Photo by maggy meyer. “most of tanzania has been experiencing drought for the last year, and a lot of livestock have been dying. on a recent drive from arusha to randilen community wildlife management area (cwma), i saw many cattle carcasses near the road. other cows were still alive but were struggling to even stand on their feet. but as i entered randilen i saw hundreds of healthy cattle. they were feeding in a large area of good grass that was preserved to use in times of drought. i immediately began to worry that all this pasture would be quickly depleted by a massive influx of cattle and there would be nothing left for the wildlife. but a village scout calmly told me: ‘we have plenty of grass that can rescue the cattle and still support wildlife. in fact, we are even hosting cattle from far away villages that are not part of our community.’ during my day of meetings with community leaders, the rains poured heavily. after the rain ended, i began my journey home and was shocked to see the big herd of livestock exiting randilen. the rain signaled to the herders that there would now be pasture in other places, so they left randilen’s extreme drought refuge. if we can scale this behavior — if every community has a working ‘extreme drought’ grazing area — then we will build resilient livestock and wildlife populations in northern tanzania. i think that this is possible.” @marundaalphonce, tnc africa
Photo by @roshni.lodhia. home. everyone in northern tanzania defines it differently. for nomadic tribes, it refers to wherever pasture is greenest or fruit is ripest. for a herd of elephants, it is the ancient migration routes that cross village, county, and national borders — led by a matriarch and followed for generations. here, home isn’t so much a place as a journey. and now, the 8-million-acre landscape that has hosted these journeys for hundreds of years is becoming a jigsaw puzzle. climate change, rapidly expanding row-crop agriculture, and population growth are shaping the pieces. at the same time, tanzania’s economic development depends on managing this landscape so that natural resources can continue to provide food and job security. the survival of elephants and traditional ways of life for indigenous people rests on ensuring they also have a say in this design. no single village — or organization — can tackle this alone. that is why we collaborate with nine partners in the northern tanzania rangelands initiative (ntri) to help communities secure tenure over their traditional lands and apply good land management practices that benefit themselves and wildlife. just as each puzzle piece in the landscape is unique, so is the land tenure or resource rights solution that works best for each community. communities now have new tools, such as communal certificates of customary rights of occupancy (ccros) and other innovative schemes that can address their specific needs and challenges. together, we are ensuring that indigenous communities have the knowledge, technical support, incentives, and legal frameworks they need to keep their journeys alive.
Photos by @jasonbhouston. the local person leading our work in seychelles is soft-spoken marine biologist helena sims. “this is what i’ve always wanted to do since i was 6 years old. my dad was a marine engineer, and he also built his own boats. on weekends we would go fishing and sailing. my first dive was on my 10th birthday, the minimum age to scuba. i went into a cave and there were sea fans everywhere. they look like bouquets of flowers — orange, red, and white. i was gobsmacked. i wanted to study marine biology in university but at that time, the government’s priorities for full scholarships were teaching or medicine. i had to make a case that this should be just as much a priority. they said yes but only if i earned perfect scores on the cambridge international exams. i spent ages 16-17 preparing. i wanted it so badly. you have to wait four months to get your test results! my dad was the one to open the envelope. i was at sea on a study tour. he just said, ‘you did it!’ and i started crying. i studied in australia and came straight home once i graduated. i was recruited by @undp to conduct research to set priorities for the expansion of the marine protected area system of seychelles. at first i didn’t want to take on such a big job because my son had just been born and my father was very sick. he told me to go for it. it was his dream job and he was my idol. i did it for him. some of our stakeholders have known me my whole life. they say, ‘oh, helena — she wants to save everything.’ but the zoning design has to work for everyone, and that’s what tnc is committed to. as often as possible i go fishing and snorkeling with my son, kyan. [his name is derived from a word for the blue-green color of nearshore waters.] i’m looking forward to telling him stories about his grandfather. he can’t understand yet. he’s autistic and nonverbal, but he has an infinite love for the ocean. often when he was a baby, the only way to calm him down was to put him in a bucket of water! for all seychellois, the sea is within us. it’s not only in our blood; it’s our life.” 💙
