NIKELA Focus for 2013: Protect Now and Educate to Stop Poaching

Stop extinction! Protect endangered rhino and other African wildlife species from illegal trade and trafficking in South Africa.

Watching Shannon fly her ambassador raptors in the clear South African sky was magical. Seeing her flinch as kids told stories of trapping and killing birds was painful. Hearing her dispel myths, open students’ eyes and touch their very souls was powerful. This experience at Shannon’s raptor center was the tipping point that triggered the founding of NIKELA, now close to three years ago.

Since the beginning NIKELA’s mission has been to do our small part by supporting passionate wildlife experts like Shannon to Protect Now and Educate for the Future so as to help preserve Africa’s unique wildlife.

Last year a record number of rhino and elephants were killed at the hand of organized wildlife crime syndicates in Africa… a total of 668 black rhino and white rhino, not including the many traumatized calves that died or are now being cared for in rescue centers.

In 2012 you made donations to help Shannon, Karin and Peter with their important work with birds of prey, primates (vervet monkeys and baboons) and protecting rhino. In 2013 NIKELA will focus even more specifically as Peter said, “If we can’t stop the rhino poaching what chance does the rest of the wildlife have!”

Nikela’s Three Focus Areas for 2013

ONE: Support legitimate, effective on the ground anti-poaching efforts.

Drones or unmanned aircrafts are proving to be a most useful deterrent and can significantly increase the capacity of one ranger to protect rhino. Peter, by partnering with others, designed and created a unique drone they’ve called Air Ranger. This year our goal is to entirely fund or at least contribute majorly to an Air Ranger to be used in the Kruger National Park area where much of the rhino poaching occurs (425 or 64%.)

TWO: Run targeted online awareness campaigns to stop the demand

During 2012 our World Rhino Month campaign in September alone reached over 100,000 on Facebook. Besides Facebook we will run campaigns via the social networks and other media to reach people in Asia and the USA (according to Secretary Clinton the US ranks second in consuming wildlife products.)

THREE: Host activities to reduce the purchasing of products made from wildlife body parts.

One of our volunteers, Nicole held a successful event called Graze for Rhinos to raise money to translate the ebook POACHED! into Cantonese.  We will build on this party model for both adults and children. Wendy (another NIKELA Volunteer) is already working on a Party Kit for Kids introducing them to the rhino. “Stories from Africa” a presentation that Russ and I have done will be fine-tuned for larger groups.

To make these happen we will continue to work with existing partners and volunteers as well as involve new friends with innovative ideas, expertise and time.   

With us all pulling together we are convinced we can begin to make The Rhino’s Song a reality.

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