Conservation & Education: Getting the Word Out
Worldwide recognition is coming through our large volume and safe capture techniques, fitting the first vultures in Africa with satellite transmitters and developing a translocation of Cape vultures from South Africa to Namibia in order to provide a proper breeding base. This strong research base now allows us to realistically predict where land based conservation efforts will be needed and the direct results in behaviour of birds when their numbers drop so dramatically.
In addition, our work on Cape Pangolin has just started, but already we have been fortunate to observe and record behavior that no one else has ever seen. Cape Pangolin research is highly rewarding and we are very excited about the future.
Communication at a local level is through a strong network of meetings with conservancies and farming unions. By specifically targeting land manager education, some very good information has been published. This information is used in conjunction with posters and information sheets that are already in production about the vital role of raptors and scavengers in the environment. With the use of posters and brochures it is believed this will dispel preconceived negative notions of raptors and redefine their image in a positive light. These posters will also serve to educate school children, the general public and tourists as to the important role raptors play in the environment and Namibia’s role in that protection.
Worldwide Media Support
The local, regional and international media has given REST a lot of support in all areas of its work. We have developed good partnerships within the print, radio and film industry and this relationship is proving essential is disseminating our information across the world. International film organizations such as BBC, Animal Planet, and the 50/50 News Program have filmed at REST within the past years. We are very excited to have an updated website with links to You tube, Twitter, Face book and Pay Pal.
The continuing partnership with organizations like Volpro in South Africa and the fact that REST has now partnered with researchers and conservation groups all over the world, can only assist in the global knowledge base and developing research on vultures, pangolin, bats and other endangered species.
REST has had strong links to Kerri Wolter of VOLPRO in South Africa for years and now we are together joining with the Johannesburg Zoo in a new reintroduction programme. It is very exciting as we will take birds that previously were born and stayed in a zoo environment and put them back in the wild. REST first successfully did this in 2006 and the birds have remained and attempted breeding in the years following. The group is also working strongly with the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Toursm and all stakeholders to develop a national working plan which will implement all future conservation efforts.