Our anti-poaching patrols are normally run in partnership with Local Government Enforcement Units or NGOs. This gives our team legitimacy of operation, and ensures the poachers we catch can be arrested and prosecuted. At the moment for example, we’re based in Costa Rica, and we support Ranger teams with aerial surveillance from our military UAV, K9 Unit to track suspected offenders in the jungle, and training on various elements of patrols, including FLIR, NVG and Night Operations. We’ve worked with teams in Africa, Asia, Central America and South America. Anti-poaching is increasingly complicated. In Africa for example, there is increasing violence, as poachers become more and more desperate. Many contacts today result in gunfights and death. In Asia there is less conflict, and the focus is more on disrupting poachers and the wildlife trade, rather than actually arresting poachers themselves. South America is mixed – A high level of violence in places like Brazil, and yet relatively low violence in Peru and Ecuador. Our team don’t claim to have all the answers, but we have been instrumental in a large number of successful arrests and prosecutions. We have trained many local units in areas we have strength, and we have been up-skilled ourselves in working with some of the world’s most professional APUs. Here is a playlist with more Anti-Poaching videos.
We have found over the years that to find poachers, you often just have to put in the miles and be alert. We came across this poacher in the Amazon who had just shot a Gaza bird. The Amazon was a particularly depressing campaign, where we found so much of the wildlife already gone.
Anti-poaching can be extremely hard work. The video above was taken from one of our campaigns in Sumatra protecting critically endangered rhino. Long hard days slogging through the jungle, mosquitoes, leeches, swamps… Anti-poaching may appear glamorous – The reality is it is anything but.
The poaching issue is not always black and white. Many are simply poor people trying to feed their family, and are in a difficult situation, often through no fault of their own. This video of a man who’s family used to live in a junge, now entirely replaced by palm plantation.