Anti-poaching efforts are going well for MACW

Nonique Dernauw is a game ranging and wildlife management student who was shocked at the number of wire snares found on a farm near Nelspruit.

NELSPRUIT – A weekend for these guys consists of leopard crawling through thick brush, armed with pliers and gloves. Since it started its voluntary and free community service, the Mpumalanga Animal Crime Watch (MACW) has achieved noteworthy success in its anti-poaching efforts.

A round-up of statistics for 2013 reflects the physical hard work that has gone into its activities.

• Number of snares removed: 568

• Length of gill nets removed: 130 metres

• Live animals rescued from snares: 2

• Number of dead animals found in snares: 47

Founder member, Mr JK Klopper is excited about the group’s successes so far. “We are in phase two of MACW’s planning and will hopefully soon be operating on a day-to-day basis. We would like to thank each and everyone for the overwhelming support,” he expressed his optimism about the future of the group.

Nature lovers and armchair environmentalists can join the MACW Bush Warriors on ad hoc snare-removal excursions. Details about these are posted on the organisation’s website and Facebook pages.

Twenty-five first year students in game ranging and wildlife management at Unigrad College recently joined MACW for field training on wire-snare removal. Tackling a farm on the R40 Barberton Road, the group located and removed no fewer that 70 snares in a two-hectare area. “I don’t think anyone realised the magnitude of the problem!” exclaimed lecturer Mr Ian Macdonald. He said there were noticeably fewer small game species around.

Leading a group on Saturday in the Friedenheim area, Klopper found the remains of a wire trap with what was most probably red duiker hair.

This species is seriously endangered and only exists in the Lowveld region and parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Asked about the practical experience they gained, Monique Dernauw said it was good to realise that it was not only the large animals like rhino and lion that suffered at the hands of poachers. They were, admitted Lise Scheepers, all shocked at finding the remains of slaughtered porcupine. “Parts of these animals are used for meat, but some are also used in traditional medicine,” explained Macdonald.

And that is exactly why they do what they do, said Klopper, “We speak for the animals.”

Enquiries: Find MACW on www.macw.co.za

Read more on MACW’s rescue of an ensnared dog: http://lowvelder.co.za/50695/local-heroes-to-the-rescue-again/.

Read about Rover’s rescue: http://lowvelder.co.za/44104/dog-found-hanging-from-back-leg/.

  AUTHOR
Susanna Oosthuizen
Journalist

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