21 July 2022
Born Free is delighted to present its 2021-22 Conservation Report which draws together the incredible field conservation we have led and supported in the past year. Wildlife populations across the globe face numerous threats as the human population expands including habitat destruction, exploitative hunting, and human-wildlife conflicts, threatening the existence of these populations. Since 1984, Born Free has been committed to protecting threatened species in their natural habitats. We promote a compassionate conservation approach, working with local communities and implementing effective conflict mitigation measures to allow humans and wildlife to coexist.
Born Free leads and supports field conservation projects in East, Central and West Africa, Southeast Asia and South America, which aim to protect the natural habitat of wild animals including: lions, elephants, giraffe, chimpanzees, gorillas, tigers, Ethiopian wolves, jaguars, and orangutans.
Our exciting and significant report summarises the inspiring work and the resulting impact that our conservation field teams have achieved over the past year. October 2021 saw the launch of our latest conservation project, Saving Meru’s Giants (page 10), focusing on creating an environment of coexistence between people and large herbivores (namely elephants and giraffes) in the Meru Conservation Area – the Kenyan heartland of Born Free. Saving Meru’s Giants is an ambitious conservation programme that monitors the populations of these species, implements nature-based and community-led solutions to mitigate conflicts, and prevents illegal activity in the protected areas.
“Coexistence between people and wildlife is not simple. But I draw my inspiration here – we must find a balance between conserving these elephant and giraffe populations while at the same time allowing people to thrive.” – Newton Simiyu, Saving Meru’s Giants Manager
There were many success stories from our field conservation projects this year. Lion conservation in Amboseli, also in Kenya, was boosted by the construction of 25 predator-proof bomas (PPBs) – structures protecting livestock from predation, reducing human-lion conflict – since the beginning of 2021, bringing the total to 361 PPBs constructed since 2010 (page 7). At 500m in circumference, the construction of a ‘mega boma’ – possibly the world’s largest – now houses an astonishing 297 people and 563 domestic animals. Incredibly, 2021 also saw the birth of 92 elephant calves in Amboseli (page 12), contributing to a thriving population of 662 mature females and 300 mature males.
In India, tiger conservation was promoted through the Mobile Health Unit and the 70 Tiger Ambassadors, who raised awareness and educated communities to mitigate conflicts with tigers (page 28). The Cattle Fodder Feeding Programme (page 31), an exciting new project for Born Free, helped households reduce the risk cattle depredation by tigers and promote greater coexistence. Across the landscape, tiger populations are on the up!
This next year is already bringing even more exciting developments, namely the launch of another ambitious conservation programme, Guardians of Dja, in Cameroon, specifically the Dja Biosphere and surrounding community areas. Our four key objectives for our new programme comprise helping farmers engage in sustainable trades, promoting conservation awareness in schools, supporting anti-poaching activities and re-foresting abandoned crop fields and plantations helping to create critical habitat for chimpanzees, western lowland gorillas and forest elephants.
Find out more about our great field conservation work and the other projects we supported over the last year by reading our 2021-22 Annual Conservation Report. You can also sign up to receive the latest Born Free news and find out how you can help.
None of this work could be done without your continued support. Please donate today to support our teams in the field and help our ongoing ambition to protect wildlife globally!
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