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Wildlife Action Group - Malawi
Thuma Forest Reserve
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NEWS 2013

Thuma Telegraph - Greeting



October 2013

Dear Friends and supporters!

Its been a long time since we have given some news about our work in Thuma and Dedza FR. Things have been hectic here and we are working harder than ever to protect these majestic forests and the remaining wildlife.

We had many volunteers assisting us and who have worked so hard with us and left many changes for the better.

The year has flown I can’t believe it is already Oct .... Christmas is only around the corner! And we still have so much work to do before the rains come.

carachal in Thuma FR.

First ever sighting of carachal in Thuma FR.

Over the last few months we have had to fight for the survival of our elephants. We have been hit with an ultimatum to completely fence both reserves or remove the elephants from here to somewhere else, we have also been hit with a killing spree of gun poachers from Malawi and Zambia who killed three of our elephants, we have managed to arrest 3 gun poachers. We help organized and taken part in the first ever peaceful march/ demonstration for wildlife in Malawi and many other things. And we have a new donor US Fish and Wildlife Service, which is fantastic news. Thomas from REA came for his yearly visit leaving new boots, uniforms, hats, binoculars and many other goodies. We have got new sleeping bags from Abraham foundation started building a new camp and funding to build a fence extension, which is amazing. We have recruited new scouts and our numbers are higher than ever before so we are moving in a new direction and it’s the right one.

Our donors and supporters have been amazing throughout all these highs and lows and it is you that gives us the courage, strength and conviction to continue our work here. Hope you enjoy this catch up on our work.

Yours sincerely

Lynn

-> Please, click here to read the complete Thuma Telegraph.


Malawi - International Elephant March October 4th 2013



October 2013

replica tusk for marching

Wildlife Action Group scouts march with replica tusks...
tusks made by Daniel a volunteer from Sweden staying
at Thuma just now... great job

Malawi marches to save the elephants! A fantastic day for all!

The department of Wildlife and National Parks, Wildlife Action Group, Lilongwe Wildlife Center and WESM joined together to make this happen.

We marched to the Parliament buildings to be met by the Minister of Tourism wildlife and culture the Hon. Rachel Mazombwe Zulu M.P. to present petitions and voice concerns on the illegal poaching of elephants and the ivory trade.

International Elephant March on Facebook (Please share):

S.O.S. Fence Appeal: New bee hive fence trail started



July 2013

New bee hive fence trail started on the northern boundary of Thuma FR. Replicating the fence used by Save the Elephant in Kenya, WAG and our local communities started to build fences at selected well used tracks. We are only in the first stage of the trail and will be monitoring if these fences will change the behavior of the elephants.

bee hive fence

New bee hive fence trail started.

Bee hives placed directly across from track being used by elephants to exit the reserve. The hope is that this fence will deter the elephants entering the gardens and also give an opportunity for communities to earn some money from selling the honey.

Link about the 'Beehive Fence' idea:

First Camera Trap Study of Thuma & Dedza Terrestrial Fauna



June 2013

July & August 2013 will see the first camera trap study of Thuma Forest & Dedza Salima Forest Reserve’s terrestrial fauna. This pilot project aims to identify patterns in the distribution of terrestrial mammal species in different areas of the reserve. It is hoped that new insight will be gained into the cryptic species present on the reserve, of particular interest is the distribution of meso-carnivores and leopard. We also hope to be able to compare species assemblages in areas which are afforded different degrees of protection from our anti poaching scouts.

WildlifeKates

This project has been generously supported by Hadlow College, UK & Kate Macrae who runs WildlifeKate website which aims to engage people with their local wildlife and supplies wildlife equipment.

This project will allow for key management decisions to be implemented based upon trends in mammal and terrestrial bird diversity. We may even discover species which have been previously unrecorded on the reserve.

Footage obtained will have an additional value as the use of camera trap footage has been demonstrated to be highly effective in conservation outreach with local communities. We will use such footage to engage our local communities with species present in the forest.

