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Thuma Forest Reserve
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NEWS 2014

Thuma Telegraph - Greeting

December 2014

Dear Donors, Friends and Supporters!


A BIG THANK YOU to our donors and supporter for enabling
us to continue our connservation efforts in 2014 and
we look forward to support in 2015.
Warmest wishes and heart-felt thanks from us
all at Wildlife Action Group.

In light of the recent International Global March’s that took place worldwide to raise awareness of the plight of Elephant and Rhino poaching, this newsletter will give you a little overview of WAG’s proactive work to combat poaching and our efforts to find new ways forward to build relations and strengthen partnerships around both Thuma and Dedza Salima Forest Reserves.

Farm Training

With a assistance from Tuesday Trust
almost 50 ladies are benefiting from
training, farm inputs and sustainable
farming methods to increase their crop
production which will deliver better
nutritious food and cash for surplus

There have been many highlights since our last newsletter including receiving funding from Save the Elephant and Wildlife Conservation Network which we are delighted about. We have had Anti-Poaching training from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, built a new camp, helped organize and took part in the Global Elephant March 2014 Malawi, employed more new scouts, received funding for more firearms and held a Law Enforcement Workshop with magistrates, prosecutors and police investigators from around both reserves, arrested - for the second time, Dixon from Kasungu the notorious elephant poacher, had visit from Dani of REA and a visit from Suzi who co- founded WAG exactly 20 years ago.

Our social economic survey is on-going to monitor the effects of the fence and we have seen a shift in our local communities’ attitude towards the project. The survey around both reserves helps us to assess peoples’ knowledge and feelings about the reserve pre and post fence construction and so far it is very positive. This is also a very useful tool to help us to know the needs and challenges of people living close to protected areas. It will also help us to work closely with them in the future.


Christmas arrived twice this year in Thuma in the form
of donations from the very generous members of REA.
The equipment such as trousers, boots, shirts, name
tags, night vision binoculars, rain coats, handheld GPS,
t-shirts, back packs and much more!

As the year 2014 pushes to a close we are up against time to extend the fence again with funds left over from last year. This part will start from the beginning of the first section of phase one along the northern boundary of Thuma in the district of Dowa.

Please read on and enjoy

Yours sincerely


-> Please, click here to read the complete Thuma Telegraph (Nov.14).

Grow Your Own Ivory

Malawi Marches For Global Elephant And Rhino Day!

October 2014

We joined forces with Lilongwe Wildife trust, WESM and DNPW to organinze this march. The Minister Hon Kondwani Kondwini Nankhoma welcomed the marchers at the Ministry HQ and pledged that malawi Government would review wildlife act and stiffer penalties to poachers and burn ivory stock piles. (-> download speech)


Hundreds turn out to hand over petition to government over 3500 people signed the petition which has been handed over to The Minister Of Tourism Culture and Information Hon Kondwini Nankhoma.

What a fantastic day for Malawi and us all!

Elephant March

A New Addition In Thuma!

June 2014

REA baby

Little "REA" and her Mum Hope

I was delighted to see our new baby elephant who we have called "REA" on Sunday morning while on Patol.

The tenderness and care shown by the whole family towards her is awesome!

Hope you all will continue to support WAG in any way you can so we can continue to protect Thuma's elephants!

Little "REA" and her Mum Hope enjoying Thuma forest!

Yours sincerely


Thuma Telegraph - Greeting

May 2014

Dear Donors, Friends and supporters!

We are a quarter of the way through 2014 already and time is flying. Last year was a very testing year with so many challenges but we dealt with each one and thanks to all our Supporters, we managed to take giant steps forward.

The Kingdom of Thuma!

The Kingdom of Thuma!

A brief over view of last year’s achievements

  • Extended the fence line a further 20 kms along the Dedza Salima boundary which has completely eliminated the human elephant conflict in this area. Every village from the Lilongwe river in Thuma to the end of the new fence line has harvested their maize without any loss of crops. An amazing difference from last year!
  • Carried out the first ever animal count in both reserves, providing us with vital information that will help us to manage the reserves and the wildlife going forward.
  • Carried out camera trap research that has lead to the discovering of two new mammal species not previously known in Thuma.
  • Increased the number of scout.
  • Built a new camp that allows full time permanent presence in an area which was vulnerable to illegal activity.
  • Took part in the first ever International Elephant Day and the first ever Wildlife march in Malawi highlighting the plight of elephants worldwide and bring to the attention of Malawi Government the importance of wildlife.
  • Started to place tsetse fly targets inside Thuma forest where tsetse fly are prolific.
  • Arrested 4 elephant hunters and confiscating their guns, ammunition and ivory.
  • Carried out over 600 patrols in Thuma and 360 patrols in Dedza Salima.
  • Dealt with over 100 Human elephant conflicts.
  • Removed over 154 snares.

Our anti poaching unit is stronger than ever and last year sets precedence for our work this year. We will work harder and achieve more.

Out moto is “ MORE SWEAT LESS POACHING” With your continued support we can and will restore and protect these two unique reserves for future generations.

Yours sincerely


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

Trial Demo Garden And A Wonderful Thuma Poem

April 2014

Trial Demo Garden

Trial Demo Garden

Trial Demo Garden

Garden project is running since end of January

Trial Demo Garden: We started a trial demo garden just out side the gate, where we supplied seeds of different vegetables that could be planted around the house.

