As part of its ongoing mission to ensure the future of wildlife and hunting, DSC Foundation (DSCF) recently granted funds to help support Zambeze Delta Anti-Poaching and their successful anti-poaching efforts in Mozambique. The funds provided go directly to purchasing fuel for the group’s helicopter, which has helped to dramatically reduce poaching in the area.
“While anti-hunting groups talk about saving animals, DSC, DSCF and hunters are actively doing so,” said DSCF President Jim Tolson. “Revenues generated from hunters and funds provided by groups like DSC and DSCF are critical to the success of the day-to-day efforts to combat the leading threat to African wildlife – poaching.”
Wildlife in Mozambique was decimated after 30 years of civil war. By 1994, animal counts were dismal due to rampant poaching. To mitigate the damage, Mark Haldane of Zambeze Delta Safaris helped assemble the Zambeze Delta Anti-Poaching group. Since then, the group has continued to grow in numbers and effectiveness.
“When we first started it wasn’t uncommon to drive for several hours without seeing a single animal,” said Haldane. “We have grown over the last two decades and experienced staggering population recoveries and a decrease in poaching activities.”
Since the first count after the civil war, sable populations have grown from 44 in 1994 to over 3,000 today. The area also has the only viable population of Selous’ zebra. The group started with five zebras in 1994 and now boast close to 1,000. Buffalo numbers have increased from 1,200 in the mid-90s to the current population of 22,000. The increase in populations can be applied to virtually all species in the region.
The group’s success is due to vigilant patrolling and the removal and destruction of snares and traps. The year-round, anti-poaching activities have led to hundreds of arrests. Zambeze Delta Anti-Poaching consists of 23 dedicated individuals, seven fast-response motorcycles, a Land Cruiser and their most effective tool – an R22 helicopter. When flown regularly, the group found a noticeable and distinct drop in poacher movement.
Zambeze Delta Anti-Poaching is solely funded by revenues derived from hunters and donated funds. The helicopter is deployed around five hours a week with a yearly, direct running cost of approximately $70,000. Funds from the DSC and DSCF grant go directly to help offset these costs and are part of the overall success of the group. The achievements gained by Zambeze Delta Anti-Poaching are an excellent example of how hunting and conservation’s mutual relationship benefit wildlife in Africa.
DSC Foundation is a non-profit corporation dedicated to serving the mission of Dallas Safari Club through grants to like-minded organizations and Foundation initiatives. DSC Foundation is seeking tax exempt status under section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Learn more about DSC Foundation at www.dscf.org.