Here at Green Dogs Conservation, we are taking deposits on young anti-poaching dogs who are beginning their training to join the battle against poaching. We train our dogs to track in a way that allows them to cover great distances if required in the difficult conditions presented in the bush. Here there is often little ground vegetation, little moisture, and a huge number of distractions, all factors that make it more testing to track in the bush. This is why an anti-poaching dog from Green Dogs Conservation is so well suited to the job. By living, working and training in the hot, dry bushveld of northern Limpopo, our dogs are well adjusted to work in this environment.
We are currently starting a group of young dogs to be brought on as anti-poaching dogs. Their parents are both proven working dogs that have worked as far afield as the Karoo and Western Zambia. Their qualities are passed on to their offspring and the puppies selected are sure to be solid working dogs. The dogs can be trained to your request, whether you want them to track, patrol, alert or apprehend poaching suspects. A dog is only as good as the team it is on, and our sale agreement includes the training of a handler from your own staff, and follow up service to continue the smooth operation of the team. By speaking with you about your situation and requirements, we can be sure of matching you with the right dog for your needs, and ensuring that your anti-poaching efforts are improved dramatically by the new addition to your team.
Please contact Rox Brummer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Carline van Vliet at email@example.com for more details.
We are back from Zambia and what a trip it was! Liuwa Plains is an unbelievably beautiful National Park in Western Zambia and worked both inside the park boundary and in the Upper West Zambezi Game Management Area up to the border with Angola. We were on the project with Working Dogs for Conservation and the Zambian Carnivore Programme, with sponsorship coming from National Geographics Big Cat Initiative and WWF Zambia. Faust's food is kindly sponsored by Eukanuba through the Endangered Wildlife Trust's Livestock Guardian Dog Programme.
With only about 400 visitors per year Liuwa Plains is a very remote park that is difficult to access, and the camping is as off the beaten track as it comes.
The dogs did so well,even though the condtions were tough and the dung beetles were often beating us to the scats. The dogs' motivation and work ethic was excellent and they kept going and did a tremendous job. The wildlife in Liuwa is prolific, but the dogs kept their focus and worked past Oribi, herds of hundreds of Wildebeest and Zebras, and even Spotted Hyeanas on several occasions. I'll be writing about different aspects of the trip in the next few days. Watch this space!
It has been a little while since we wrote, but the last 2 weeks have been chaos. Rox is off to Zambia with Faust and we had to prepare a lot before she could go. Faust was in excellent condition and was doing fantastic on his trainings, so no doubt they will be having a lot of success and fun. This is what she wrote before she left last week:
"We have been so busy these last few weeks with puppies and most of all getting ready for our trip to Zambia! Rox and Faust are heading off to Liuwa Plains at the end of the month. We are going to Liuwa Plains in Western Zambia to survey for Cheetah, Wild Dog and Lion in partnership with Working Dogs for Conservation from the USA and the Zambian Carnivore Conservation Programme. Faust is fit and ready to go, and we are really looking forward to it! We will be heading up to Northern Botswana and crossing the Zambezi at Kazungula, then onward to Kalabo in Western Zambia."
Since the cellphone reception is very poor up there, I haven't received any more news. Watch this space, because I'll let you know if there is some!
YES, puppies! Weeks are flying by and the pups are AWESOME! Next week Thandi's puppies (the Anatolians) are big enough to go to their new homes to protect livestock from predators. They will go to different farmers in this area. Gala's puppies (the Malinois) are super playful and show a good energy to become really cool working dogs (we still NEED your help!)
We also got two really nice people, Joel and Dianne, who came to interview us! Check Dianne's blog on: http://blog.southafrica.net/blog/entry/canine-conservationists Joel's article will appear in Mzanzi (a Dutch travel magazine) and was published in the Telegraaf (a Dutch national newspaper) last Monday - Thank you both sooo much!
I had to go back to Holland for a quick visit and managed to get a secondhand bite suite sponsored from PHV Elvado (http://www.phv-elvado.nl/). A great organisation that trains dogs for the police and army. We are going to use the suite for the training of the Malinois pups. Luckily we already found a volunteer who's going to wear it (Thanks Dave ;)) - Elvado, thanks a lot!
We have been so busy these last few weeks with puppies and most of all getting ready for our trip to Zambia! Rox and Faust are heading off to Liuwa Plains at the end of the month. We are going to Liuwa Plains in Western Zambia to survey for Cheetah, Wild Dog and Lion in partnership with Working Dogs for Conservation from the USA and the Zambian Carnivore Conservation Programme. Faust is fit and ready to go, and we are really looking forward to it!
We will be heading up to Northern Botswana and crossing the Zambezi at Kazungula, then onward to Kalabo in Western Zambia. Watch this space for photos and news!
Time flies and the puppies are growing like weeds. Thandi's puppies are now 4,5 weeks and spent their first day in the chicken pen between chickens, goose, ducks and a turkey. They started off being a little bit shy, but soon they were exploring their new place. Soon, they will be introduced to Big Lucy (the goat) and Emmy (the sheep). The time spend with as many different animals as possible is essential for the puppies to develop into well-working livestock guardian dogs.
Gala's pups are the sweetest little bodies and 3,5 weeks now. Every day we get them out of their kennel and they can play on the grass, sand, everywhere. We start to get to know their different little characters and they become more playfull every day. We want to introduce them to as many scary things and noices as possible, which is very important for their development as we don't want them to be scared of things. Human handling is essential and I can't say we mind that. They are beautiful! They've also been given names after birds of prey. The 2 bitches: Kite and Kestrel and the 3 dogs: Tyto, Otus and Falco
Thandi's puppies (4,5 weeks):
All Thandi's puppies are already assigned to farmers in the Limpopo province and will go to their new home in 3 to 4 weeks!
