Wildlife Conservation Society
Grant #1-April 2013: Wildlife Protection-Uganda
Wildlife Conservation Society (“WCS”) has a vast conservation program in Africa. In Uganda, WCS works with the government and other partners across the northern and western parts of the country. In 2009, WCS took the first nationwide survey of lions in Uganda that showed that one of the main cause of lion mortality was poisoning from human-wildlife conflict – specifically by pastoralists protecting livestock. WCS’s approach is to address the needs of the Basongora pastoralists with the improvement of rangeland and access to water (installing boreholes which provide hygienic water), and the protection of livestock and people.
Empowers Africa has made two grants for the removal of a 30 square km of invasive lantana (a plant poisonous to cattle) from rangelands outside Queen Elizabeth National Park. Improving these rangelands will remove the need for pastoralists to bring their cattle into the park and directly reduce livestock loss and thus reduce conflict with lions.
Grant #2-August 2013: Wildlife Protection-Mozambique
Empowers Africa has made its second grant to Wildlife Conservation Society to support their anti-poaching efforts in the Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique. The Niassa National Reserve is Mozambique’s most important protected area, and is also one of Africa’s largest protected areas. It harbors the country’s largest population of wildlife, including 70% of Mozambique’s elephants. The combined Selous-Niassa elephant population is approximately 50,000-55,000. Since WCS’ signing of the memorandum of understanding regarding the co-management of the Niassa National Reserve with the Mozambique Ministry of Tourism on October 9th, 2012, the Reserve has received year round presence for the first time in many years and poaching is now better controlled because of the field staff. WCS expects to continue the successful implementation of their objectives, which help to mitigate threats to wildlife populations, train and deploy eco-guards, continue aerial surveillance, as well as establish local informant networks to gather intelligence on illegal activities in the landscape. In order to continue building upon their advancements, it is critical that their field staff have secured support. Empowers Africa’s grant was for field staff support to help strengthen law enforcement in order to tackle elephant poaching, help stop illegal logging, and address threats to biodiversity in the area.