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Wildlife Action Group - Malawi
Thuma Forest Reserve
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NEWS 2017

Thuma Telegraph - Greeting



December 2017

Dear Donor, sponsors, volunteers and friends,

As the year comes to an end we wanted to show how grateful we are for your support and friendship in the past year.

Together we have made a really powerful and positive impact on Thuma and Dedza Salima Forest reserves and all the wildlife that live here, especially the elephants. Protected areas and the wildlife are under serious pressure from the human population for land use and the wildlife living here are under even more pressure, elephants in particular have being targeted due to the increasing demand for ivory.

visit Thuma

Director of National Parks and Wildlife, Brighton Kumchedwa
and Deputy Director Mr Manda and Bertha visit Thuma to overview
our work and progress.

WAG works tirelessly to try protect these free living animals, especially our gentle giants, through patrolling, arresting, awareness campaigns, and animal welfare. You have made this possible through your sponsoring a scouts, support and together we are making a difference.

This year has been quiet extraordinary, with really great results. WAG is working closely with Government and other Conservation NGo's to enforce the laws and protect the habitat, bring awareness of the new Wildlife Act, and increasing the engagement of local people through awareness, and opportunities to improve their lives.

First Grade Magistrate explaining the new act

Campaign presenting the newly amended wildlife
act. This photo is of Salima,
First Grade Magistrate explaining the new act.

We are committed as ever to combat the illegal wildlife trade with the aim of ensuring a long term survival of these areas and the wildlife that live here. One important aspect of this is through working closely with our local populations. Those living close to the reserves are most affected in positive and negative ways and it is these same people who will be most likely to commit a crime and be arrested for doing so. And therefore these are the ones who should be helped most.

We conducted our third animal count in Nov and are delighted to be able to announce an increase in all the animal populations, which with your help we hope to continue.

TA Chitewere get trained

Natural Resource Committee in TA Chitewere
get trained on bee keeping. Exciting new income
generating project for the West side of Thuma.

Some of the highlights this year have been seeing a dramatic decrease in charcoal burning over on the western side of Thuma Forest, bringing an awareness of the changes in the Wildlife Act ensuring our local population is aware of the laws of Malawi, darting of a bull who was suffering with a snare wound, arresting a well known and very active poacher, increasing our patrols / man hours (boots on the ground), conducting a Forestry inventory, many successful court cases, conducting our third animal count, educating over 7500 children, planting over 8000 trees with our local communities and setting up many income generating activities including irrigation projects, and beehive projects. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all our generous donors.

We wish you all a really Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year and once again Thank you for helping save Africa's Wildlife and Wild spaces.

Lynn and Scouts

-> Please, click here to read the complete Thuma Telegraph (Dec.17).

Good News From Thuma



November 2017

We held our 3rd animal census and are delighted to share our first findings with you.
Census Flight

Elephant census by helicopter

We do this exercise to have some real figures, especially on the large animals. These figures do not tell us the total number of animal in the reserve, however, they do enable us to say, that we have a minimum of X number of animals.

In 2013 we conducted our first animal count. We counted 98 elephants.

  • 2015 we counted 116 elephants
  • 2017 we counted 140 elephants

We know there is more! Just we did not see them that day. So really good news!

At 13th November we were delighted to be able to carry out an emergency darting operation on one injured bull with a snare injury.

Elephant Bull

Emergency darting operation on one injured bull

Elephant Bull and Scouts

WAG scouts were delighted to be part of this.

Thanks to WERU and African Parks for stepping up to enable this to be carried out without a hitch. WAG scouts were delighted to be part of this and to get up close and personal with one of the bulls. I also overcame my fear and took part in the flying and ground support. The bull has recovered and is being watched over by scouts after his ordeal, and has been joined by another herd and was seen browsing like normal. Great job by all. And special thanks to Save the Elephants, Wildlife Conservation Network, Elephant Crisis Fund, AP and WERU.

New video channel by Wildlife Action Group at youtube



October 2017


WAG-Malawi video channel (youtube.com)


Thuma Telegraph



September 2017

Dear Donors, friends and supporters,

The wind and cold days have gone and the sun rises in the morning and gets hotter and hotter until you feel like your brain is being fried.

The forest is dry, animal sightings easier and it is not possible to walk or drive without seeing some species of wildlife. Elephants are everywhere and now moving into areas which had previously been inhabited by charcoal burners.

Elephant killed

Elephant killed in Dedza Salima.

As we reclaim these areas we find new delights of Thuma Forest, incredible valleys and views to die for, and despite the shocking deforestation we know this area will regenerate and the forest will once again become its former glory.

Most streams are still holding water, however the larger rivers are very low and Lake Malawi has receded over 1 meter.

Over the last few months we have been busy - early fire management of both areas, patrolling, arresting and prosecuting, lots of volunteers joined us, elephant identification, been involved with the first Tourism Expo in Malawi and doing lots of community and educational activities.

We have unfortunately lost one elephant to poaching (read further on.) 28th September saw my seventh year working with Wildlife Action Group. The seven years have gone so fast and when we look back on what has been achieved it is remarkable. We are still passionate and dedicated, and still pushing forward with new ways to protect the forest and the wildlife and finding new ways to support Malawi's Government.