Gala's puppies (3,5 weeks):
AND we are still looking for funding to raise these pups as absolute amazing anti-poaching dogs. So if you're interested or if you know someone that might be, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com or call 078-2519018 / 072-6409388 for more information!
We recieved some updated photos of Buzz this morning, our Border Collie who was trained at Green Dogs to chase birds off the runways at King Shaka International Airport in Durban. He has only been there a few short months but is already an active and helpful member of the team.
Birds pose a severe risk to aeroplanes as they can cause very expensive damage and potentially put passengers at risk, and so they must be cleared off the runways. The short grass areas alongside runways provide an ideal habitat for many species of birds, and the active presence of a dog chasing them off makes it a less appealing place to be. The dog acts as a predator, even though they are not actually hurting the birds, and encourages them to move on and live in peace somewhere else.
Apart from herding sheep, we simply cant think of a better job for a Border Collie. They work closely with their handler and get to run for much of their day. Collie Heaven!
Thanks to Marius Van Rooyen from ACSA for the photos and for keeping us up to date with Buzz and his progress. We miss him!
All the puppies here at the moment are growing like weeds. They all have round tummies and extremely healthy appetites. It is a real privelige to watch them grow up, and it goes so fast.
Gala's litter are just opening their eyes and are a very noisy bunch. They are crawling around on their tummies and are keeping Gala very busy.
Two weeks ago, I went to Botswana (Mashatu) with Julien Naar, who came to film Green Dogs Conservation for the French television. Part of this was to film about the current snaring and poaching problem in this area. We met up with the anti-poaching team and soon we were talking about the extent of this terrible and devastating threat to wildlife populations in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. Rex Masupe, who is the head of the anti-poaching team, explained to us the current situation, the snare hotspots and the findings over the last months.
In one day, Rex and his team found 73 snares, which caught a huge number of dead animals that unfortunately all became victims. Luckily in this case, they were able to catch the guy who was responsible for herific crime and he was taken straight to jail. However, it doesn't always work like this. Sometimes it takes months to find a new snaring hotspot where innocent animals are getting snared......These 73 snares were found on just 1 day and were placed by just 1 guy. Just imagine how many more might be out there that we don't know of....
Snaring hotspots are mainly found near local settlements, where the supply of food is low and the people are poor. These people put out snares to supply them with their own food. This is not always the case, as there is also a form of organised poaching where the meat is being sold to other parties. Snares are made out of steal wire and most of the time poachers use fencing wire. With this wire they make a loop. The end will be attached to a tree and the loop is then placed in a vertical position. Snares will be placed around waterpoints to block off any free access to the water. The only way the animals can then reach the water is by walking straight into the snares. The snares are places at a certain height from the ground, depending on the animals that the poachers are trying to target. The animal sticks his head through the loop and starts pulling it, which makes it go tighter and tighter around the neck and eventually the animal dies a horrible death.
A big problem with snaring is, that it is very unselective. All animals can become a victim; herbivores, carnivores and many more including the animals that are Vulnerable or even Endangered. Snaring poses a hugh threat to our amazing wildlife populations and we have to find ways to safe animals from being caught and suffer to death!
The detection of snares is now being done by people. This does not only involve a lot of time and manpower, but it is also a very dangerous job as most poachers are armed with knives or big guns and they rather shoot than being caught. We are now working on an anti-poaching programme in which we train dogs to detect snares and to track poachers. Dogs have a very high detection rate and if we can contribute to catching these poachers, then hopefully we can help to mitigate this problem.
Our 5 new anti-poaching puppies form the biggest part of this war against snaring and poaching. They will be trained and work alongside anti-poaching teams in this area to contribute to the conservation of Africa's amazing wildlife.
YOU CAN HELP!
Training our new puppies to become excellent anti-poaching dogs involves 18 months of training and we will have to make use of the right type of equipment to make them the absolute best! They will be dropped out of helicopters, taken to as many different places as possible and they will probably chew through quiet a lot of tuggers. You can support our anti-poaching programme by sponsoring one of the puppies. There are 2 bitches and 3 dogs, and if you sponsor one of them you get to give it a name and of course we will keep you posted on the pup's progress!
If you're interested in supporting this very important programme, please contact us on carline@greendogsconservation or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You're help and support will be very much appreciated in this fight to protect our natural heritage!
Spring is definitely in the air and the puppies are not the only new arrivals. The flock of Boer Goats are also having babies at the moment and while most of them are doing very well, there are inevitably one or two weaker ones in the group. Some first time mothers do not understand their role, and with the nights being very cold, the dogs are stepping in to help.
A few nights ago I was so pleased to watch Phudi (one of the Endangered Wildlife Trust Livestock Guardian Dogs working here) insist on coming into the lambing pen to help out with newborn triplets. The ewe was tired and the babies were weak but they cleaned them together and Phudi gently nudged the lambs to their feet and towards their mothers udder. She refused to leave the pen and slept with them over night. Last night she cleaned up two lambs whose mother had rejected them and got them dry before the temperature dropped. Without her care they would likely had died of cold. These dogs continue to amaze us and we simpy cannot imagine farming with livestock without them.
Thandi isn't the only new mum at Green Dogs. On Sunday, Gala delivered 5 healthy Malinois puppies. There are 2 bitches and 3 dogs and all are doing exceptionally well. Gala is a fantastic mother and is very protective of her babies.
These puppies are intended to become anti-poaching dogs to help combat the war against wildlife crime in South Africa and beyond.
While now they are so small and extremely cute, they will not stay that way for long. We are very excited to see how they develop and are confident they will make us very proud. They are set to be just as talented as their parents, and make a real difference to conservation.