Ep 28: Damien Mander – IAPF, Akashinga, and LEAD Ranger: Finding purpose after the military.

In this episode, I’m talking with Damien Mander. Damien is the Founder and CEO of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), which delivers ecological stability and long-term protection of large-scale wilderness landscapes by supporting and empowering local communities. Damien is the winner of the 2019 Winsome Constance Kindness Gold Medal. He was featured in the James Cameron documentaries “The Game Changers” and National Geographic’s “Akashinga – The Brave One’s’” about his work with the women of Akashinga. His TEDx talk at the Sydney Oprah House on speciesism has been translated into 27 languages. He is a resident on the National Geographic Live Speakers Bureau, has lectured at the UN, Harvard University, featured in June 2019’s National Geographic Magazine, three times on 60 Minutes and recognized by the Dutch Government as a Gender Champion.

In this conversation, we talk about Damien’s path from soldier to ranger trainer—his misconceptions when starting out in conservation, and the learning process that followed. We talk about the beginnings of IAPF and what it’s grown into today. We dive into Akashinga and LEAD Ranger, discuss public speaking and the power of storytelling, and go deep on the meaning and power of purpose and commitment. So much to take away from this one. So without further ado, here is Damien Mander.

Subscribe, Like, and Review The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify, SoundCloud, and Amazon today!

LEARN MORE
Website: iapf.org
Instagram: @int.anti.poaching.foundation
Facebook: @iapf.org
Twitter: @IAPF
LinkedIn: @International Anti-Poaching Foundation

Ep 27: Olivia Swaak-Goldman – Wildlife Justice Commission’s Rhino Horn Threat Assessment.

In this episode, I’m talking with Olivia Swaak-Goldman. Olivia is currently the Executive Director of the Wildlife Justice Commission, whose mission is to disrupt and help dismantle the transnational criminal networks trading in wildlife, timber, and fish, by collecting evidence and turning it into accountability. Olivia has 26 years of experience in international justice and diplomacy, has published extensively on issues of international criminal law and international humanitarian law, and served as a lecturer at both Harvard and Leiden Universities.

This conversation is slightly different from the norm. We do dig into the path that brought Olivia to the WJC, and we take a quick overview of the work being done there, but the majority of this talk concerns WJC’s recent release of their Global Threat Assessment on Rhino horn trafficking as a form of transnational organized crime, which covers intelligence and data analysis from 2012–2021. We really go deep on everything from the demand for and value of rhino horn, the supply chain from poacher to retail seller, the impact of looking at the rhino horn trade as a transnational organized crime problem versus as a conservation problem, the impact COVID has had on the trade, why law enforcement and government agencies need to collaborate across borders, and so much more. We hope that this is a valuable introduction to this threat assessment. And if you’re curious, please visit the Wildlife Justice Commissions website and download the entire 111 page document.

Subscribe, Like, and Review The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify, SoundCloud, and Amazon today!

LEARN MORE
The Full Rhino Report
Website: wildlifejustice.org
Instagram: @oliviawjc
Facebook: @WildlifeJusticeCommission
Twitter: @WJCommission
LinkedIn: @Wildlife Justice Commission

Ep 26: James Slade – Firefighter, ranger, and wildlife crime prevention at Re:wild.

In this episode, I’m talking with James Slade. James was born in British Columbia surrounded by wildlife on the Canadian West Coast. After some years of traveling he ended up studying at the Southern African Wildlife College. From there he worked as a game ranger and tracker at the Cheetah Conservation Fund, he was the Senior Warden and Operations Manager with the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, he worked for the Game Rangers Association of Africa, he was a Technical Advisor for the Bumi Hills Foundation, and he is currently the Wildlife Crime Prevention Officer for Re:wild. On top of that Jame’s is a Volunteer Firefighter with the Lone Butte Fire Department in BC, Canada.

In this conversation, we talk about all of James’ roles and experiences through the lens of following his passion for wild spaces and working in the bush. From his early days growing up in BC, to his decision to study at the SAWC, and all that he has learned and encountered through his varied positions over the years. From training rangers, to combating poaching, to understanding crime prevention. This is another great episode full of stories of following one’s passion and seeing where it takes them.

Subscribe, Like, and Review The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify, SoundCloud, and Amazon today!

LEARN MORE
Website: rewild.org
Instagram: @james_logan_slade | @rewild
Facebook: @Rewild
Twitter: @rewild

Ep 25: Donaxi Borjes Flores – The life of a ranger and marine biologist on Guadalupe Island, MX.

In this episode, I’m talking with my friend Donaxi Borjes Flores. Donaxi graduated with a degree in Marine Biology from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur. She then volunteered on Guadalupe Island west of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, where she was able to work with rangers stationed on the island. Shortly after she applied for and took a job as a ranger working for the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas on that same island.

