DAVID SHEPHERD WILDLIFE FOUNDATION
In October 2016, we awarded £84,000 to the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation towards year one of a five year programme to catalyse development and opportunity into the Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA).
The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation was established over 30 years ago to protect endangered mammals and their habitats across Africa and Asia. David Shepherd is an internationally recognised artist who wished to give something back to the wildlife that bought him so much success. He was devastated to see the impact man could have on the environment through the use of toxic substances, poaching and land use, so he created a Foundation to provide vital funding to grass roots conservation projects. The Foundation’s ethos remains the same today; a small amount of funding to make a large amount of difference – through innovation and a close connection to the communities that share spaces with endangered wildlife.
- The Got Labwor Ranger Station and Regional Command Centre was built in the Southern Murchison Falls area, strategically positioned to protect core habitats for wildlife and provide multiple access points to known poacher routes and observation points. Got Labwor will now be a regional command centre, hosting a minimum of eight rangers. This sort of pioneering work has shown the importance of the habitat and wildlife in areas such as this. Protecting southern MF provides the opportunity for wildlife populations to increase dramatically, especially lions, Rothschild Giraffe and elephants.
- The new brick built Kololo Ranger Station and Regional Command Centre in Northern Murchison Falls is able to host eight law-enforcement / community conservation rangers, covering both the conservancy and northern reaches of Murchison Falls. By Christmas 2017 it is hoped to have a digital radio system installed across the region and Kololo will have a repeater station.
- A Vet & Analytics Lab in has been developed in the Murchison Falls National Park enabling a Vet Response Unit, trained and equipped to get to incidents within 24 hours. Hundreds of elephants, giraffe and lion have been saved. The scope of the Vet team also includes investigative work, such as research into zoonotic diseases such as anthrax or TB. They must also be able to prove the ‘meat’ confiscated from poachers is wild meat and not cow or goat, which helps to support prosecutions and drive the conviction rate to over 96%.