Congo to donate 10 white Rhinos to Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is donating 10 white rhinos to Democratic Republic of Congo to re-establish a population driven to extinction by poachers a decade ago, Zimbabwe’s wildlife authority said.

The rhinos were being captured and would be moved from Victoria Falls later this week or early next, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) spokesman Tinashe Farawo said on Monday.

Congo’s white rhinos lived in Garamba National Park near the border with South Sudan but it was not clear where the animals would be located.

Wildlife protection is complicated in Congo by lawlessness and militia violence that endures 15 years after the end of a war that killed millions, mainly from hunger and disease.

“The Zimbabwean Government was satisfied that the pre and post-translocation conditions in … (Congo) met the requisite standards for a successful re-establishment of rhinos,” a ZimParks statement said.

ZimParks and conservationists said moving the rhinos from Zimbabwe would strengthen the gene pool. Zimbabwe had about 800 black and white rhinos in 2016 and is one of just four countries with nearly all the world’s white rhinos.

Their horns are prized in China and southeast Asia.

“Moving rhinos from one place to another is essential to ensure good genetic diversity across the population,” said Emma Pereira, a spokeswoman for Save the Rhino, a London-based group. “We hope any move between countries is done with the correct expertise and thoughtful planning.”

Poachers also target mountain gorillas, one of the world’s most endangered species which is found only on a spine of volcanic mountains straddling Congo, Uganda and Rwanda.

Their numbers have recovered in recent years thanks to intensive conservation efforts.

The head of Congo’s wildlife authority could not be immediately reached for comment.

Cover photo: White Rhino baby and rhinoceros mother in Matopos national park Zimbabwe, Africa. Photo: Harare Blitz

SOURCE: This story was first published on New York Times, with additional reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe in Harare and Fiston Mahamba in Goma; Writing by Sofia Christensen; Editing by Aaron Ross and Matthew Mpoke Bigg.


Human, wildlife conflict claims 40 people’s live

Wild animals killed 40 people and injured 30 in 2017, as human -wildlife conflict continues, especially in areas close to conservancies. Speaking at a pass out parade of rangers and dog handlers in Hwange recently, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said 95 animals were killed to save human life.

Human, wildlife conflict claims 40 people's live

“Human and wildlife issues are topical at the moment,” she said.

“In 2017, 40 people were killed and 30 injured due to conflict with wildlife.

“At the same time, as a response measure, 95 wildlife species were killed in order to save human life.”

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority received 346 cases of human-wildlife conflict, with 65 percent coming from Masvingo and Manicaland provinces.

She said at least 316 of the cases were attended to despite the shortage of resources.

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said habitat loss for wildlife was among the major drivers of human-wildlife conflict.

She urged people to desist from illegally settling in wildlife territories.

“Save Valley Conservancy is one such example where over 16 000 families have settled in wildlife corridors and wildlife areas,” she said.

“In turn, our wildlife has responded by destroying crops, passing on diseases such as foot and mouth, killing livestock and at times people.

“I want to appeal to illegal settlers to desist from settling in wildlife buffer zones, wildlife corridors and their habitat.

“Only 13 percent of the total land in Zimbabwe is reserved for wildlife, the rest is for forestry and other human related activities.

“I urge our leadership, especially the traditional institutions to respect this 13 percent.”

SOURCE: The Herald

African wild dogs vote over pack decisions by sneezing, a new study has found

The joint research by academics from Swansea, Australia and the United States monitored endangered dogs at the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust.

African wild dogs vote over pack decisions by sneezing, a new study has found

They found the dogs used sneezes to decide when to move off to hunt after making camp for greeting ceremonies called “social rallies”.

Dr Andrew King, of Swansea University, said the sneezes acted as a “quorum”.

The study was carried out by zoologists from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, Brown University, in the United States, and Swansea University’s College of Science.

Previously it had been thought the dogs, which are among the world’s most-endangered species, were simply clearing their airways.

But, while zoologists recorded the details of 68 social rallies, they noticed the more sneezes there were, the more likely it was the pack moved off and started hunting.

Dr King said: “The sneezes act as a type of quorum, and the sneezes have to reach a certain threshold before the group changes activity.

“Quorums are also used by other social carnivores such as meerkats.”

However, the study suggested some sneezes hold more weight than others.

African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus)

Reena Walker, of Brown University, said: “We found that, when the dominant male and female were involved in the rally, the pack only had to sneeze a few times before they would move off.

“However, if the dominant pair were not engaged, more sneezes were needed – approximately 10 – before the pack would move off”.

The team’s research will be published in scientific journal, The Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

African wild dogs

  • One of the world’s most-endangered species
  • Native to all of Africa
  • Largest populations remain in southern Africa and the southern part of east Africa (especially Tanzania and northern Mozambique)
  • Their main predators are lions and humans
  • They are social and gather in packs of around 10, but some packs number more than 40
  • They are opportunistic predators which hunt animals such as gazelles
  • In a sprint, African wild dogs can reach speeds of more than 44mph (70km per hour)

SOURCE: The Bloomgist/World Wildlife Federation/BBC

Wildlife: Saving African orphaned elephants

Each year thousands of African elephants are being slaughtered by poachers for the illegal ivory trade. Many young elephants have become orphans.


Photo credit: Simon Mania

Baby African elephants are incredibly vulnerable in the first few years of life. Without their mothers, they struggle to survive.

But in the late 1980s, Dame Daphne Sheldrick, then head of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, managed to raise infant baby African elephants for the first time.

Her organisation has now raised over 200 orphaned elephants, Once old enough, they are released into the wild.

Despite their success, it is still a fraction of the number killed each year by poachers across the continent.

Every year in Africa between 30,000 and 40,000 elephants are poached for their ivory, and it’s thought there are only 400,000 left.

The rate of killing threatens the very existence of the African elephant.

SOURCE: The Bloomgist/NATGEO Wild/BBC

Number of tigers rises for first time in over 100 years

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Wildlife March: Share what you found

As the rainy season begins in most parts of the country, new species of animals, fresh skins, smart and lovely pets and other sorts of wildlife are beginning to emerge from different angles, both little and big. Continue reading