resorts and lodges to implement focused trap-neuter-return (TNR) efforts for domestic cats living along game preserve borders, thereby maintaining populations of genetically pure African wildcats in the region.
ACR President, Louise Holton passionate about this iconic species.
“We need to preserve this beautiful small wildcat as she has given us our amazing housecats that have given people so much companionship over a long period of time —living with a small tiger in your home!,” says Holton. “Cats make great companions but we do need to control their numbers, using humane nonlethal methods, which work more effectively than killing.”
To date, ACR has TNR’d close to 3,000 domestic cats in towns bordering Kruger National Park.
The African Wildcat Project expands ACR’s focus efforts geographically from
South Africa to any territory Felis lybica inhabits. Crowd-sourced data on AWC sightings is a novel venture made possible by the popularity of social media. Alley Cat Rescue encourages anyone who has personally seen an AWC to report the sighting to them via their Facebook page or survey at surveymonkey.com/r/AWCReport.
For more information about African Wildcats and ACR’s conservation projects, visit Saveacat.org/african-wildcats.html.
Why the need for a ” World lions day”? Like most species, the lion is endangered and facing extinction.
On the map below, the habitat of African lions in 1920 is marked in red. In blue today’s habitat of lions is indicated. In just half a century humans succeeded in bringing lions to the brink of extinction. In Africa the numbers have been reduced from 200.000 to a mere 20.000 today. Of the remaining population, only 4000 are males… In the knowledge that only 10% of the males are dominant and thus reproducing for the next generation, you can see that the gene pool is extremely small and eventually will weaken the species.
We have to keep raising awareness for the numbers declining rapidly.
On World Lion’s Day (10/08/20) more than any other day, we have to share the message that The King is not going to survive, if we don’t act rapidly.
What we said all this time, the threat to healthy Leopard numbers is
severe. Leopard Conservation is essential, but how is it conducted in South Africa?
Apart from all mentioned, another serious threat is the capturing, keeping and killing of wild leopards in captivity with approval of all so-called conservation organisations. These also claim to protect the species but, as we found out, don’t take the threat seriously and take advantage of it for their own ego and income. And then they say no to healthy blood (for breeding) which merely shows how fucked up SA conservation is. We don’t want to jeopardize our good leopard genes any more until something is changing big time.
We are the only leopard conservation program in South Africa (run by Overseas people, what irony) who have just the best interest of the leopard and its survival at heart. Yet the country decides to ignore good intentions, but instead is choosing a road to extinction.
We will keep fighting for the leopard, but in a different way. The in-breeding goes for all species in the smaller areas like Private Game Reserves who these days are nothing more than a huge zoo. They rely on people to regulate numbers and breeding, so nothing is natural about it. Of course there are lots of the problems for cheetah and Lions. The “release and conservation” efforts are nothing more than a way to keep the exploit going.
Read the article about it on The Conversation.
About 70% of Kenya’s Wildlife is found outside of the protected areas. One of the fundamental and most effective approaches to conserve wildlife is to preserve the ecosystem.
Support for locals
Gamewatchers Safaris and Porini Camps work closely with communities living alongside National parks and wildlife reserves to help them derive benefits from conserving wildlife species and the indigenous habitat. The communities are able to earn an income from ecotourism by setting aside areas of their land as wildlife conservancies, thereby creating wildlife dispersal areas outside the parks, increasing wildlife numbers, habitat and biodiversity.
The Porini Conservancy concept pioneered by Gamewatchers Safaris in partnership with the local communities in Selenkay in Amboseli and Ol Kinyei in the Masai Mara has made a significant contribution to wildlife conservation and habitat protection in these areas. Within just a short time of conception each conservancy saw a significant increase in wildlife numbers and a regeneration of vegetation in areas that were previously over-grazed by livestock. At Selenkay, elephants returned after an absence of twenty years and in the Ol Kinyei conservancy the number of lions increased very quickly with several residential prides. Besides, we’ve observed higher cheetah numbers, cub survival rate and an influx of other species. The Ol Kinyei conservancy is currently recognized as International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Green List site.
The concept ensures minimal impact on the habitat and wildlife by minimizing the numbers of vehicles and camps in the conservancy. This has reduced stress caused by overcrowding by tourist vehicles and intense human impact on the habitat. The conservancies provide a buffer between community and protected areas, it also hosts vulnerable species such as lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant and Maasai giraffe and.
