Anti-poaching dog squad, Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India

Kaziranga National Park ( KNP ), a UNESCO World Heritage site provides vital habitat for diverse wildlife and has been protected since the early 20th century.

Kaziranga is the last stronghold of the Indian one-horned rhino, more than two thirds of the worldwide population live in the park.It is also home to the highest density of Bengal tigers in India.

However, this wildlife haven and it`s remarkable inhabitants are under threat. In 2014, 27 rhinos from Kaziranga were lost to poachers; the worst since the 1980`s and 1990`s.

It is vital that these endangered species are given the protection they need and wherever possible poachers are identified and brought to justice.

DSWF has worked with Indian NGO Aaranyak many years to protect endangered species in KSP.

A comprehensive communications system for the forest rangers as well as camera traps and research has been funded by DSWF.

Continuing to strengthen and expand upon current anti-poaching, in 2011 Assam`s first dog squad was established.

Jorba, the first dog, capable of picking up a scent, tracking and bringing down a suspect and trained to detect wildlife products such as tiger skin and bones, ivory and rhino horn.

He was joined by Babli in 2014 with more planned.

Restore Our Planet agreed to provide funding to procure and train another dog and handler providing all necessary food and equipment. We are pleased to say that in 2017 Misky began her training and has now joined the team.

In December 2019 Jorba was retired from active K9 duty after many years of loyalty achieving incredible results for the team. He will however be used to supply emergency scene of crime support whenever needed.

Leatherback turtle protection

Leatherback turtles are named for their shell, which is leather-like rather than hard, like other turtles. They are the largest marine turtle and also one of the most migratory, crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Pacific leatherbacks migrate from nesting beaches in the Coral Triangle2 all the way to the California coast to feed on the abundant jellyfish every summer and autumn. Although their distribution is wide, numbers of leatherback turtles have seriously declined during the last century as a result of intense egg collection and fisheries bycatch. Globally, leatherbacks are classed as ‘vulnerable’, but many subpopulations (such as in the Pacific and south-west Atlantic) are critically endangered.

In 2014, a new protected area came into force that will safeguard an important nesting area for leatherback turtles along Colombia’s Caribbean coastline. Beach degradation, pollution and egg harvesting were all threats to the nesting turtles here.The turtle sanctuary prohibits development along the beach and the government provides funding for nest monitoring.

The Playon Playona Acandí Fauna and Flora Sanctuary is 26,232 hectares and is located in the Gulf of Darién. This zone is considered to be one of the main nesting sites for leatherbacks and over 200 turtles are recorded nesting there each year, alongside critically endangered hawksbill turtles.

The turtle’s migratory nature makes this area vital for their conservation throughout the western Caribbean. Mark and recapture studies have shown that some of the females breeding in Colombia spend most of the year in Costa Rica and Mexico. In addition, this area contributes to the protection of other animals that are socially, economically and culturally important, including several species of shrimp and fish.

Hundreds of thousands of marine turtles are accidentally killed every year by fishing gear—caught on dangling hooks or entangled in nets.

Each year, WWF tag marine turtles on key nesting beaches around the world. Satellite telemetry allows researchers to track marine turtles as they swim from place to place. These satellite tags do not harm the turtles and are designed to eventually fall off. The data tells us where important feeding areas are, help us understand migration patterns, and anticipate where turtles may come in contact with fisheries and their gear.

Sumatran tiger protection

The tiger is an iconic species, admired around the world for its beauty and strength. Sadly, this also makes it a lucrative target for the illegal wildlife trade. Every single part of a tiger – from its whiskers to its tail – can be traded and sold on the black market. We’ve lost over 95% of these endangered big cats since the start of the 20th century, and in 2010, their numbers plummeted to as few as 3,200. We’ve managed to halt the decline in recent years and are excited to say that, in 2016, for the first time in conservation history, the global population of wild tigers increased to an estimated 3,900.

This success is largely due to increased conservation efforts in the key countries that have seen an increase in their tiger numbers; countries such as India, Russia, Bhutan and Nepal. But, south-east Asian countries are still at imminent risk of losing their tigers if these governments do not take action immediately. This includes the Indonesian government. With only around 450 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, restricted to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, this subspecies is listed as critically endangered. It is holding on for survival in the remaining patches of forest on the island, where deforestation and poaching are still an ever present threat.

WWF has been working to protect Sumatran tiger habitat for over 20 years. There is competition for the use of land, with extreme pressure from the logging industry.

In 1995, they played a key role with other conservation groups in helping create Bukit Tigapuluh National Park, part of a landscape called ‘Thirty Hills`. This was a primary spot for tigers, and it is believed this landscape is currently home to about 30 Sumatran tigers.

