Target: Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa
Goal: Stop threat of African vultures becoming extinct and integrate new security measures for wildlife
African vultures have been under attack recently because of their good deeds. The vultures alert conservation police of illegally killed wildlife by flocking around poached animal corpses. This has been a useful tool for the conservation police that are searching for poachers in the African wilderness. Lately, however, the poachers have been poisoning their kill so the vultures that feed on them die before they are spotted by authorities. In order for conservation police to stay one step ahead of poachers there needs to be new tracking and patrolling systems implemented.
The animals that poachers poison are normally rhinoceros and elephant, two endangered mammals. A recent poacher poisoning has led to the death of 600 vultures, most of which were the endangered species African white-backed vultures. This attack happened in vulture breeding season, so it is likely that many of the vultures’ chicks will die from predators or starvation. Poachers will do everything in their power to not be caught killing endangered animals. While it may not be possible that every single poacher be caught, there are many opportunities to increase security in the areas where poaching is a large problem.
Video surveillance of heavily poached areas may be a possibility. Technology has progressed to the point where miniscule cameras may be planted inconspicuously; there are many areas in the African wilderness, such as trees, where a camera implant would fare well. There is also the possibility of partnering with National Geographic and utilizing their Crittercam to save endangered African wildlife by placing a camera on a few members of the herd. The poisoned carcass that caused the death of 600 vultures was in Namibia’s Bwabwata National Park, an area with protection already established, and a budget. An influx of conservation cops employed in this area would be possible. Strategic booby traps only able to be triggered by humans may work, as well.
While some ideas may be far-fetching, there has to be some new strategies implemented in order to save endangered species. Hefty prison sentences are not enough to deter all poachers. In order for conservation cops to be in as many places as they can at once there needs to be new developments in the areas of conservation. Urge the African government to do all they possibly can for African Wildlife.
Your Excellency, President Jacob Zuma,
African vultures have been on the decline for the past 30 years. They have been suffering lately due to an unlikely predator: poachers. Poachers have been poisoning their kill in hopes that vultures will consume the carcass, thus dying from the poison. Vultures have been a major ally for conservation police in Africa. Because of their tendency to flock over carrion the police were able to find poached wildlife quicker than if they were on their own. However, this method is failing.
In order for conservation police to stay one step ahead of poachers new methods of conservation are necessary. There are many technologies that may be of use to the police: high resolution hidden cameras, that could get lodged in trees or bushes; National Geographic’s critter cam, which could attach to a few members of the herd for information on poachers’ whereabouts; even booby traps meant specifically for humans could help in the fight.
Recently 600 endangered vultures, many of the species African white-backed vulture, were killed from consuming a poisoned elephant carcass. This happened in Namibia’s Bwabwata National Park, a protected area with a budget. Please consider fortifying this land with more conservation police stationed in more strategic areas. Poachers target elephant and rhinoceros, two endangered mammals that the Earth cannot afford to lose. With technology and more men on the animals’ side, it is possible to win the battle against poachers. Please consider the options presented, and research more ways to help the African wildlife. They need our help.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Babbage via Wikimedia Commons