AWS is supporting the Great Elephant Census by conducting technical reviews of aerial surveys that have been conducted in Uganda and the Congo. Dozens of researchers are flying in light aircraft to capture comprehensive observational data of elephants and elephant carcasses. The project supported by the Paul Allen Foundation is designed to provide accurate and up-to-date data about the number and distribution of African elephants using standardized aerial surveys of tens of hundreds of thousands of square kilometres. A standardized method of data collection, requires validation by independent advisors.
There has not been a pan-African census in over 40 years, and none have been completed using a standardized process and an independent validation process. The resulting database is designed to provide valuable information to governments, scientists, NGOs and all wildlife stakeholders in Africa so they can make strategic decisions on how to manage and protect elephant populations. More information is available here.
Strip transect methodology – great elephant count
Elephant bulls – great elephant count
A herd of eland counted on a computer
George Wilson attended the International Wildlife Diseases Association conference on Sunshine Coast, opened by Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrew. There was a great turn out and many enlightening presentations.
The major theme was emerging human and wildlife diseases that result from spill-over of pathogens to other hosts, such as Hendra, Ebola, SARS, MERS.
Other interesting discussions took place, including diseases in koalas, frogs, Tassie devils and cats. A report was also given by Tim Portas, on the improvements of condition and health to the Mulligans Flat bettongs.
Abstracts can be found here.
Here is a link to an article on Cecile the lion: RIP Cecil the lion – what will be his legacy? And who should decide?
It discusses whether a ban on hunting would indeed improve the conservation of African species or lead to further decline.
“Bans on trophy hunting in Tanzania (1973-78), Kenya (1977) and Zambia (2000-03) accelerated a rapid loss of wildlife due to the removal of incentives for conservation. Early anecdotal reports suggest this may already be happening in Botswana, which banned all hunting last year.”
It is an important conversation to be had. Authored by Rosie Cooney, Chair of the IUCN’s CEESP/SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group
If you come across any injured wildlife in the ACT (excluding snakes and kangaroos) please call
ACT Wildlife on 0432 300 033.
For snakes and kangaroos contact Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.
For the areas surrounding the ACT, including Queanbeyan, please call Wildcare Queanbeyan on 6299 1966.
AWS’s George was involved in darting an Eland at the National Zoo and Aquarium this morning. The Common Eland, (Taurotragus oryx) is a Savanna and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa. All went well – see the photos on our facebook page. The Eland is healthy and well.
AWS’s Dr George Wilson will be attending the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney on Friday where he will be meeting with the Sustainable Wildlife Use Specialist Group. For an example of Sustainable wildlife use in Australia see Sustainable Wildlife Enterprises.
George Wilson was invited to present to the Agforce 360 Regional Conference of pastoralists in Charleville. He argued that landholders should regard the >30 million kangaroos on their properties in Qld as an asset rather than liability. Even on current market value they are worth more than $400 million. Agforce is considering changing its policy to actively support kangaroo industry notwithstanding significant prejudice and disdain from some cattle producers. If landholders become more involved in quality and management of supply through cooperative management the value will increase, potentially creating a margin for the Cooperative and landholders. Items about the presentation were run on ABC radio and Queensland Country Life.
Graziers must hop into roo fight: QLD Country Life report. See the full story by Queensland Country Life here.
ABC Rural interviewed George Wilson in QLD this week about how Landholders should consider kangaroos an asset, not a pest. See the ABC news story here.
Dr George Wilson is able to help urban landholders with non-lethal control of kangaroo populations, in particular sterilisation of dominant males. Sterilisation of dominant males is:
- One treatment
- Relatively cheap
- Doesn’t interfere natural behaviour
- Non lethal
- Public relations acceptable
- Leads to an effective non-lethal reduction in rate of increase.
Contact George Wilson for more information or questions.
George Wilson made a submission to Inquiry into National Landcare Program 2014 by the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications. The submission drew attention to the pilot projectbeing run by the Maranoa Kangaroo Harvesters and Growers Cooperative Ltd in south-central Queensland. The project involves the collaboration of landholders and kangaroo harvesters through the local Landcare Group. The Mitchell and District Landcare Association is the major shareholder in the Cooperative. The shareholding has the capacity to provide income to the Landcare group and support its objectives.