AFRICAT UK
CONSERVATION, EDUCATION
AND COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT


"Ultimately conservation is about people. If you don’t have sustainable development around wildlife 
parks – then the people will have no interest in them and the parks will not survive." 
NELSON MANDELA
 

AFRICAT UK

AfriCat UK is a registered charity whose vision statement is "Conservation, Environmental Education, Research and Community Enhancement". We predominantly support and raise awareness of the AfriCat Foundation (a registered Namibian not for profit organisation) and The Namibian Lion Trust formally AfriCat North now independent and seeking registration as a charity.

The AfriCat Foundation is committed to the long-term conservation of Namibia’s wildlife. Its' mission is to make a significant contribution to conservation through research and education. The AfriCat Foundation is based at Okonjima Lodge, a private, 200km² nature reserve and is ideally located off the B2 between Windhoek and Etosha National Park.

The Namibian Lion Trust for Lions, for Life and for our future is dedicated to Panthera Leo. It is committed to the long-term conservation of lions working with local communities to reduce human wildlife conflict. It has developed a range of practical strategies that includes education, research and livestock management techniques and support. It is based on the western borders of Etosha and is based near the Hobatere Lodge.


AfriCat UK News


WORLD PANGOLIN DAY 15th FEBRUARY

The AfriCat Pangolin Research Project is the first of its kind within Namibia to focus on the ecology of the ground pangolin. The team would like to buy more equipment - camera traps and tracking devices - to help them find out more about these wonderful animals and how to help and protect them. The Okonjima Nature reserve is an approved site for the release of rescued and confiscated pangolin, but what is a pangolin? 

 pangolin in the okonjima nature reserve with babyPangolins, also known as scaly anteaters and despite their dinosaur or reptilian-like appearance, are in fact mammals.  They are predominantly nocturnal elusive creatures spending their days in burrows or trees resting.  Once the temperature is ‘right’ for foraging, they begin to become active.

Pangolins eat ants and termites and help the ecosystem by controlling the numbers of these insects. While they do not have great vision, they do have an amazing sense of smell, with this they are able to sniff out ant and termite nests.  They use their long sticky tongue, which is as long as the body and extremely flexible, to eat their prey. They use their powerful front paws to dig.  Pangolins do not have teeth but rather a strong, gizzard-like stomach that has keratinous spines which aids in grinding up the ants and termites.  While feeding they also ingest small stones and sand which also help grind up their prey.

There are eight pangolin species occurring between Asia and Africa and are covered in scales which are made up of keratin.

  close up of a pangolin in the okonjima nature reserve
Pangolins are currently in big trouble.
They are being caught in their thousands and sold mainly for their scales which are thought to have medicinal properties in traditional eastern medicine and as a delicacy. In just one recent haul 12.7 tons of pangolin scales were seized in Singapore which represents around 36,000 animals. This is just the tip of the iceberg. While trafficking is the pangolin’s biggest threat they also die as a result of vehicle accidents and being electrocuted on electric fencing. The loss of habitat, drought and persecution by scared villagers also has an impact on numbers and their future survival. They don’t have many natural predators as their scales are very protective when they roll into a tight ball.

There are different things one can do to support the Pangolin for example you could:

  1. TWEET using the hashtag #WorldPangolinDay
  2. LIKE the World Pangolin Day Facebook page
  3. BLOG about pangolins on World Pangolin Day
  4. SHARE pangolin information on your social media networks
  5. CREATE pangolin art — paint, draw, sculpt, tattoo
  6. EDUCATE by giving a presentation about pangolins at school
  7. SUPPORT organizations which are working to protect pangolins like REST and those undertaking research like that at AfriCat
  8. HOST a World Pangolin Day party or event
  9. BAKE cookies or a cake in the shape of a pangolin
  10. REQUEST full enforcement of laws and penalties for smuggling pangolins (and other wildlife)
  11. INFORM traditional medicine prescribers that the use of pangolin scales is illegal


World Pangolin Day https://www.pangolins.org and we at AfriCat would love to see any pictures.


Welcome to 2020. Let us hope it will be a good one for the planet and all the things that live in it!


We want to thank you all for your wonderful support during 2019 and before, without it we could not have: 

  • managed to help build the new school and seen the joy on the faces of the community members, the children and the staff (donations still welcome!)
     onguta school Namibia
  • paid for the lion guards and their invaluable work keeping the lions safe and helping the farmers in their areas (donations welcome) 
     AfriCat Lion Guards
  • helped to build the new classroom at Okonjima for the Environmental Education programme which is so valued by Namibian and international students alike (donations welcome)  
     environmental classrooms okonjima
  • supported the work of the researchers through the purchase and in some cases the development and design of gps collars
     collars for lions namibia
  • looked after all our ambassador cats enabling them to impress guests and pass on the message that they deserve a wildlife
     cheetahs at okonjima namibia
  • supported the team through a difficult year with the drought giving encouragement that it was all worth it 
     
  • helped spread the conservation message enabling people to join the growing number of people who do care about the planet 
     
  • Promoted the plight of the world population of lions living wild, now fewer that black and white rhino, and helped Namibia to be one of only two countries where lion populations are growing (donations welcome) 
     lion cubs northern namibia
  • Blair Drummond Safari Park keepers for their support though ‘link to the wild’
     Blair Drummond fund raising for AfriCat

Watch this space for more exciting news coming very soon.


AfriCat North’s work with Communal Conservancies is an opportunity to transform livelihoods.

READ MORE ABOUT THE WORK OF AFRICAT NORTH: The role of the AfriCat Lion Guards keepers of the wild is central and key to AfriCat overall success.  The goal is to increase the number of lion guards and donations really help AfriCat and the community work together for the benefit of all.

More information can be found at AfriCat: Lion Guards

 

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