Justice for Wildlife
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  WILDLIFE TRACKS                                                                 Issue No. 01 

Happy New Year!
Since the last newsletter there have been major developments bringing both good and bad news for Africa’s wildlife. Years of campaigning by organizations across the globe came to fruition when the Chinese government announced it will ban all trade in ivory, raising hopes of an end to the poaching crisis that has ravaged elephant populations across the continent.

On the other hand, the decision by the Kenyan government to drive a railway through Nairobi National Park, and recent invasions of wildlife conservancies by armed herdsmen, are evidence of emerging threats to wildlife that are potentially even more dangerous than poaching.

So, as we begin 2017, our minds are on the new challenges. All of WildlifeDirect’s work aims to secure our wildlife heritage by creating awareness and love for wildlife, and to inspire decision makers and citizens to take action on its behalf. In view of the new threats to wildlife in 2017, WildlifeDirect will amplify all the programs whose progress we report on in this newsletter.

Thank you so much to the donors who have shown their confidence in WildlifeDirect by agreeing to fund major projects, and to our many friends across the world who have shown their support through individual donations. Friends, Africa’s magnificent wildlife needs our support more than ever before. We invite you to help us by contributing generously to our efforts by making a donation here.

As always, we love telling you about our work, and we would love to hear from you. So please share this newsletter with your friends and send us your feedback!

China's ivory trade ban: how to make it work

Two years ago, Dr. Paula Kahumbu and Dr. Richard Leakey visited Hong Kong, the gateway of ivory into China, to lobby for a ban on ivory trade. That ban has now been implemented. 

CEO Paula Kahumbu: China’s decision to ban all trade in ivory by the end of the year has been widely hailed as a game changer by environmentalists in China itself and across the world. I am cautiously optimistic although I wonder why it took China so long. The delay has cost Africa the deaths of 150,000 elephants killed by poachers for ivory destined for China since 2012. We remain vigilant and proactive in ensuring that China delivers on her promises.

Read my article published in the Guardian about how to make the ivory ban work here

Watching brief on wildlife crime related cases

Officials inspect ivory seized at Mombasa port in December 2016

Legal Affairs Manager Jim Karani: In December 2016, Kenya Revenue Authority seized 1.97 tonnes of ivory at Mombasa port. The seized tusks revealed red ink marks, which might indicate that they were police evidence exhibits. Senior Kenya Revenue Authority officials are now being investigated.

Despite Kenya’s success in bringing the poaching of elephants and rhinos under control, ivory and other illegal wildlife products continue to flow through Kenya unimpeded. Through our Eyes in the Courtroom project, supported by Save The Elephants, through the Wildlife Conservation Network Elephant Crisis Fund and the Whitley Foundation, we are working to understand why this is the case and what new solutions can be put in place.

Our legal team also continues to visit courts around Kenya to track progress of all wildlife crime related cases, spending long hours on the road to access remote areas in order to gain a comprehensive picture of what is going on in courts across the country.

To support the courageous work of our legal staff, please
donate here
Empowering women living with wildlife

Community Project Officer Robert Millia: WildlifeDirect’s Community Program empowers women who live with elephants through enterprise development in the Amboseli area. The Oltome Nadupo Women’s Company is now running three businesses: beadwork, operating a restaurant and buying and selling cattle. This year we have started an exciting new phase of the project, funded by the Wild Lives Foundation, which will market the beautiful beadwork products made by the women to international fashion outlets.

If you would like to know more about the project visit the Oltome Nadupo website at To support the work of the program please donate here.

NTV Wild Television Program

Smriti Vidyarthi with Samuel Kasiki, Head of Research at KWS during the collaring of lioness Nyala
The TV series NTV Wild, a partnership between WildlifeDirect, Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenyan broadcaster NTV, is now entering its fifth season. The program has been made possible in part by grant from the Department of the Interior (DOI/USAID) and support from National Geographic Society and the many tourism partners who sponsor NTV Wild Talk quiz segment.

NTV Wild airs international award winning documentaries about African wildlife at 8 pm on Saturdays on NTV Kenya. Its sister program, NTV Wild Talk, is a Kenyan-made weekly program that provides informed debate on topical environmental issues.

The programs are watched by 5 million Kenyans every week. A recent nationwide survey by IPSOS found that 20% of all Kenyans and 44% of Nairobi residents have seen NTV Wild Talk. One tangible impact is that more Kenyans are visiting our National Parks: according to the survey, 23% of Kenyans visited parks in 2016 compared with just 10% in 2015.
Thanks to NTV Wild, Kenyans are more interested in wildlife—and better informed—than ever before. We believe that this has translated into greater citizen action against threats to wildlife.
You can view recent episodes of NTV WildTalk here

How Can You Help?

  • Donate to support our Outreach and Education, Legal or Community programs
  • Join WildlifeDirect as an intern or volunteer
  • Become an NTV Wild Ambassador
  • Join the #NameThemSaveThem campaign
  • Share this newsletter and invite your friends to sign up for it
Thank you for your continued support and belief in us. Once again, wishing you a happy holiday and prosperous 2017.  To support WildlifeDirect’s work please donate here. Every penny received goes into ensuring justice for wildlife.


Dr. Paula Kahumbu
CEO, WildlifeDirect

Copyright © 2016 WildlifeDirect All rights reserved.
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