In this conversation, we talk about Donaxi’s connection to the ocean, her path through higher education, and how she found herself working on this small protected island. We go into the many duties she must perform as a ranger, some of the research and projects taking place in the unique biome, and we even talk about her experience cage diving with great whites. This has been a great opportunity to learn what rangers are doing from places outside of the African context, and Donaxi is full of passion, energy, and love for her work.

Subscribe, Like, and Review The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify and ApplePodcast today!

LEARN MORE
Website: gob.mx/conanp
Instagram: @conanp_mx
Facebook: @CONANPmx
Twitter: @CONANP_mx

Ep 24: General Johan Jooste – Rhino War: the battle to save Kruger National Park’s rhinos.

In this episode, I’m talking with retired Major General Johan Jooste. General Jooste spent 35 years in the South African National Defence Force as an infantry officer, a war veteran of Southern African campaigns, and finally exiting the military as the Deputy Chief of the Army. His second career was 5 years as the Director of International Business Development for BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa, a South African defence company. The General’s third career started in 2013 and includes the roles of Officer Commanding Special Projects at Kruger, Officer Commanding Special Projects at SANParks, Law Enforcement and Security Program Manager at Peace Parks Foundation, and Law Enforcement and Security Program Manager seconded to the National Department.

In this conversation, we talk about General Jooste’s past experience in the military and how he ended up leading the para-militarization of the ranger corps at Kruger National Park. We dive into the many challenges he faced, his method for securing the park from the outside in, the risks the rangers must take to protect the rhinos from poaching syndicates, and why he decided to write his new book titled, Rhino War. The General wants to make it clear that all of his answers are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the organizations he works for. There are many great stories and lessons in this one, along with the harsh realities of poaching crisis.

Subscribe, Like, and Review The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify and ApplePodcast today!

LEARN MORE
Rhino War: Buy book on Amazon
Instagram: @sanparks | @krugernationalpark | @peaceparks | @tonyparkauthor
Facebook: @SANParksHonoraryRangers

Ep 23: Paul Thomaz- RHINO MAN: an anthem for the rangers, and a passion for music.

In this episode, I’m talking with Paul Thomaz Lindenberg. Paul is a singer-songwriter who grew up in South Africa during apartheid. He served in the military and became a part of the band, performing for soldiers deployed to the Border War. He eventually made his way to Italy, where his musical career grew. He performed regularly and recorded songs for Polydor Records, some of which are now being re-released through Underflow Records.

This is a very special conversation, because Paul is the father of Matt Lindenberg, my good friend, and the Founder and Executive Director of the Global Conservation Corps. Paul’s newly released song, Rhino Man, was the inspiration for the title of our film and is an ode to the rangers who put their lives on the line to protect the rhinos.

In this chat, we discuss Paul’s early days growing up, his relationship with music, his time in the military, and his desire to see the world. We talk about his musical process, and how he became connected to conservation. We dive into the development of the song Rhino Man, and how that name, along with Matt’s passion for conservation, sparked a movement. Paul even gives us an acoustic taste of Rhino Man at the end of the episode. So make sure to listen to the end, and then go to Spotify or Apple Music to hear the fully produced release.

This episode is dedicated to the late great legend and friend, ranger Anton Mzimba (1980-2022).

Subscribe, Like, and Review The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify and ApplePodcast today!

LEARN MORE
Listen to RHINO MAN: song.rhinomanthemovie.org
Website: underflowrecords.com/paulthomaz
Instagram: @lindenberg_consulting | @underflowrecords
Facebook: @underflowrecords

Ep 22: Jamie McCallum – Force for Nature and delivering the support our rangers deserve.

In this episode, I’m talking with Jamie McCallum. Jamie spent ten years in corporate sponsorship (working with Orange, Toyota, Omega, Usain Bolt and Ferrari) before getting a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences and doing research on the US/Mexico border. He then set up and ran the Technology Programme at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and since 2015 he has been the UK/EU Director for Peace Parks Foundation (PPF). Jamie is the Founder and CEO of Force for Nature, a forward-thinking social and environmental enterprise committed to preserving nature and the value it brings humanity, by supporting wildlife Rangers.

In this conversation, we talk about Jamie’s youth growing up in the UK with horses, his early professional career working with corporate sponsors for Formula 1 racing, and his eventual journey into conservation. We go into the importance of rangers, and the support they need. We dive into the creation of Force For Nature, the Ranger App, and the Pod app, which is used for amplifying campaigns to help bring awareness and funds to rangers. We also explore new models for NGOs to work with corporate sponsors. This conversation is full of great stories, a love for rangers, and innovative solutions to support their work.

Subscribe, Like, and Review The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify and ApplePodcast today!

