A Look at One Anti-Poaching Strategy that is Working

Rhino, elephants and other endangered species threatened by wildlife crime and trafficking have a quiet hero, Peter Milton.


“It’s a cry you’ll never forget!”

Although Peter Milton, wildlife ranger and protection strategist, faces tragic rhino poaching scenes all to regularly, he tells us that coming upon an orphaned calf bellowing for its dead mother is heart breaking. Peter says it’s a sound you don’t forget and keeps you going during those dark days you wonder if you’re making a difference.

Peter Milton and his team with SPOTS (Strategic Protection of Endangered Species) truly do make a difference. When we at Nikela first joined the crusade to help those who protect the rhino we searched for months to find the right person, the right project, to offer our support. Some anti-poaching units, though effective in their small realm do not have a far reach or the resources to implement the ever increasing need of high tech equipment…. Peter does.

Some opportunists have entered the rhino war as well. Those who are more about collecting donations to benefit them than the rhino… Peter isn’t.

As we invite wildlife lovers from anywhere in the world who care to give we needed to throw our support behind a sustainable strategy for protecting the rhino… Peter has one.

With so many NGOs we wanted someone who seeks out ways to collaborate with others, to create networks and systems that work… Peter does.

We wanted to assist a project that is well established, has an existing source of funding with dedicated folks in it for the long haul… Peter is.

At Nikela 100% of all donations earmarked for saving the rhino go to Peter and his team’s efforts. So what and how do they operate? How are they making a difference for South Africa’s rhino?

As a strategist, Peter enters every situation with a specific objective: Evaluate, assess then outline a holistic protection strategy. The SPOTS team uses trained and well equipped ground patrol rangers, but more importantly they employ UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles). Actually with the help of a former U.S. military fella, they designed their own UAV (called the Air Ranger) specifically to operate effectively in the African bushveld to deter and apprehend wildlife poachers.

With four Air Rangers now patrolling the skies are the rhino safer? If so why do the poaching numbers keep increasing?

For one, many more Air Rangers are needed, the immediate goal is to fund ten and bring on more trained operators. Not long ago Peter reports that after several months working in a particular area no rhino were lost (location not disclosed at this time to protect the rhino). Within three weeks of their departure the poachers moved back in and were sadly once again victorious.

Peter is actively engaged with government officials, NGOs and businesses to gain their support in the race to curb the highly sophisticated syndicate sponsored poaching of South Africa’s rhino. Because one advantage the wildlife traffickers (bad guys) have over the good guys is their organized networks.

We at Nikela, a volunteer run U.S. based charity, do basically two things:

1) raise awareness primarily via the magic of the internet,

2) provide a user friendly vehicle for those who care to either donate money or time to do some good for Africa’s wildlife.

If one, maybe 10 or hopefully 50 plus rhino calves are spared the trauma of crying over their dead mother… we’ve done our job.

To learn more please visit ‘Save the Last Rhino’



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