Studies by the Mara Predator Conservation Program indicate higher survival rate of wildlife in conservancies with low tourism density. Gamewatchers Safaris and Porini Camps pay monthly land leases directly to local community from tourism earnings thereby reducing dependence of livestock for livelihood and providing an alternative source of income. This unique concept has secured land for conservation and minimized land subdivision from other competing non-wildlife land use such as agriculture and infrastructure development.
With the closing down of safari tourism for the immediate future because of the global Coronavirus Pandemic there is growing concern about the welfare of those Maasai communities who depend on tourism income from conservancies. There are also fears that the future of these important areas of protected wildlife habitat may be threatened with serious consequences for the teeming wildlife species that have made them their home.
Currently, in Ol Kinyei, the Porini Mara Camp Manager Jimmy Lemara, the conservancy manager and some of the rangers are patrolling the Ol Kinyei Conservancy to ensure wildlife safety. During the Easter holidays “Green Eye” one of the 3 dominant lion males of the famous Rekero pride, was sighted with a wire snare around his neck. The Ol Kinyei Conservancy in collaboration with Kenya Wildlife Service Veterinary, Niels Mogensen Senior Researcher with the Mara Predator Conservation Program helped locate Green Eye, managed to dart him, and remove the snare.
Adopt an Acre
To enable payment of the monthly leases and ranger salaries to secure these important habitat and safeguard wildlife in the conservancies, Gamewatchers Safaris and Porini Camps have introduced the “Adopt-an-Acre” plan. Through the Adopt-an-Acre plan, contributors can adopt an acre of land in the conservancies for a year via a donation to the Wildlife Habitat Trust which will help pay for the leases and rangers wages until the camps re-open, ensuring that the Maasai families continue receiving some income and the conservancies can continue to exist. The Trust will be audited by a reputable firm of auditors in Nairobi, Grant Thornton Kenya, so that contributors can be confident that all the money will be used for the intended purpose.
You can make a difference by supporting the Adopt-an-Acre program, please visit https://www.porini.com/adopt-an-acre-2/ for more information.
In the crazy and insecure Covid-19 months it is a challenge at it is to get enough funds together to keep the excellent care and feeding of the many animals going. No one knows yet how long it will take before things will go better. For emergencies like buying a new engine for a sport aircraft to assist anti-poaching, there’s not much left. But as you will all understand, it is very important that the anti-poaching work continues to not give free way to the ones destroying all beautiful wildlife.
So if you can please, please find the kindness in your heart to help sponsoring this very good cause. If you want to give a donation to a cause that is worth support, we can surely recommend this. Here’s the story in a nutshell by Sean Hensman of Adventures with elephants, anti-poaching of rhino, elephants and all other wildlife in need.
The story in a nutshell. We purchased the light sport aircraft from an APU near the Kruger, as they were upgrading their aircraft from the Surveillance BatHawks to another faster aircraft, with a longer range to reach further into wilderness areas quicker. We didn’t have the funds for the faster aircraft, and didn’t feel we needed to be as fast or have the endurance that the previous owner did, so decided on the BatHawk which is a great Low & Slow aerial platform. Since purchasing our BatHawk we have used the aircraft to assist the greater community / area with conservation work as well as security work from the air, and in doing so it had become an invaluable tool for the wider area. We have used the BatHwak to find rhino that have been poached, wounded and even simply not seen for a few days. We have found other wildlife that have been injured, caught in snares and even just done basic counts to monitor numbers. We have monitored wild bush fires, assisted tracking teams from the air, caught poachers and criminals as well as conducted surveillance flights around the area.
Sadly on a routine flight Mike had a catastrophic engine failure, he was lucky enough to land safely without damaging the airframe of the aircraft but the engine is beyond repair. So we have had to purchase a ‘new’ second hand one, sadly insurance doesn’t cover engine damages. The prop broke in the incident so we have had to purchase a new propeller too, and have to get the aircraft re-certified to fly.
All a bit of an issue especially now during Covid with no funds coming in. To top off our woes there has been a spike in poaching in the wider area and the APU’s have asked for our aerial support on many occasions which we haven’t been able to help with due to the aircraft being grounded.
For details how to donate please go to AdventuresWithElephants.com.
Thanks so much in advance!!!