Post Date: 28 Nov 2019
By Neville van Lelyveld
• Bi-monthly Anti-Poaching Collaboration Network meetings were held.
• Quarterly Wildlife Management meetings held with President and CEO.
• 10th May – we did a Protected Game species release in Dargle – this is a direct result of the relationship built through the Anti- Poaching Collaborative Network programme.
• 11th May – we attended the WESSA AGM in Himeville, this gave us an opportunity to meet up with old contacts and to network with some new ones.
• Numerous successful anti-poaching operations have taken place this year which resulted in approximately 8 times more conviction than last year.
• The Anti-Poaching Collaboration Network has gone through a tremendous growth which has resulting in 2 restructures during this year.
• The focus of the team was on legislation and updating and education thereof as this was identified as a weakness in the past. This program is well on its way.
• 15th April Brian Jones (SACAN) and I met with the Honoury Officers executive to create a better working relationship the HO’s.
• 14th Of April Brian Jones, Debbie Preston and I did a presentation evening at the Balgowan Conservancy addressing the various illegal hunting activities going on in this area.
• 17th Of April Darlene Bond (PMB HO group chairperson), Brian Jones and I met at the SACAN office to address the various cases of illegal hunting with dogs in and around the PMB area.
• 30th of July the SACAN team and I did presentations to the Creighton Farmer’s Union and Magma security in Creighton. This was a very successful and fruitful day. This was also done at the request of the Creighton Farmer’s Union due to the high level of illegal dog hunting taking place in the area.
• 30th July – EWT, SACAN, FreeMe and the Local Lions River DCO did a presentation evening at the Barn Owl in Curry’s Post. This was by far the most successful presentation evening to date for the team, Thanks to Rachel, some 70 odd farmers turned out for a supper and an hour meeting which went on for some 3 hours. As a direct result of this evening the team has gained a pristine air field and aircraft hangar facility which is critical for the team.
• 26th September I met with SACAN concerning a full cross function team training day to be held in Dargle in the near future. The aim of this training is to unite the team and to sort out any glitches that may arise during the actual operations. This will set the platform for the way forward in the future as how a typical illegal hunting operation will be conducted. In saying this we now need maximum commitment from all role players/stakeholders.
• On the 6th of October I met with the Lion’s River DCO after our APCN meeting. The aim of this meeting was to pick up on some of the projects that we as KZN Hunters had started with the previous DCO, Kim Gillings – these include DCAC work and youth development.
• On the 5th of October we did a follow up on the success of a DCAC activity in the Midlands which was done by the Midlands branch members. We also did a follow up with a Dargle area farmer who has been experiencing a large amount of illegal dog hunting on his farm and we managed to give him some feedback as to the work that had taken place in the background. He was very pleased with the efforts of the team and no longer felt at a lost end and helpless as a result.
• On the 9th of October I was privileged to showcase the APCN at the annual Fountain Hill Estate Symposium.
• The DCAC programme has gained momentum this last year with several requests from KZN Wildlife, HO’s and private land owners. I do believe that this is a direct result of the partnerships and bonds that have been established through the APCN. But it is critical that this work be done and seen as a conservation activity and not just another free hunt.
• Many thanks to our whole team inclusive of my dedicated wife Hayley for making this year the tremendous success that it has been. This level of success can only be achieved through “tunnel vision, passion and team work” to quote Brian Jones. I would like to single out Brian Jones and Wade Whitehead (FreeMe) in particular for being there for me and to help me steer this amazing network of passionate team players I have had lean on both of these gents at times for support and a opinion on many matters.