Please see our main activities below as well as some information on the tools we use in our day-to-day work.
Million Ha / yr being deforested in Africa
Species on the Endangered List in Zimbabwe
Million acres of Hwange National Park
Earth for Us to Protect
What do we do? Why does it matter?
CWF is currently focused on protecting Zimbabwe’s wildlife and habitats in the Hwange region.
This matters because Africa’s wildlife is in a crisis and a holistic approach is required to meaningfully protect this irreplaceable heritage.
To achieve this, our work starts with creating wide-spread connections between Government, local authorities, tour operators, donors and conservationists in order to overcome the challenges in conservation together.
This map shows the three CWF APU bases (red dots), three ZPWMA APU bases (black dots), a PDC APU (orange dot) and a Wilderness Safaris APU (blue dot). We plan to build another APU base in the North at Inyantue, a hotspot of illegal access and activity.
When an elephant gets too accustomed to humans and becomes a problem – raiding crops or coming dangerously close to humans to get at food – sometimes the only option seems to be to shoot and kill the animal.
A non-lethal, low-cost alternative that has proved very successful in places with human/elephant conflict is the Chill Gun. Elephants have an acute sense of smell and chilli irritates their olfactory receptors so much that it will make them run away – and not return to the area for at least for a few days. If they do come back, a couple of repeat “treatments” is usually enough to convince them not to return again.
The gun shoots ping pong balls which have been filled with concentrated chilli oil and which explode on impact with the elephant, leaving chilli on the hide. This does not harm the elephant – it just sends a clear message to not come back to the area. The loud bang made by the chilli gun discharging adds to the deterrent effect.
The elephant will wash the smell off with the next mud bath, but the message usually lingers. Other elephants in the herd will smell the chilli oil and also learn to avoid the area.
CWF scouts are experienced in using SMART software while out on patrol.
On handheld devices they record matters of interest (e.g. snares, carcasses, firearms discovered) which are saved with a GPS stamp.
Once back at camp, this information is then downloaded onto a computer to add to a database. SMART also tracks the routes taken by the APUs.
The data is then evaluated and used by the Field Co-ordinator to help in planning patrols and possible reactions.
Regular training to keep the scouts up to date with SMART is kindly facilitated by Panthera, who also supplied the initial training and equipment.
Thanks to Ralph Stead of SAWPOWER and donations from our supporters as far away as Australia, last year we were able to purchase a CHAINSAW and TWO BLOWERS plus consumables and spares.
These will be so useful when it comes to fighting the fires that will inevitably come.