Photo by @ggkenya. nothing like a hopeful story to help kick off the new year. ✨ when the wildlife vet was unable to attend to a badly injured lioness, kaindu village scouts took matters into their own hands. what this injured lioness did was almost as remarkable as the village scouts’ actions to save her because moving towards human activity goes against every instinct of a weak or vulnerable wild animal. so it’s as if she knew that crawling into the scouts’ camp was her last chance of help. the lioness had lost her front right paw to a poacher’s snare. once free, she was unable to hunt, desperately thin, and battling infection. by chance, or some sixth sense humans might never understand, she sought refuge in the base camp of the scouts who protect and monitor wildlife in the 15,000-hectare kaindu game management area (gma) on the north-eastern flank of zambia’s kafue national park. “when we first came across her, she was finished. it was very sad,” says greenwell kabinda of kafue natural resources trust. “we felt like we had to help her.” realizing straight away that she needed veterinary treatment, greenwell, or “green” as he’s known, called the zambian department for parks and wildlife. however, with limited resources and vast areas of ground to cover, their vet was unable to come immediately. with nothing to lose, the scouts set about finding her some meat, which they placed near her, in front of a motion-sensor camera in order to keep a watchful eye. “she was very weak, so that first night she only took a few bites,” says green. “but within a few days the whole carcass had gone.” the food gave her the strength to eventually go to the river for life-saving hydration. soon, a hopeful moment was caught on camera: she was joined by another lioness, an adolescent cub, and a large male — presumably members of her lost pride, attracted by the smell of her dinner. to survive long-term in the wild, she will need her pride to defend her and to share the prey they catch.
Photo by @amivitale. hi friends, we have three rescue stories to help warm your hearts for the holidays. wild elephants in africa have complicated lives. these three recent rescues illustrate different pieces of the big, complex picture of elephant conservation — beyond poaching. the stories show why we’re so focused on habitat protection and on creating conservation incentives for people who live among elephants. we hope you’ll take a moment now to read about these rescues that you helped make possible. and most importantly, thank you for supporting our efforts to keep elephants out of trouble. read the stories: bit.ly/savespaceforelephants (link in bio). 🐘❤️
Photo by debbie wettlaufer. imagine if you set off the house alarm every time you tried to sneak an extra piece of that thanksgiving turkey … our friends at @lionlandscapes are developing a system just like this for lions — and it’s saving their lives. chips in the lion’s gps collars set off alarms and lights in the cattle pen when lions like bella (pictured here) come within a certain distance, putting them off of a beef dinner that could result in lethal retaliation from farmers trying to protect their livelihoods. donors to @lionlandscapes and longtime tnc supporters, judy and david osgood, love this new collaring project and share, “we enjoy providing seed money to start projects like this and hope you’ll get in on the fun and join us as sponsors!” click the link in our bio to find out how you can support this effort and get your own awesome mini lion collar to wear around your wrist!
Photo by @amivitale. climate change is a complex problem that belongs to everyone everywhere. but there are stories from around the world that give us hope for the future. like the grasslands of northern kenya, for example. the annual rains have followed a predicable rhythm for millennia. but disruptions to that rhythm, brought on by climate change, are threatening both wildlife and pastoralist communities as worsening cycles of drought create greater competition for grass. one way local community conservancies are addressing this issue is by managing grasslands to maintain wildlife habitat while also enabling sustainable livestock grazing. our close partner @nrt_kenya then purchases cattle from conservancies that have implemented rigorous sustainable grazing plans, with the help of impact investment funds raised by tnc. this model gives herders access to more lucrative mobile markets and directs some of the income back to the community conservancies. these healthier, better-managed grasslands also sequester more carbon from the atmosphere. click the link in our bio for more.
Photo by @amivitale. soil is crucial for addressing climate change. but it's often an unsung hero in the climate story. as part of our partnership with @nrt_kenya, we’re working to make changes in rangeland management to increase soil carbon, leverage carbon markets, and provide revenue for community rangeland trusts. in northern kenya, rangelands are managed mainly through the types of grazing animals, the density at which they are grazed, and the frequency by which they are rotated to other parts of the system to avoid overgrazing. these healthier, better-managed grasslands sequester more carbon from the atmosphere, provide better habitat for wildlife, and better pasture for livestock. here, samburu women plant seeds of native plants
in areas where they’ve removed invasive red thorn bushes at west gate conservancy. click the link in our bio for more.
