News -July 2017

Community Guardians

Every year human wildlife conflict accounts for thousands of dollars is losses of livestock and vegetable gardens for subsistence farmers living adjacent to wildlife areas. In addition, many animals are killed in retaliation for these losses or through problem animal control. In an effort to try and reduce both losses of food supplies and livestock, as well as wildlife, VFWT has started a community guardian project in the adjacent rural areas bordering Victoria Falls. The guardians are able to monitor wildlife movements into the communities and warn villagers as well as actively mitigate some of the conflict incidents. To learn more about this project please visit our Human Wildlife Conflict page (Click Here).

 

Vulture Conservation

In North West Zimbabwe we have four species of vulture that call this area part of their home range, and one other species that is rarely seen (Egyptian Vulture). Vultures are facing huge conservation challenges in this area due to the spike in poisoning, use of vulture parts for traditional medicine, electorcution from powerlines, and from spillover deaths after consuming livestock that has been treated with diclofenac (which is fatal to vultures). VFWT is in the process of mapping nest sites of each vulture species to determine baseline popuation numbers for the region. This is in an effort to continue to monitor the nests and numbers of birds that are breeding to assess how the populations of each species of vulture are doing. For more information on this project please click here.


Conservation Teacher Training

VFWT actively works with local schools to promote conservation in the classroom and in the field. In 2016, we sponsored the conservation education training of 30 rural teachers for one week. In 2015, we also trained 30 teachers in the rural areas adjacent to Victoria Falls. The training is done through Children in the Wilderness' (CITW) teacher training modules. It helps teachers understand everything from how students learn differently, to providing foundations on current scientific concepts. Teacher's walk away from the course with lesson plans to augment their current curriculum and involve students in conservation discussions in various subjects. This helps us have a broader conservation reach, into the classroom. For more information on the conservation courses run by VFWT click here!

Walking, Cycling and Motorbike Riding Fundraising Events
If you enjoy walking long distances or cycling off-road in pristine national park, or even motorbike riding, then you can get involved in some of our fundraising events. Professional guide Leon Varley walks for 24 hours straight to raise funds specifically to cover the costs of darting snared wildlife. The Motorbike Enduro is a multi-day event for riders of all different levels, set in the adjacent rural community, which raises funds for our Human- Wildlife Conflict projects. The Zambezi Cycle Challenge is a three day off road cycle ride through Zambezi and Victoria Falls National Parks and Matetsi Safari Area. For more info on any of these events Click here!

Litter Removal

The town of Victoria Falls is privileged to be situated in a World Heritage Site as well as have one of the seven natural wonders of the world on its doorstep. Despite the natural beauty of this area, litter pollution is a major problem. In late 2012, VFWT initiated a team that permanently collects litter in and around the town and on the major roads. It has made a world of difference, with more than 6200 large rubbish bin bags being collected in 2015 alone. The next step is to not only work to collect the rubbish, but educate people on litter as well as begin to work with other partners to try and implement a program in the area. If you would like to help support our efforts to keep Victoria Falls clean and put up a fence around the dumpsite please contact us at info@vicfallswildlifetrust.org


Wildlife Rehabilitation

Paramount to VFWT's mission is helping wildlife that has been injured through human interference. A key part of this is darting animals that have been snared or hurt from poaching. Recently we have had the pleasure of rehabilitating a specially protected species of bird, the Marial Eagle. The Eagle was brought in to us and was very emaciated and with lesions on its talons. With the help of local falconer Evan Wellock, the bird has now reached a healthy normal weight and its lesions are healing. In time we hope this majestic bird can be released back into the wild. For more information on our rescue and rehabilitation cases please Click here for more info


Sylvester our Cheetah Ambassador

Sylvester our cheetah ambassador is 6 years old and in cheetah terms, he is a fully grown adult male cat. Over the last few years VFWT has had the pleasure of his company to assist us in our conservation efforts in educating people about the plight of cheetah in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa. Unfortunately Sylvester can not be released back into the wild, therefore we will continue to look after him for the duration of his life and ensure he is happy and healthy. For more information on Sylvester please click here!