LEARN MORE
Websites: forcefornature.org
Instagram: @forcefornature
Facebook: @Forcefornatureorg

Ep 21: Grant Fowlds – Project Rhino, Saving the Last Rhinos, and Rewilding Africa.

In this episode, I’m talking with Grant Fowlds. Grant is a conservationist, consultant, educator and author of two books. He grew up in the Eastern Cape of South Africa where his family and neighbors came together to form the now famous Amakhala Game Reserve. He’s the Director of the (KZN) Project Rhino Alliance NPC and the Ambassador & Manager for Rhino Art. He splits his time between range expansion projects, marketing, fundraising, youth education, and speaking about the work being done in the field. His two books, Saving the Last Rhinos and Rewildling Africa can be found on Amazon.

In this conversation, we talk about Grant’s early days of growing up on the family farm, his entrepreneurial beginnings in goat farming, and the development of the Amakhala Game Reserve. We talk about his involvement in Rhino Art with adventurer Kingsley Holgate, the work at Project Rhino and their efforts in range expansion, ranger support, youth education, and building a conservation economy. We go into the many stories related in his books, and dive into some of his rewilding projects with a focus on the development of the Loziba Wildlife Reserve. Grant’s books and life story is a masterclass in conservation. This episode is full of stories of passionate people coming together to make a difference.

Subscribe, Like, and Review The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify and ApplePodcast today!

LEARN MORE
Websites: grantfowlds.comprojectrhinokzn.orgamakhala.co.za | loziba.com
Instagram: @grant.fowlds | @amakhala_game_reserve | @projectrhinokzn
Facebook: @grant.fowlds | @projectrhinokzn | @amakhalareserve
Twitter: @GrantFowlds1 | @ProjectRhinoKZN | @amakhala

Ep 20: Boris Vos – LEAD Ranger: developing the next generation of ranger trainers.

In this episode, I’m talking with Boris Vos. Boris was with the Ministry of Defence in The Netherlands from 1996 – 2014 before moving to project-based conservation training in Asia and Africa. He is the Co-Founder and Director of Operations at Ranger Campus and Lead Operations for the LEAD Ranger program — a collaborative initiative of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation , The Thin Green Line Foundation and Ranger Campus. In this capacity, Boris has trained rangers in Africa to be instructors and leaders in their own protected areas.

In this conversation, we talk about Boris’ decision to go into the military, his path to becoming a trainer, and many of the details of what makes a good trainer. We also dive into his first trip to Africa while protecting the coast from Somali pirates, and how seeing a poached elephant inspired him to change his career and go into conservation. We go in depth into the importance of rangers, how he and his wife Dominique started Ranger Campus, and the evolution and mission of LEAD Ranger. This was a fun chat full of stories, depth, and wisdom.

Subscribe, Like, and Review The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify and ApplePodcast today!

LEARN MORE
Websites: leadranger.orgthingreenline.org.auiapf.org | rangercampus.org
Instagram: @lead_ranger | @rangercampus | @thingreenlinefoundation | @int.anti.poaching.foundation
Facebook: @thethingreenlinefoundation | @iapf
Twitter: @RangerCampus | @ThinGreenLine_ | @IAPF

Ep 19: Peter Knights – WildAid and reducing the demand for illegal wildlife consumption. 

In this episode, I’m talking with Peter Knights. After graduating from the London School of Economics, Peter first worked on wildlife trafficking as an investigator and campaigner for the Environmental Investigation Agency. He specialized in global on-site investigations and campaigning against the trade in wild birds for pets, as well as consumption of endangered species. In 1996, as a director of the Global Survival Network, he introduced conservation to the concept of demand reduction, that is now widely accepted as an important tool in solving trafficking problems. Peter is currently the Founder and President of WildAid. WildAid’s demand reduction program uses sophisticated advertising techniques, donated airtime, and celebrity spokespeople with the message “When the buying stops, the killing can too.”

In this conversation, we talk about Peter’s early days in conservation, how he came to see demand reduction as a powerful tool in stopping the illegal wildlife trade, the beginnings of WildAid, and Peter’s first campaign with his longtime ambassador, Jackie Chan. We dive into the WildAid’s campaigns to reduce the demand of ivory and rhino horn. We discuss WildAid’s successful partnership with the Chinese government. We talk about the over 100 ambassadors who have appeared in campaigns, including Yao Ming’s contribution to WildAid’s campaigns and documentaries. There are so many legend stories, and so much passion for conservation in this episode.

Subscribe, Like, and Review The Rhino Man Podcast on Spotify and ApplePodcast today!

LEARN MORE
Website: wildaid.org
Instagram: @wildaid @peter_knights
Facebook: @wildaid
Twitter: @wildaid