Ep 30: Charlie Mayhew, MBE – Founding Tusk, Wildlife Ranger Challenge, and Massive Impact.

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In this episode, I’m talking with Charlie Mayhew, MBE. Charlie is the Co-Founder and CEO of Tusk Trust. Their mission is to amplify the impact of progressive conservation initiatives across Africa. Charlie was educated at Wellington College, worked as a Lloyd’s Marine Insurance Broker while moonlighting as a DJ, is a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society, and was awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty The Queen. In 1990 he co-founded the charity, Tusk Trust, and under his stewardship it has since grown into a highly reputable and efficient UK conservation charity.

In this conversation we dive into Charlie’s path into conservation, including a 1985 expedition he led across Africa, and the film he co-produced which led to the foundations of Tusk. We take a winding path through all of the various organizations Tusk supports across Africa, dig into their ethos, and talk about the power of ambassadors including Tusk’s Royal Patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. And of course we explore the importance of rangers, and the amazing support for them through Tusk’s Wildlife Ranger Challenge and the Tusk Awards. Charlie has a captivating life story, and with over £100m raised since its inception, Tusk has had and continues to have massive impact on conservation and community development programs.

Website: tusk.org
Instagram: @charlie_mayhew | @tusk_org
Facebook: @tusk.org
Twitter: @MayhewCharlie | @tusk_org
LinkedIn: @Charlie Mayhew, MBE | @Tusk

Ep 29: Nick Ahlers – TRAFFIC: Ensuring the trade of wildlife is not a threat to nature.

In this episode, I’m talking with Nick Ahlers. Over the last 20 years, Nick has managed a wide variety of sustainable development projects across Southern Africa. He joined TRAFFIC nearly 10 years ago and has held many positions there along with his most recent promotion to Director of Development. TRAFFIC’s mission is to ensure that the trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature. Its evidence-based approaches provide guidance and tailored technical expertise to a range of stakeholders across governments, specialized law enforcement, donors, policymakers, private sector companies, academia and beyond. Nick is based in South Africa and holds degrees in International Development Studies, Environmental Studies, African Studies with a focus on Medical Anthropology, and a MSc in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics.

In this conversation, we dig into Nick’s early curiosity and passion for the environment, his path into conservation which took him from Maine to South Africa, and how his career brought him to TRAFFIC. We dive into TRAFFIC as an organization and the work being done there. We go deep into the rhino horn trade and talk through the ramifications of legalizing it. We also talk about findings from prisoner interviews in relation to illegal wildlife trade. Nick has a wonderful ability to turn data and research into understandable concepts.

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Website: traffic.org
Instagram: @traffic_wltrade
Facebook: @trafficnetwork
Twitter: @TRAFFIC_WLTrade
LinkedIn: @TRAFFIC International

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.

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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.

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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.

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

National Park After Dark: People of the Parks – RHINO MAN with John Jurko II

RHINO MAN was featured in an episode of National Park After Dark. Show description and show links below.

In today’s episode, we speak with John Jurko II, the lead producer of an upcoming documentary film, Rhino Man. We discuss the poaching crisis in places like Kruger National Park and the Rangers who risk their lives to protect the wildlife. We also take the time to honor the legacy of Anton Mzimba, a lead ranger and protagonist of the film, who recently had his life taken because of the work he did in wildlife conservation.

We love our National Parks and we know you do too but when you’re out there, remember to enjoy the view but watch your back. Please take a moment to rate and subscribe from wherever you’re listening to NPAD! Become part of our Outsider family on Patreon to gain access to ad-free episodes, bonus content, and more. Follow our socials InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. To share a Trail Tale, suggest a story, access merch, and browse our book recommendations – head over to our website.

Website: npadpodcast.com

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

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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.

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

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.

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

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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.

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

Ep 18: Bibhab Talukdar – Aaranyak, Indian Conservation, and IUCN Asian Rhino Specialist.

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In this episode, I’m talking with Bibhab Talukdar. Bibhab has a Masters in Biology from Guwahati University. He is the Secretary General & CEO of Aaranyak (@aaranyak_india), an organization leading a new, integrated conservation movement to address topics like ecosystem goods and services, climate change, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity. He is also a member of the Asian Rhino Specialist Group of the IUCN (@iucnssc) and a member of the National Board of Wildlife under the government of India.

In this conversation, we talk about Bibhab’s early days growing up in the Eastern Himalayas, and his inspiration for starting Aaranyak as a nature club, which then grew into a large conservation organization. We go into the success story of the Greater One-Horned Rhino, we dive into the many conservation problems Bibhab is tackling in India through Aaranyak, and we learn of the importance of connecting with local communities near protected areas. Bibhab has an amazing life story, and has accomplished so many things in the conservation space.

Website: aaranyak.org
Instagram: @aaranyak_india
Facebook: @aaranyakindia
Twitter: @aaranyak