Photo by @nickhallphoto. congrats to nick hall for his big wins at the recent @assocphoto awards, including a shoot he did on assignment with tnc in the central great rift valley of tanzania! nick describes his time with the hadza — one of the last hunter-gatherer tribes on earth — as life-changing and “one of the most incredible experiences of my life.” here, hadza hunter hamesi hasani and his 10-year-old nephew mkapa kaunda are on top of a rocky outcropping near their camp, overlooking the land we’re working with partners to help them protect.
Photo by @amivitale. tourism is kenya’s second largest contributor in foreign exchange earnings after agriculture. in 2016, it contributed about 10 percent to kenya’s gdp, 9 percent to formal wage employment, and 3.5 percent to total employment. not to mention, protected areas and wildlife account for 75 percent of total tourism earnings! to celebrate wildlife and wild places for world tourism day and to show support for the plastic bag ban, we’re calling on our kenyan friends to finish the following sentence in the comments below: “save kenya, it’s the only country with …” you could win your slogan on a limited edition cloth bag to be given out throughout october in select nairobi malls. not from kenya? that’s ok! we’d love to see your responses, too.
Great to see @africanparksnetwork celebrating new life on world rhino day! ✨🦏✨#regram from @africanparksnetwork : "on this world rhino day we are pleased to share the exciting good news that a rhino calf has been born in @akagerapark - the first wild rhino birth for rwanda in over a decade! in may of this year, african parks in collaboration with the rdb and with support from the howard g. buffett foundation, successfully reintroduced 18 eastern black rhinos to akagera in an historic translocation bringing back the species to the country after a 10-year absence. while all of the rhinos were considered precious cargo, one in particular was carrying a special delivery. ineza, a female rhino turned out to be well into her 16-month gestation. her new-born calf was confirmed in august and has been sighted regularly since then. we have spent the past six years preparing for this moment, in making the park safe for the rhinos return and for all the wildlife in the park, including the newborns along the way. the story of the rhinos return, akagera’s restoration, and this new calf provides hope for the species and for conservation around the globe. where there is safety, wildlife thrives. join with us in celebrating this #worldrhinoday and share the good news, because there is so much to be hopeful for. 📷 augustin manirarora #rhinos#africanparks#worldrhinoday#akagera#savetherhinos#rwanda#rhinosreturn #goodnews"
Photo by @amivitale. our instagram fans are some of the smartest people we know and we need your help to solve a big conservation problem in western tanzania. lake tanganyika holds nearly one-fifth of the world’s fresh water, is home to 250 endemic fish species, and provides 40% of all protein for lakeshore villages. that’s why were working hard to empower local fishermen to protect the lake from overfishing and ensure long-term sustainability of their aquatic resources. the problem: while fishing in mahale mountains national park is strictly prohibited, the boundaries of the park are often unclear. use innovation for good to help us better mark where protected waters begin, and commercial fishing ends, by entering our #demarcatethelake challenge at bit.ly/demarcatethelake (link in bio)! we can’t wait to see your ideas. bonus: you could win cash prizes and earn the opportunity to collaborate with our science team to create a lasting solution!
Photo by @amivitale. samburu women plant seeds of native plants in areas where they’ve removed invasive red thorn bushes at westgate conservancy in northern kenya. congrats are in order for the members of this community conservancy since they have officially been awarded legal rights to their land from the samburu county government, giving them greater autonomy and igniting momentum for building a more sustainable future. westgate is home to around 5,000 pastoralists, and as a changing climate and increasing human population bring greater challenges to their grasslands, secure land tenure will be a vital foundation in their endeavors to balance prosperous livelihoods with successful wildlife conservation. well done, @nrt_kenya and westgate conservancy! read the full story: bit.ly/westgatewinslandrights