CWF has set up new APUs and improved patrolling and information flow between existing APUs in and around Hwange National Park. Our aim is to achieve collaborative effective law enforcement,initially in the peripheral zone around Hwange National Park, both with our own units, and with support and partnership we provide to other existing units.
To this effect CWF has a 5 year MOU signed with Forestry Commissionof Zimbabwe, who supply a rotating armed ranger to our unarmed CWF team of men when on patrol.
A 5 year MOU is in final draft stage between CWF and Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority, for our future expansion of support to Hwange National Park.
CWF currently employs 11 staff in the field. 10 are members of the APU, the 11th is a caretaker for our APU base camp at Kennedy Siding and The Field Field Co-ordinator’s camp and base. The APU base camp was kindly provided and improved by one of CWF’s founding members – THE HIDE. Another base is provided by member JENMAN SAFARIS at Hideaways Lodge on the periphery of Hwange Park. The men are under CWF;s experienced Field Co-ordinator, who deploys them in interchangeable sticks on both routine, and requested patrols, strategically where most needed.
Whilst on patrol, intelligence is gathered, and all data is recorded for each and every patrol. Poachers firearms, wire snares and poisons are collected and destroyed and if apprehended, criminals are handed over to the authorities. Surviving snare injured animals can receive vital veterinary care both from qualified personnel within and near the park and by CWF’s Manager, Dr. Richard Hoare who is also a wildlife veterinarian.
Snares are well concealed and require trained people to detect them. All species are indiscriminately caught in them. In snaring ‘hotspots’ used by poachers, other very rare animals like African Wild Dogs and even cheetah are caught and frequently die – posing a very serious threat to the survival of highly endangered species.
Pumpkins laced with cyanide poison – a technique used by ivory poachers to kill elephants due to less chance of detection by revealing their presence via loud gunshots. CWF relies heavily on illegal activity being reported by informers who are rewarded for information.
CWF staff wear their uniforms with pride; it garners respect for the unit from its collective air of a professional team that looks the part and is also the type of clothing needed for the rough work they doin the bush. The CWF logo is sewn onto uniforms, and one donor is having their logo embroidered on the sleeves of a new order of clothing. So any other donors sponsoring uniforms can do the same if they choose.
SPATIAL MONITORING AND RECORDING TOOL (SMART) This data collection system is being effectively used by CWF. Initial training and equipment were kindly sponsored by CWF member PANTHERA. Training, programming data loggers and downloading data.All CWF law enforcement and other conservation relevant data are recorded digitally
A month of tracks plotted for CWF vehicle and foot patrols on a map generated by SMART
The designs is showing a modular kit for a third anti poaching ranger base obtained through a grant application by CWF manager for funds granted by The Beit Trust (one of the oldest charities in Central Africa). This CWF structure is soon to be installed in partnership with CWF member IMVELO Safari Lodges who hold the Bomani concession on Forestry Commission land. Imvelo will be funding and running APU staff here under their existing Cobra APU,but it will be in close partnership with CWF.
ALL THE ABOVE DEPICTED APU ACTIVITIES AND MANY MORE REQUIRE FUNDING.THE ORDER OF PRIORITY AT PRESENT FOR DONATIONS IS THE FOLLOWING:
1. A base constructed in the form of a kit building as shown ,for a fourth CWF Anti Poaching Unit – US$ 20 000
2. Funds to pay wages and supply rations to rangers – US$ 4000 per man per annum
3. Uniforms – Approx US$ 250 per man for full field uniforms