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Wildlife Conservation Projects for Students

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the words, “Wildlife Conservation Project”? Do you picture the majestic African Lion or Rhino? What about a reference to National Parks, Community Conservancies, or Private Game Reserves? Does the thought that you can contribute towards wildlife conservation efforts cross your mind?

African Lion and Rhino

What is Wildlife Conservation and why is it needed?

Conservation efforts actively protect wild plant and animal species and their natural habitats through various initiatives. This is to ensure that these species and habitats exist for future generations and also recognizes the importance of biodiversity and ecosystems. The current strain on endangered species are caused by loss of habitat due to farming or development, human-wildlife conflict and poaching.

Many people know about the protection of the large, charismatic species when they hear about wildlife conservation in Africa. Despite these species that tourists and students want to see, there is a lot more to it. Humans are inextricably linked to the natural world. Protecting the ecosystems that provide us with direct and indirect services for free, must become a higher priority for all. Without healthy, biodiverse ecosystems, we’d have no food, no water, no clean air, and disease.

African penguin and vulture

What do we believe about Conservation?

We love Africa, our diverse cultures, natural landscapes and unique wildlife and know there is a lot to be done to conserve these.  Though there are many ways to contribute to conservation efforts we believe that education plays a big role. In areas where people need to decide between the survival of their livestock or a predator, the predator will lose. If land needs to be cleared for farming, the effects of deforestation will not be considered. When the impact of plastic pollution in the ocean is not immediately seen by the majority, education is the only way to bring it to the fore. By educating local communities and students about the importance of wildlife conservation, sustainable solutions can be found and implemented to conserve natural habitats and wildlife.

How do we contribute towards Conservation?

At EDU Africa we work closely with local communities and various sustainable conservation projects across Southern and East Africa to offer custom Educational Wildlife Conservation Programs. Student groups will have the opportunity to get involved in researching endangered species, gaining insight into various successful projects, and will be able to contribute by educating the local communities. Through these programs the lives and perspectives of visiting students are enriched, local communities empowered and the wildlife conserved for future generations.

Faculty members can customize their conservation programs according to their learning outcomes, or get involved with a current service-learning project. Here are a few of the options to consider:

Wildlife Conservation Projects for Students

  • Research Wilderness Species Population in Chizarira, Zimbabwe – EDU Africa has been granted unprecedented research access to three of the region’s most significant national parks; Victoria Falls National Park, Hwange National Park and Chizarira National Park which has been heavily poached in the recent years and is now part of a Rehabilitation program.
  • Wildlife Conservation in Greater Kruger Park, South Africa – Carry out research on endangered animals to provide information for wildlife trusts and reserve ecological management teams and assist the field teams with conservation initiatives.
  • Raptor Biology and Conservation, Kenya –  Run by the “Kenya Bird of Prey Trust”, the Naivasha Owl Centre is the first stop for all types of injured or infirm raptors to heal, regain strength and train for eventual release. Students are exposed to a wide variety of birds of prey and learn specifics on biology, ecological niches and immediate threats.
  • Marine Biology for School groups, South Africa – Students will have the opportunity to learn about and get involved in South Africa’s marine conservation work in different parts of the country.

Ecology & Conservation Projects for Students

  • Forest Restoration Ecology, Kenya – As human populations in East Africa grow and more land is needed for food production, indigenous vegetation is often cleared. The Brackenhurst Botanic Garden and indigenous forest is a real life example of restored biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Regenerative Permaculture, Kenya –   Students are equipped and empowered with methods of design, and the skills to observe and apply practical solutions to the needs of specific target groups. This is accomplished through the implementation of regenerative practices focused on diversity, resource management and energy capture.

Community-Based Conservation Projects for Students

  • Savannah Ecology and Community Based Conservation, Kenya –  The creation of several community-owned wildlife conservancies has allowed for regeneration of grass, easing of pressure on water sources and the slow return of Acacia woodland. The Naboisho Conservancy is an ideal location to study human influence on a savanna ecosystem, ecology in general, and challenges to conservation in East Africa.

We hope this inspires you to get involved in a local conservation initiative, make wiser daily choices, or plan your own educational conservation program for students in Africa.