March 2020 Newsletter: ‘Bush Talk’
In late 2019, VFWT, UK-based NGO TRACE and the Netherlands Forensic Institute trained 27 wildlife investigators in Zimbabwe on Wildlife Crime Scene Investigation. Participants were trained over six days on everything from basic principals of wildlife crime scene investigation to evidence collection, documentation, chain of custody and forensics. The course was a mixture of theory in the classroom and field practicals.
A full-day mock-crime scene exercise occurred on the last day where each group of participants had to test their newly gained knowledge to process the scene, complete all the documentation, collect the evidence and then submit the evidence with chain of custody to the lab. All successful participants received certificates and were given cameras, compasses and evidence collection kits to use in their forensic efforts. Future courses will include fingerprint lifting and analysis to improve the capacity of the investigators in combating wildlife crime.
VFWT will be holding a Vulture Workshop in March convening all organizations and researchers working to conserve Zimbabwe’s diminishing vulture populations. The goal is to assess what conservation work is being done in different geographic areas, identify gaps and conservation needs, to plan future collaborative actions and identify implementing partners. All of the species of vultures that are present in Zimbabwe are endangered, with human-derived threats the biggest factor in their declining numbers. VFWT believe that a systematic, coordinated and regional strategy will be the only way we can save these essential and evolutionary remarkable birds.
Registration is now open for the Zambezi Cycle Challenge . This epic 3-day off-road mountain bike cycle event, July 10-12, 2020, showcases the beauty of Victoria Falls and her Batoka Gorge, the Zambezi & Victoria Falls National Parks, and surrounding Safari Areas. All proceeds benefit wildlife conservation of the local areas with part of the proceeds benefiting The Trust. You can ask for more information or register here and if you would like to be a sponsor of the event, please contact Tracey Butcher .
Fernando Invents Socks is a new book by Zimbabwean author Brad Pohl about a penguin named Fernando and his couch-surfing friend – a brown chicken Judith, who find themselves tangled up in ocean trash. They manage to free themselves and turn the solution into a lucrative eco-business that benefits local communities and cleans up the environment. Part of the proceeds benefit Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust. You can order this wonderful book here or request a signed copy from Brad Pohl .
We are hiring! Although we’re sad to say goodbye to a few retiring members of our family, we’re excited to be growing our team, and expertise. We are looking to hire a wildlife researcher, laboratory technician, administrative assistant, and someone to join our communications team. Contact us here If you love what we do, are qualified, and think you would be a great addition to our team.