/>
Wildlife Action Group - Malawi
Thuma Forest Reserve
What We Do
Volunteer Programme
Paypal Donation

NEWS 2018

Thuma Telegraph - Greeting



May 2018

Dear Donors, Friends and supporters,

First quarter of 2018 is coming to an end and 2018 thus far has been full of action. January we were busy with conducting orchid surveys. We are delighted to be able to show our findings in this newsletter.

February kicked off with refresher training for the rangers and the darting of Chakuse (meaning of the elephant clan) a huge bull who has been identified as the culprit breaking through the fence to raid crops.(-> Chakuse Media Write Up March 2018 - pdf download)

We also carried out a reintroduction assessment with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife to assess if we could reintroduce species that used to be in Thuma but have become extinct many years ago due to poaching.

Eland in Thuma

Eland in Thuma!
In April 2018 one team of scouts returned from patrol
and said they saw a strange animal near a stream.
Wehave camera traps placed nearby so we went to check
the photos. When we looked at them we found what looked
like Eland! Not believing our eyes we started checking books
and sure enough the animals on the photos were 100% eland.
Hearsay, tells of large herds of eland roaming Thuma many years ago.

March we continued our work over in the West of Thuma, working with communities, setting up Natural Resources Committees (NRC) and income generating activities. The charcoal burning has stopped over this side, and community relations are growing stronger.

April we found Barack our friendly bull who is always around camp limping badly. He was darted and treated but is still not doing well.

We have started to reconstruct the road from the main gate to our base camp, creating piece work for over 150 people, who are doing a really great job.

We have been successful in winning some funding to extend the solar powered fence line on the west which will help stop elephant leaving the reserve and raiding crops, so this is really good news. And also in April we discovered that eland are living free in Thuma! The first time it has been seen since 1981!

We hope you enjoy this brief newsflash and thank you for your continued support.

Warmest regards as always,

Lynn and Scouts

-> Please, click here to read the complete Thuma Telegraph (April 18).

Welcome Skyband Malawi to our WAG family



March 2018

Wildlife Action Group are delighted to announce our latest and first sponsor coming from inside Malawi.

Skyband Malawi

Skyband donation will assist us
to protect communities crops.

Skyband Malawi have very kindly sponsored our elephant conservation efforts by installing equipment required to provide internet services to our HQ offices in Thuma Forest Reserve as well as assisting with the monthly subscription.

This could not have come at a better time, as we are placing satellite collars on some identified elephants who are known to break the solar powered electric fence and raid surrounding communities crops. With this Skyband donation, this means we will be able to track these elephants in real time, and if they are seen coming close to the geo-mapped area we can send specially trained rangers to deter the elephant from leaving the Reserve.

We welcome Skyband to our WAG family and thank them for this really fantastic donation.

Chakuse Media Write Up March 2018



March 2018

Human Elephant Conflict is directly linked to poaching and is largely the reason that communities do not accept conservation efforts. When your food is being trampled or eaten by an animal as large as an elephant, most communities feel powerless to protect their crops. Since 2013, after the erection of a solar powered electric fence most communities around Thuma and Dedza Salima Forest Reserves in Malawi have been living in peace with their wild neighbours. However, in late 2017, we started seeing one bull coming out each night to eat maize, pumpkin, mangoes and ground nuts while trampling tobacco. Something had to be done.

Chakuse

Iridium collar from Savannah Tracking
has been placed on Chakuse.

On 28th February 2018, Wildlife Action Group(WAG) with the assistance and support from conservation partners African Parks helicopter and DNPW WERU vet, placed a collar on an elephant bull who had been identified as the culprit for breaking through the solar powered fence line and raiding crops. This really charismatic, rather large bull called Chakuse (meaning "of the elephant clan"), is huge, with what looks like one blind eye, very ragged ears and his left tusk broken. He looks like he has been around a long time. Chakuse had been out eating community crops the previous night, so he was tracked on foot by WAG scouts who then called in the air support. Chakuse was then darted from the air and an Iridium collar from Savannah Tracking placed on him.

Chakuse was darted from the air by helicopter

Chakuse was darted from the air by helicopter.

He has since been seen walking across Linthipe River towards our main camp, with his new collar firmly in place. We are monitoring his movements. With funding from Save the Elephant, and Wildlife Conservation Network, through Elephant Crisis Fund this operation was made possible, and 'Rettet die Elefanten e.V.' and Wildlife Action Group International friends donated funding to purchase satellite collars which would assist us to tackle this problem by tracking the movement of the elephant and then deterring him from leaving the Reserve, bringing security to the area again. This procedure will not only protect our local communities but this collar will also enable us to ensure Chakuse is protected and around for many more years. Great team work by all involved.

-> Please, click here for the Media Write Up download.

ANNUAL REPORT 2017 - Message From Director



February 2018

animal counts

Since 2013 total animal counts have been conducted every two years.

2017 closed on a positive note and 2018 brings exciting prospects. Wildlife Action Group celebrated 15 years working in Thuma Forest Reserve. This NGO was founded by a german couple (George and Suzi Kloble) who are dedicated conservationists. 2002 saw the signing of a MoU with the Department of Forestry which allowed WAG to co-manage Thuma. Four young men were employed as scouts all coming from local villages and the long walk to conserve and rehabilitate the forest began. It was believed only 25 elephants remained at this time. There was commercial deforestation with trucks loaded with forest resources leaving the Reserve daily and evidence of mass poaching of elephants. The remaining elephants were moving like spirits, believed to be here, but never seen. These shy giants, were terrified by humans and remained silent and hidden in what was left of a forest being eaten by deforestation. WAG adopted a motto at the start which still hangs at our entrance „MORE SWEAT AND LESS POACHING“. George and Suzi‘s vision to protect the remaining wildlife and stop the deforestation has created a legacy. This story is far from finished but so far a forest has risen from the ashes and the phoenix is rising from the fire. Many managers, scouts and volunteers have come and gone, all have left their mark and we would not be where we are today without their efforts, for which we are truly thankful. Many are still supporting us and our WAG family has grown and continues to grow. We still sweat and the work continues. We sincerely thank our donors and supporters who have enabled us to do this work, and have been with us through thick and thin, the good times and the really tough times. Today, WAG is proud to be able to say that approximately 10% of the total population of Malawian elephants are living and moving freely inside these forests, no longer invisible spirits. They are reclaiming the forest as theirs and are seen daily. The forest is regenerating and in 2017 the final area which has seen ongoing destruction since 1994 due to charcoal burning has been reclaimed. Now we need to work harder than ever. The vision continues and the 2017 figures show increases in all wildlife living in both reserves.

increases in all wildlife living

2017 figures show increases in all wildlife living in both reserves.

Since 2013 total Animal counts have been conducted every two years. 2017 figures show increases in all wildlife living in both reserves.Our work commitment strengthens. Reintroduction of certain species, good forest management, introduction of eco tourism, continued development in surrounding communities and strengthening protection of the habitat are all top of our agenda. I salute our staff, whose dedication and hard work ensures the protection of these areas and the wildlife that live here. They are the ones who are ensuring this legacy for future generations of Malawians. I, on behalf of WAG, would finally like to thank our government partners for their ongoing trust and support of the work being carried out here and pledge our commitment to continue this long walk to conserve and protect.

Yours sincerely

Lynn

-> Please, click here to read the complete Annual Report 2017.

-> Please, click here for latest news in 2017.


WAG Malawi - Save The African Elephants