Five Point Conservation Approach
We focus on smaller lesser known species that are or are becoming threatened.
The main reason for targeting these species for the breeding and release program is that there is little or no population demographic information available on them for our country, with the exception of Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest. They are considered to be Zimbabwe’s rarest large mammal, having a present population of less than 300 in the country.
Over the years of our conservation work we have come to realise that there is always a potential for conflict where wildlife and domestic animals overlap, such as in the case of rural areas of the country. Of late a large amount of research has gone into assessing this conflict and now, as a nation, we need to start addressing the problem.
It is a our belief that through addressing the domestic animal welfare problems in areas neighbouring wildlife zones, there will be a positive ripple effect on the wildlife that co-exists with these communities. Furthermore, we hope to have an effect on the perception of pet and livestock owners in these regions, so that through generations of Zimbabweans, we become a conscientious nation who values the lives of our fellow beings and can live in harmony with one another.
Changing perceptions, beliefs and habits, in order to protect and preserve nature starts with education. It is for this very reason that the Tikki Hywood Trust’s mission statement involves the use of education as a stepping stone. During the time that the Trust has been in operation we have established and operated several educative tools; ranging from a primary school level program, “Kusanganisa”, to a series of animal welfare workshops for key Parks and wildlife personnel, to informative posters which are displayed publically. As our purpose evolves with the Tikki Hywood Trust, so too does our approach to education and the creation of awareness.
In our experience, children are not the only ones who need education. Captive wild animal welfare is a vastly unknown field in our country Zimbabwe and one that we feel needs to be addressed. As a result, the Tikki Hywood Trust conducts wildlife welfare workshops for specific levels of government and wildlife authority personnel, with the aim of furthering awareness and ultimately improving actions taken in these areas.
Wildlife and the environment are the silent victims of any land in turmoil. In this past decade and a half of our history, there is little of this land Zimbabwe, which remains untouched. Socio – political upheaval, coupled with economic distress, have contributed to the plunder and decimation of our natural heritage. Where human need has surpassed the capacity of our country to give, always it is the environment and her inhabitants that suffer. Right now, the Vumba area is under this very threat, indigenous forests are burning and the wild animals that inhabit them are being slaughtered. We as a nation need to react to this destruction quickly and decisively, if we are to preserve the magical mystical Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.
The Tikki Hywood Trust and other stakeholders have joined forces to plan and implement a solution for the protection of the environment and wildlife of the Vumba area. In strategic partnership with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA), all private and public stakeholders and the community of the Vumba, we have pledged to conserve and preserve our heritage. The result of this collaboration is the formation of an independent anti-poaching and environmental protection unit who work with ZPWMA and the surrounding community, including Tourism operators and
private property owners.
One of the most powerful instruments of conservation, when used correctly, is the legislation of a country. Often overlooked due to the lack of glamour and style associated with more conventional methods of preserving fauna and flora, the process of defining, implementing and upholding sound legislation is exceedingly neglected.
We at the Tikki Hywood Trust have found that all conservation efforts, from anti-poaching and environmental protection to endangered species breeding and release back to the wild, require a backbone of solid legislation. It is for this very reason the Tikki Hywood Trust has become actively involved is improving and amending the current laws regarding wildlife.