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Support Our Scouts (SOS) is an international distress signal and an urgent call to action!
Surge in poaching makes 2011 worst year in decades for endangered elephants
Most cases involve ivory being smuggled into Asia from Africa
Read more in the New York Daily News
Help us protect the Milgis Trust men (and their families), who put their lives on the line everyday 24/7 - to patrol and protect valuable wildlife and habitat within one of the world’s last pristine wilderness areas - just above the Equator, in Samburu territory, north eastern Kenya - an area of roughly 21,000 kmē supports the pastoral livelihoods of several different nomadic tribes and is home to the fascinating and colourful Samburu people on the edge of the Great Rift Valley.
Many scouts and rangers have lost their lives in Africa. They and their families have paid the ultimate price to patrol and protect endangered wildlife. World wide over 1000 rangers have lost their lives in the line of duty. They are real hero’s and with your support we can help protect the protectors.
IUCN reports that organized crime syndicates have killed more than 800 African rhinos in the past three years, just for their horns, with the most serious poaching upsurge in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya, the last places where rhino conservation has maintained or increased rhino population sizes.
Poaching has shifted into the realms of international crime where highly-organised networks use helicopters, night-vision equipment, veterinary tranquilizers and silencers. With such a shift, it is no wonder that poaching is escalating at an alarming rate, despite the bravery of these men and the measures in place to support their work.
It is estimated that smuggling of wild animals has grown into a US$ 9.78 billion a year criminal industry, exceeded only by the drugs and arms trades. “Environmental crime is big business,” says INTERPOL. “It is currently one of the most profitable forms of criminal activity taking place throughout the world, with billions of dollars being made every year.”
We are doing what we can to provide for and protect those who protect wildlife in this fragile land, but we urgently need more support. The core area that our scouts patrol and protect is thousands of square kilometers - and located within the drainage area of the beautiful Matthews Range, Ndoto Mountains and Karisia Hills, spreading out towards Oldonyo Mara, Mount Nyiru and Mount Kulal.
Wildlife in this region of north eastern Kenya does not exist in isolation. Most of the wildlife lives outside of protected areas, alongside humans. This complex human-nature dynamic demands interdependent and integrated projects and programmes focused on protecting and conserving biodiversity, sustainable management of natural resources and the development of responsible tourism that contribute to the triple bottom line of Sustainability - People, Planet and Prosperity.
The territory supports a diverse range of flora, and fauna consisting of key species including the African Elephant, Greater and Lesser Kudu, Grevy’s Zebra, De Brazza’s Monkey, Desert Warthog and many of the large predators including Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Hyena, Jackal and the endangered African Wild Dog.
Our Scouts provide security and protection 24/7, and with these measures in place over the past five years, wildlife numbers have increased, the elephants are returning to the area and tourists continue to have memorable and safe safaris and wilderness experiences which help to support and sustain our conservation work.
But we dare not rest on our laurels. Take a look at a word of warning from one of our scouts - Taranta Lentukunye
The future of conservation in this region and the preservation of its biodiversity and wilderness - on the edge of the Great Rift Valley - lie in the hands of these unsung hero’s and ‘natural resource managers’. It is crucial that we retain, maintain and sustain those responsible for the future of conservation in this unique African heartland. Well-trained and well-equipped these men are an effective force in curbing the threat of poaching, enabling the coexistence of wildlife and people and enhancing the sustainability of this unique wilderness area.
At present, the Milgis Trust employs 22 full time indigenous scouts, a manager and 2 radio operators on Radio Hill, who work relentlessly 24/7 - 365 days a year. Many more are needed, and you can help.
Also supported by the Trust is - a Community Conservation Committee, made up of chiefs and elders from all the surrounding villages, a management and maintenance team in charge of running the Trust’s Headquarters, and an Eco-Screen Awareness Team, that coordinates conservation screenings each month. Without the integrity and commitment of this loyal team the Trust would not be able to support the many unforeseen situations such as emergency hospital transfers to elephant rescues, which regularly arise in this remote and challenging region of the world.
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