I trust you will enjoy the updates and we really appreciate all your continued support.

Lynn and Scouts

-> Please, click here to read the complete Thuma Telegraph (Sep.17).

Thuma Telegraph



May 2017

Dear Donors, friends and supporters,

It's been a long time since we last gave you an update from Malawi. Lots has happened in the last 9 months of which you will read later in this newsletter. After two years of little or no rains Malawi experienced lots of rain which has brought excellent crop outputs for most Malawians and most rivers and streams are once again flowing for the first time in over a year. The lake levels had dropped dramatically and it has risen but is still lower than previous years.

Elephant March

International Elephant March at 4th October 2013.

Saying all of that, Thuma Forest and Dedza Salima Forest has really benefitted. All our rivers and stream are flowing, springs pumping water again and the wildlife all look fat with glistening coats.

January 2017 saw the passing of the amendment of the National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) Act. This initiative was started on the 4th October 2013 during the International elephant march. Malawi joined along with many cities all over the world as people joined together to raise awareness of the current plight of elephants worldwide.

The David Sheldrick Trust spear headed this idea as the illegal trade and demand for ivory continuedto rise and death figures showed that every 15 minutes one elephant was killed.

In Malawi, WAG along with other conservation bodies such as WESM and Lilongwe Wildlife Trust lobbied parliament and handed over petitions asking government to amend the DNPW Act, advocating for stiffer penalties so the it would become a real deterrent to would be poachers. The Department of National Parks and wildlife along with Lilongwe Wildlife Trust have worked incredibly hard to make the amendments to the Act and have it passed in Parliament. Fantastic work from you guys.

In January 2017 the amendment was passed and we have a new Act which reflects the seriousness of crimes and very importantly shows that the Government of Malawi is really doing everything to protect its wildlife. Its seems a long time ago now!

I trust you will enjoy the updates and we really appreciate all your continued support.

Warmest regards

Lynn and Scouts

-> Please, click here to read the complete Thuma Telegraph (May.17).


Thuma Short Report



February, 2017

I am way behind with our postings and info from Thuma. Sorry for that. So I just wanted to update everyone with what has been happening:)

Local Work

Well done to all the school childern

Well done to all the school childern.

Aubery has been working very hard in the schools and they managed to plant over 4000 trees. These will be used in and around the schools to mark the boundaries and prvide shade and help with soil erosion. We want double that planted this year.

Meeting with local TA and chiefs

Meeting with local TA and chiefs.

Tuesday Trust/WAG partner project

Women of the Tuesday Trust/WAG partner project.

First meeting with local TA and chiefs since my accident. It was so nice to see everyone again. We met with local leaders and school teachers to introduce a new school competition. Tuesday Trust one of our partners along with WAG invited five schools to take part in planting seeds, sweet potatoes and cow peas in each school. The winners (the one that harvests the most) will win a cup, football equipment and netballs. We will keep you updated. But it was welcomed by all.

A group of elephants seen in February 2014

Dani from REA.

Donated a sewing machine

Donated a sewing machine. Thank you so much Claudia, fantastic idea.

Support And Donations

WAG started the year with a visit from Dani from REA. It was as if it was Christmas all over again as Dani somehow managed to bring so much donations for us. Most important after my accident we realised we needed some very important 1st aid equipment. We would like to thank all the poeple who went out of their way to help us acheive this.

So Thank you to: Petra Dreml, Manka Toukuhn, Kessi, Johanna Kandler for all the medical things. And we also got a donation of an amazing rescue bag from Mathias Prohimann. And of course we got boots and equipment for the scouts who were so delighted. A HUGE BIG THANK YOU as always REA. a very important donation, because we have roughly 12 WAG scouts protecting the two reserves where we work. With more scouts we could patrol more areas more frequently and protect more of the reserves and wildlife.

Big thank you to Maike another of our super volunteers who donated two lap tops to WAG last year. And can't forget her father who helped clear them down and have them nice for us.

""[..] Living tucked in the Thuma Forest Reserve, with no running water, solar power to charge things by day and nothing but wildlife for kilometers and poachers lurking… This is Lynn’s life. And, she loves it!""
(Wildlife Margrit)

-> www.nikela.org

Claudia our volunteer from Switzerland bought and donated a sewing machine for us. This allows us to fix our uniforms etc. Its so cool and saves us going to town to have them fixed!

Warmest regards

Lynn

Big thank you to Maike

Donation of two laptops: Big thank you to Maike.

Some volunteers and work

Some volunteers and work and having some down time:)

shade of green

After no rain for so long the forest changes from dry and dead looking to every shade of green and wild flowers appear from no where!
Thuma always looks its best at this time of the year.

Rain beautiful rain

Rain beautiful rain. We last saw rain in Feb 2016 so when the heavens opened we where dancing with happiness.

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016: We tried to make the day as special as possible.
Santa socks were filled for each member of staff:)

Happy 2017

We wish a Happy 2017 to all our donors, supporters and friends.

-> Please, click here for latest news in 2016.