Global Conservation Force has multiple animals doing their part to be wildlife conservation heroes and this year we are dedicating our Giving Tuesday fundraising efforts towards their care, gear, training, housing, and operations.
Anti-poaching units (APUs) hold the shield for the wildlife, defending endangered species in their most vulnerable state out in their natural habitats. The APUs buy time for action in international laws, local policy change, and political stability. Global Conservation Force (GCF) provides many APU rangers with the necessary gear, technology, and advanced training to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. While this often includes new, customized gear for their region of patrol and cutting edge technologies, support also comes in effective “low-tech” forms as well—K9s and horses.
With their speed, natural hunting instincts, and incredible sense of smell, K9s are proving to be helpful partners to APUs across Africa. According to the South African Wildlife College’s counter-poaching data, when responding to incursions without any K9 asset, apprehension rates are about 3-5%. K9 units see a dramatically higher apprehension rate of about 54%!
Much like dogs have been brought into the poaching crisis for their specific skill set, horses are incredibly beneficial for anti-poaching units. On foot, a ranger can patrol 6 to 13 kilometers per 8-hour shift depending upon terrain. On horseback, the rangers can travel faster and farther than on foot, covering about 31 kilometers over a standard 5.5-hour patrol. Horses travel more quietly and with less ecological impact than vehicles and are able to follow the exact pathways of rhinos, elephants and other wildlife where vehicles can meet heavy challenges in rough or steep terrain. Horses have created an amazing opportunity for the rangers to connect with communities acting as a gateway animal for people to bond with and paving the road of trust and community involvement with the wildlife and the APU.
This year for Giving Tuesday 2021 (November 30, 2021), we are rallying for our animals saving animals. By supporting their efforts you are helping to protect and conserve hundreds of species under their watch. Each of the K9s and horses plays a frontline role in tackling poaching and wildlife trafficking.
No amount is too small. $5, $10, $15 can add up quickly and go a long way towards our wishlist. We also have several items in need of sponsorship:
- Patrol truck for mounted unit and K9 operations ($25,000)
- Ranger housing unit – a mobile field base as part of the rhino and elephant habitat re-wildling and expansion coverage needs ($5,500)
- Annual salary for a GCF ranger ($4,500)
- Annual GCF mounted unit horse care (food, veterinary, care, training) ($2,000)
- Annual GCF conservation K9 care (food, gear, training, handler time, veterinary care) ($1,500)
- Rhino GPS collaring and veterinary procedure ($2,500)
In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, we’d also like to give thanks for the year-round support we receive from our collective community of wildlife guardians!