Poem: We were stopped by a local school teacher who has written a wonderful poem about Thuma: Thuma Forest Reserve Poem

Seasons Greetings from US ALL at Wildlife Action Group

January 2014

-> Please, click here to download the original WAG Seasons Greetings Flyer.

Belated Seasons Greetings from US ALL at Wildlife Action Group Dearest Donors, supporters, ex volunteers and friends As 2013 comes to an end we reflect over the last year and all the challenges and achievements!

Along the boundaries of both Thuma and Dedza Salima the Human elephant conflict reached crisis level with elephants being chased to town, stoned and in some areas people leaving poison to try kill them. WAG where issued with an ultimatum from the highest level of government and it looked like the elephants would be moved to another area.

At the same time as this charcoal burning, hunting for ivory and deforestation was also at an all time high due to economical pressures and people not having any other source of income.

WAG have been tested to the limits. But we are delighted to be able to say, the WAG team have met each challenge head on and we can say WE have achieved.

This achievement is mainly due to pure hard work, determination and dedication by us all.

And the reason for this is because of ALL of you out there who support us, encourage us and believe in us and what we are doing here. We have doubled the number of scouts this year, opened a new camp, extended the solar powered electrical elephant fence a further 20kms to help reduce human elephant conflict, held the first ever animal count in both reserves, started Tseste fly eradication program, held wildlife law enforcement workshop, conducted bamboo survey, to name but a few.

Elephant Thank You

We are very lucky to have your support, you are all wonderful!

We conducted over 600 patrols this year in Thuma Forest alone. We have lost 4 elephants to poaching, Arrested 5 gun poachers (one imprisoned for 3 years), arrested over 60 charcoal burners, poaching fines at local courts have increased in amount, confiscated 5 firearms, and retrieved nearly all the ivory from the elephants killed. Instigated and took a leading role in the first ever peaceful march regarding wildlife in Malawi in Oct to increase the public awareness of the plight of Malawi’s wild animals esp elephants. And this is to name only some of what we did in 2013. Late Christmas eve we raided a village and arrest 3 suspects for killing a kudu, one scout was badly injured that night and is still recovering. Christmas morning we arrested another poacher with hunting with dogs. And so it goes on.

As we end the 1st week of January 2014, We welcome its coming with even more hope and determination than ever. We wish to say a special thanks to our donors who are more like family, always there to advise and support us in every way. REA - Thomas, Dani and team - your visits, financial support and all the uniforms and boots we could not be without you and will never let you down. Abraham Foundation – Nancy and Eleonor – thank you – we have more scouts than ever before and the fence extension last year along with constant mails of encouragement and belief in us, we could not be without. Ron for enabling our animals count!

We are very lucky to have your support, you are all wonderful. Also we welcome back USFWS who have in the past supported us so much and are back helping us to continue the work, Thank you so much we look forward to working with you again and strengthen our relationship. As 2014 draws closer we push forward with enthusiasm and excitement for what can be achieved by a few dedicated local people who daily lay down their lives to stand up for something that is right for the future.

We are looking forward to your continued commitment to help us protect, preserve and restore these two unique areas in central Malawi along with their wildlife. As I write this I sit up on Pride Rock and continue to dream about the circle of life that we are fighting to protect. Am sure you will all be with us. Belated Merry Christmas and Wish you all everything for the coming year.

Your WAG Family

Thank to all your donations

January 2014

Dear Friends and supporters!

Bees Fence in Thuma FR...

Bees arrive at pilot bee hive fence project
along northern boundary of Thuma!

Thanks to all your donations, we started to build the fence extension along the boundary of Dedza Salima Forest Reserve where human/elephant conflict has been the most severe. Over 180 local men and women have been employed to assist with clearing, cutting, burning, and building of the extension. Each wire roll weighs 50kgs and has to be carried at times for up to 2kms over very tough terrain. Ladies carried 20 liters of water over 3 kms several times a day to quench the thirst of those working in almost 40 degrees of heat! The spirit along the fence line is high with everyone working long hours but with wide smiles and good humour. To date we have built 10kms, only another 10km to go.... but the rains have just started, making life alot more difficult. Tents have been washed away... clothes and food destroyed... rivers are now flooded but we will continue to ensure security of the elephants and local people and their fields. -> Current pictures at Facebook

Bees Fence in Thuma FR..

Sugar is given to feed the bees and
help them settle into their new home.

Special thanks to The Abraham Foundation, Jana, Christian, Kevin Whelan, Lara Sugrue, Stefan, Sophie, Peter Kistler, Tamara, Ilona Hupe, Karl AntonBrucker, Claudia Lenz, Detler Hilberg, Sophia Derdak, Kylie Burtland, Linda Simpson, Mary Price, Elaine McCall, Hillard Design, Robert Gackie, Diane Hodgkinson ,Carrie Lundberg , Chris Mellor , Shirley Craughwell , Deborah Suitor , Jacqueline Bakker , Laurel Ostrom ! And everyone else who helped in any way.

We wish a Happy New year to all our donors, supporters and friends. We could not be here without you! Heres to 2014 continuing to protect preserve and restore Thuma and Dedza Salima Forests

From us all at WAG

-> Please, click here to download the WAG Seasons Greetings Flyer.