Thuma Telegraph



May 2013

Dear Friends and supporters

It’s been a long time since we have given you some updates on daily goings on in Malawi. It’s May; at home its spring, the end of the rain and cold, with longer evenings to look forward to! Here we have two seasons, rainy and dry/ hot! The rain has come and gone, too little by all accounts, but just about enough to enable everyone to harvest at least something! The bush is changing from lush green to yellow and brown. The rivers and streams which is our most successful deterrent to people coming in and poaching are now dropping allowing access to the reserve and its animals.

Very worryingly, many streams are already dry. The water table is dropping, possibly a sign of climate change! We are in for a long dry spell.

Sighted back elephant

She is alive! Vera our injured ellie

The grasses are high so it is difficult to see any animals, even elephants! The new fence extension has done its job and little or no damage to crops around the Kambwiri area which is great. Despite the lack of communication from us at base camp, we have been extremely busy with various activities.

At the end of last year we tragically lost some elephants to poaching. We have made good headway with some arrests. We carried out some surveys, planted bamboo in the villages, opened and maintained the roads after the rain and found again our injured elephant reunited with her family!:).

It seems each and every day brings new challenges and there is never a dull moment.:) Community relations are closer than ever before and we are working closely with chiefs and group village head men. Over the coming months we have a lot of work to do. We have 20 scouts now, the most in WAG history, our possibilities and opportunities are greater than ever before.

Yours sincerely

Lynn

-> Please, click here to read the complete Thuma Telegraph.


Cupcakes for Conservation!


March 2013

raised for W.A.G Malawi at Hadlow College

Fantastic £340 was raised for W.A.G Malawi at Hadlow College

Thank you to Dominique Rhoades, a degree student at Hadlow College in Kent, who baked nearly delicious 200 cupcakes and sourced an amazing elephant chocolate cake to help raise funds for W.A.G Malawi.

The cupcakes were sold over 2 days at the college Lambing weekend event, and the cake was 1st prize in the raffle. In total a fantastic £340 was raised for W.A.G Malawi. We also used the opportunity to spread the word about W.A.G’s work and used our information boards to highlight the excellent work being done, as well as the 2013 wish list. We would also like to thank Ben Jeffries who helped to staff the stall.

Larger pictures of the campaigne you will find here.

artisan cupcakes

The artisan cupcakes

1st prize in the rafflee

1st prize in the raffle

By the way the current W.A.G Malawi Wish List 2013:

Six scouts to be sponsored this year!

  • 40 army uniforms - army trousers, army shirts, army backpack packs, sleeping bags, army
  • rain jackets,
  • Good quality torches with rechargeable batteries
  • Laptop x 2 with long life battery
  • External drive to store our back ups
  • Oven gloves x 4
  • Good quality pots and pans
  • Night vision goggles
  • Digital camcorder
  • Digital camera with good lens
  • (OR: DSLR with good HD recording)
  • Night camera to record animals (camera trap)
  • Good quality second hand mobile phones (quad band) x 30(these are needed for fence
  • attendants, scouts, informers etc (unlocked if poss)
  • Walkie talkies good quality
  • Power drill rechargeable battery
  • Solar chargers for phones for on patrol
  • 4 ANDROID PHONES FOR NEW GPS USE
  • A large plastic water tank and fittings
  • Very long water hose to assist with filling our showers etc.

wag-malawi.org



February 2013

Some new things are added to wag-malawi.org:

People

New Gallery People (Photos: Claudia Wittmer)

Happy News From Thuma Forest



January 2013

Sighted back elephant

Injured elephant sighted back

Our injured elephant was sighted back with her family of 8 and has put on weight and looking good! She is still limping but managing well! She has her 2 or 3 year year old calf with her also! What a great start to the new Year! I was sure she was dead! We are so delighted.

We have called her "Vera" as she has a V shaped nick of her ear! :) Nature never ceases to amaze me! Against all odds!! She has managed what an inspiration for us all :)

Thanks to everyone who supported from us all in WAG , Lynn