14 Jul Nambiti Anti Poaching Unit
Wildlife poaching is a sinister and consistent threat in any wildlife sanctuary. It is a threat that is difficult to contain because of the various fronts that it can occur on. There is an increase in the use of technology used by poachers as well as funding to help them achieve their illegal and grisly task. This means that a reserve’s Anti Poaching Unit (APU) needs to be better equipped and trained than their adversary.
Training for these rangers has been undertaken by various organisations and reinforced by groups such as Veterans for Wildlife, making sure that the members of the APU are combat-ready in any given situation.
The rangers employed in this select group have a special affinity for wildlife and over time develop a bond with the reserve and its inhabitants that they protect, making their defence and care even more intense.
Strict security measures and protocols are implemented at Nambiti Private Game Reserve which includes regular patrols on foot through the bushes scouting for any signs of suspicious activity. Different members have different tasks during their shifts in the security and protection of wildlife, which include tracking wildlife movements with equipment and spoor.
Getting up before dawn and staying up long into the black of the night are all part of the guards’ duties. Although shifts and routines are changed regularly, their daily schedule could include constant patrols, fence checks, tracking and follow-ups, observation posts and a selection of other tasks to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the precious wildlife and game reserve.
With constant vigilance and readiness, these brave rangers endure harsh and changing conditions, long hours of danger to ensure the preservation of this special place for future generations to come. This is all part of the life of a field ranger.
Conservation levies that are included as part of our guests trip mean that our animals are kept safe and the equipment and uniforms needed by the APU are subsidised as well as the training needed to keep skills sharp. Our guests are helping the wildlife by visiting us!
Game drives conducted by each Lodge provide extra ‘eyes’ on the reserve, as well as movement in various areas which also helps the APU in areas being identified that are in need of patrols. This is more opportunity for awareness and therefore better protection for the wildlife.
There are tracking devices used by the APU that work with telemetry, which mean some of the animals on the reserve wear collars. This means for example that we can track the Matriarch of an elephant herd so that movements can be tracked over a period of time. From a conservation perspective, this means we know which areas are likely to be free in helping us to manage the reserve with block burns and give us insight into their diet and what vegetation is being consumed. It also assists with monitoring animals that are potentially injured or ill, or if it seems like an animal is likely to try break out (although interference is kept to absolute minimum unless the animal is an endangered species). Guests are able to book in advance to join the APU on a tracking exercise instead of a morning safari if they choose to (provided it fits in with the APU schedule).
The reserve makes use of strategically placed ‘camera traps’ to monitor the population, especially with Rhino. This equipment can be sponsored by guests if they wish to contribute. This is placed in a high animal movement area, eg. a game path or waterhole, where it will capture images of any movement. This can be equipped with night vision to capture better images at night. It runs off rechargeable batteries and records to a memory card which is checked regularly. Some of the funds raised are used to fund these cameras, batteries and memory cards.
Nambiti Reserve is partly community owned and the community has a vested interest in the protection of wildlife and long term sustainability of the reserve.
If you would like to support this by making contributions or donations, please do so at https://nambiti.com/the-wild-needs-your-help/.