By the start of this century, Sumatra had lost over half its forests, but Thirty Hills still contained amazing, intact forest. As the forest disappeared elsewhere in Sumatra, more and more biodiversity was moving into Thirty Hills, and demand for its resources increased.

The opportunity came when the Indonesian government created a new kind of concession, or lease, on government-owned forest land. We worked with the government to get critical parts of Thirty Hills re-zoned as a ‘conservation concession’. This required strong support in Indonesia which we gained from the former president, local political leaders, the provincial governor, communities and local people. The efforts were also supported by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. The actor and WWF board member championed the cause and helped bring attention to the need to save Thirty Hills.

The Thirty Hills Company is now responsible for protecting its forest from illegal loggers and other threats – just like a logging company would be. The company has hired anti-poaching patrols and forest protection monitoring groups, and is now using small conservation drones to fly over the landscape to keep an eye out for poaching and illegal logging. The Thirty Hills Company has the responsibility to manage and protect this concession for at least 60 years.

Gashaka Bushmeat Project, Central Africa

The Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee is one of the rarest subspecies of chimp with probably less than 6,000 individuals remaining in Nigeria and Cameroon, north of the Sanaga River. The only relatively large and secure population is in Gashaka-Gumti National Park in Nigeria, with an estimated population of up to 1,000. WWF’s African Great Ape Programme is working with many partners to conserve remaining chimpanzee populations, especially in West Africa.

However, the issues around bushmeat have grown exponentially and, in order to tackle it, WWF refocused efforts to tackling this illegal trade in the Congo Basin, where over 1 million tonnes of bushmeat is consumed each year. This is the equivalent of almost 4 million cattle. Eating and selling bushmeat (meat from wild animals) is critical to the livelihood of the rural poor in countries such as Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It provides a flexible source of income, a direct source of animal protein with good storage qualities, and a safety net in times of particular hardship.

But high demand for bushmeat, especially from endangered species, in the cities is having serious consequences on wildlife populations in and around protected areas. Though policies and legislation have been introduced to limit this, they are not always applied.

Local subsistence hunting has been overtaken by commercial hunting for urban centres. The bushmeat trade has taken on such dimensions that almost all species of large and medium-sized mammals and birds are threatened.

We’re working with partners to:

 create and manage protected areas: Protected areas remain by far the most effective tool for long-term biodiversity conservation.

 protect wildlife in logging concessions: By providing workers and their families with alternative proteins, and controlling access roads for bushmeat poachers, logging companies can be key partners in wildlife conservation.

 clamp down on wildlife crime: We put wildlife crime and illegal hunting on the highest political agendas in the region, and lobbying for stronger laws that will place illicit wildlife trade on the same level as illegal trade in drugs or arms.

 address weak governance and corruption: We expose government officials involved in the illegal wildlife trade and congratulate governments that are showing zero tolerance for corruption.

 build capacity and support: We help strengthen law enforcement, anti-poaching, and awareness-raising activities.

WWF has supported various law enforcement campaigns to both crack down on the trade in bushmeat, and to raise awareness of the issues surrounding it. For example, in 2009, we supported a 10 day anti-poaching campaign in Cameroon that resulted in the confiscation of more than 500 carcasses of smoked, fresh and live species ranging from mammals to reptiles with porcupines topping the list. In addition, a chimpanzee poacher was also arrested. We’ve also invested in training for wildlife law enforcement institutions and lawyers.

In order to be able to constantly review anti-poaching strategies and determine the effectiveness of our efforts, we need annual bushmeat market trends. In 2010 we supported vital research into bushmeat market surveys to gather the baseline information needed so we could monitor future trend. The research provided the foundation for a bushmeat control plan to be effectively implemented in parts of Cameroon.

WWF supports TRAFFIC’s Central Africa programme, based in Cameroon, which operates a bushmeat programme that endeavours to monitor the trade in the region. TRAFFIC is a key partner of WWF’s and they are the leading wildlife trade monitoring experts. In 2009, they convened a workshop in 2009 in DRC where government agencies and others drew up a national action plan to address the unsustainable bushmeat trade there.

TRAFFIC’s work is promoting the development and uptake of such strategies at the national, transboundary and regional levels. Strategies include tools to improve trade monitoring, encouraging greater law enforcement efforts, and considering alternative methods to meet people’s needs.

Support for the Nyaru Menteng orang utan sanctuary
Protection of dogs, Sierra Leone

Protection of dogs especially in Freetown.

Fight against mistreatment of bears

To assist in the fight to eradicate the inhuman treatment of ‘Dancing’ bears in India/Pakistan

Fight against bullfighting
Fight against factory farming

To support the World Farmwatch Campaign

Rescue Chimpanzees

Support for a Chimpanzee rescue centre in Valencia.