One of this month’s Top Causes is the Kainav Conservation Foundation from northern Pretoria. We’re recognising them not only for the dedication that they put into their profile on forgood, but for the work that they do in the communities they are present in. We interviewed them to learn a little more about who they are to share with, and inspire you.
Who are you and what do you do?
The KaiNav Conservation Foundation is a registered non-profit environmental research and education organisation. We focus on biodiversity conservation, natural resourcemanagement and environmental education. The KaiNav Conservation Foundation’s research is dedicated to producing data essential in guiding sustainable utilisation of natural resources and promoting coexistence between humans and the natural environment. We use our research and monitoring programs as an experiential education tool, to promote conservation and environmental science as a fulfilling career path.
Why did you get started?
We started the KaiNav Conservation Foundation in an effort to protect wildlife and natural places. As young ecologists and conservationists, we dreamed of playing a significant role in improving regional, national and international biodiversity conservation.
What is a story that keeps you going?
The S.N.A.R.E (Snare Neutralisation, Awareness and Removal Effort) Initiative is KaiNav Conservation Foundation’s flagship project, dedicated to locating and removing poachers’ snares from natural areas around South Africa. We simultaneously gather data on snare poaching in order to develop a national data base, which we can use to implement proactive conservation and land management decisions.
During one of our field surveys in the Tswaing Meteorite Crater Nature Reserve, the KaiNav team of wildlife scientists and volunteers identified a Zebra which was trapped in a poachers’ snare. The animal was still alive but suffering from devastating wounds. The KaiNav team acted quickly to track the animal, and with the assistance of wildlife veterinarians from Onderstepoort, managed to sedate it. Once sedated, the snare was removed, the gaping wound treated, and the zebra was successfully released back into the wild to re-join his group. The KaiNav team spends days crawling through dense vegetation under the scorching African sun, searching for these snares, which are meant to kill. Watching that zebra run free, knowing that the only reason he is still alive is because we found him and treated him when we did, is what motivates us to keep searching and keep going with this program.
You can watch the operation here!