What We Do
• Stopping the Illegal Killing of Elephants
A poacher may get as little as US$200-300 for a pair of average female trunks, and the potential punishment for poaching in Zimbabwe is to be shot on sight. Yet, we continue to lose dozens of elephants to poachers because of the severe economic hardships facing people in Zimbabwe today.
Bushlife Conservancy hopes to change this dire situation by changing the economic incentives and risk/reward balance for poachers. Bushlife Conservancy, through its funding of Bushlife Support Unit Trust, works in close coordination with Parks and Wildlife personnel to help patrol remote areas, identify, detain and arrest poachers, monitor prosecutions and sentencing, and recover and rehabilitate stolen wildlife. Bushlife Conservancy also works closely with local communities and with other nonprofit conservation organizations, such as The Tashinga Intiatitve, African Wildlife Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Network, Zambezi Society, Tikki Hywood Trust, and the Zambezi Elephant Fund, in order to co-ordinate efforts and resources.
elephants left in Mana Pools
% drop in numbers over last 12 years
Pangolin Recovery and Rehab
Bushlife Conservancy, through its funding of Bushlife Support Unit Trust, has recently had considerable success in interdicting poachers and recovering live endangered pangolins, the most trafficked mammal in the world. We are working closely with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, and with organizations like the Tikki Hywood Trust to ensure that the rescued pangolins are rehabilitated and, where possible, reintroduced into the wild.
Infastructure & Resources
Providing and creating the structures for success
Bushlife Conservancy is a “friends of” organization providing ongoing financial support for the African nonprofit Bushlife Support Unit Trust (“BSUT”). In the past year, BSUT has received more than US$220,000 from generous donors, which has been used to acquire the following assets needed to support BSUT’s anti-poaching operations in the field:
- 6 4x4 vehicles
- SUV for the investigations team based in the town of Chinhoyi
- Boat for river patrols
- 1,000 litre water bowser trailer
- Water storage containers for remote bases
- Road clearing tools to help build, repair, and maintain access to remote areas where poachers are present
- Supplies and Equipment needed to help build a ranger station in a remote area
rangers deployed in the Zambezi Valley
kms of road access opened
The Bushlife Support Unit Trust faces daily challenges in identifying, stopping, and capturing poachers on both sides of the Zambezi River. The Trust deploys trained trackers and rangers by car and boat, to assist Parks and Wildlife personnel in patrolling the Valley and adjacent areas, including following poachers into Zambia and working with authorities there to detain them when necessary. The BSUT staff is constantly patrolling the area in search of poachers, snares, and potential hazards to wildlife (such as poisoned wells). And, by establishing a presence in more remote areas of the Valley, the BSUT team works to discourage poachers from establishing a foothold where Parks and Wildlife resources are spread thin. The Bushlife Support Unit’s hard work has paid off over the years, saving the lives of hundreds of wild animals in Mana Pools National Park and the Zambezi Valley area.
Properly resourcing the anti-poaching efforts is a mammoth task and we need to raise at least US$10,000 per month to sustain these operations.
Tracking & Monitoring
The Elephant Monitoring Program
Bushlife Conservancy, though its support of Bushlife Support Unit Trust, keeps a close watch on the elephant herds of the area, and particularly the iconic “upright standing” bull elephants of Mana Pools National Park.
BSUT has sought and received preliminary approval to undertake an elephant collaring project, in order to better protect these magnificent animals. Animals with protective collars will be off-limits to trophy hunters, regardless of whether the animal migrates outside the protective boundaries of the Park. The collars will also provide a basis for research into the animals’ movements and behaviors, being undertaken by the National Park Ecologist. Thanks to the generous donation of Margot Raggett, author of “Remembering the Elephants,” BSUT has the funds to collar 2 elephants, but we need much more, since the cost to collar an elephant is approximately US$5,000 each. Please donate to help us expand this important program!
Health & Welfare
Working for and with the Local Community
Providing resources for Mana Pools National Park community is crucial in building local support for our conservation efforts. We strive to respond directly to community needs, to have the greatest possible impact.
For example, through Bushlife Support Unit Trust, the Bushlife Conservancy provided transport to relevant stations in the surrounding area for a maleria inspection team. We have also assisted the nurses and members of ZINWA (Zimbabwe water purification) by assisting them to repair a village water pump and to collect/purchase sanitation requirements. We are currently helping to set up a medical clinic in Mana Pools National Park to aid the 250 + members of that community. This initiative will assist with treating sick patients, providing post-natal care, and performing vaccinations. This clinic will also be the first medical facility in the area. We are working to have this established and up and running by May 2017 and are currently registering the clinic with the Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe.