is a project operated in The Olifants West Private Nature Reserve, a Big 5 area in the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa.
The Project is run by head Researcher and Ecological Manager of the region, Craig Spencer; along with a small team of Researchers and Game Rangers andis operated out of a rustic bush camp deep in the bush; one of only a handful of such camps left in the world.
Tasked with conducting research to advise management decision on a number of topical issues- ranging from predator/prey dynamics to elephant dynamics and identification work;
the project is also solely responsible for all aspects of Reserve Management; from conducting animal census counts to Anti-poaching Operations.
In South Africa, both in the private and government sector; the practise of hunting elephants to subsidise reserve expenditure, under the ruse that there are too many, is an unfortunate reality. Rather than accept this as the norm, Craig and his team have been working on a Best Practise Model for reserves that display that Reserve Managers need not conduct annual elephant hunts as a means to subsidise their reserves.
The project creates a truly symbiotic relationship where, on the one end of the spectrum, the project receives income, manpower and expertise from budding ecologists and volunteers from around the world, whereas on the other end volunteers and interns are exposed to real Conservation in the Africa setting; whilst living in a deeply rewarding environment.
These are the some of the ideals of the Best Practise Model; where local researchers, interns and volunteers from across the world band together as part of the Global Community for the singular cause of Conservation.
Elephant Snare removal july 2014