Transfrontier Africa established a contractual agreement and partnership with SANParks in 2013 via the DEA’s Extended Public Works: Environmental Monitor Program. Through Kruger to Canyons Biosphere region Transfrontier Africa began the implementation of their anti-poaching strategy who later became, The Black Mambas. The Enviromental Monitor Program is a social upliftment program that aims to address unemployment and assist with skills development in South Africa.
All Black Mamba recruits are from local, previously disadvantaged communities and go through a rigorous 6 week training programme prior to deployment with an exisiting unit to further their training through work experience.
We are constantly plagued by rhino and bush-meat poachers. Apart from antelopes, other endangered species such as wild dogs and cheetah are also often the victims of snaring. Our dedicated teams are constantly deployed and managed. Searching for and destroying poacher’s camps, wire-snares and bushmeat kitchens every day. Aerial support, specialist dogs, early detection and rapid response is all that stands between the poachers and our wildlife and technology is our biggest ally.
The Black Mambas have identified and destroyed over 10 poachers’ camps and three bush meat kitchens within the “buffer-zone” and reduced snaring and poisoning activities by 76% within our area of operation since their deployment in 2013. Furthermore, they have been responsible for the early detection of poaching insurgents during their daily patrols which have allowed our armed units to thwart attempts to poach rhino in our area. Although despite our best efforts and those of our partners, recent heavy poaching pressure from both the Kruger National Park and the surrounding areas has led to the loss of one black rhino, 14 white rhino and a further two white rhino wounded in since 2012.
The Lesser bushbaby (Galago moholi) symbolises and defines the external environmental education awareness program, where learners are regarded as babies learning about the bush or environment. The Bushbabies Program is interlinked into the curriculum of local schools which should build on the children’s interests and should explore the subject matter in a multi-disciplinary manner; therefore we should enhance a child’s skills and build on their present ideas about conservation through a program that provides for a multitude of opportunities for the child’s growth and development. The objectives of this program are to bring knowledge to life, raise awareness of their surrounding environment, give a better understanding of conservation, lead to sustainable use of resources and install environmental problem-solving skills and ultimately installing an ethical ethos in our future generations.
Transfrontier Africa, in conjunction with Balule Nature Reserve, has an active rhino research program which is designed to investigate the effectiveness of the “Rhino range expansion program” and all other aspects of rhino management based on scientific investigation.
Transfrontier Africa's responsibilities have extended to cover the entire 50'000 hectares of Balule and includes the daily monitoring of the rhino to design a real-time locality map of rhinos in the hot-spots and high-risk areas in order to aid in deploying the anti-poaching units effectively.
The location of rhinos is deduced from the rhino’s movements which the Black Mambas monitor daily through the use of VHF & GPS transmitters. All of this information is captured then collaborated on GIS and mapped for immediate dispersal to management and anti-poaching units prior to shift changes. This ensures that all anti-poaching units are deployed in the correct areas to protect the rhino.