Ex-KNP game ranger tackling poaching the unconventional way

Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:09 am

http://citizen.co.za/news/1453143/ex-knp-game-ranger-tackling-poaching-unconventional-way/

Elize Parker

'I have always been drawn to the unconventional. I believe our traditional South African anti-poaching strategies to be fatally flawed.’

A former Kruger National Park game ranger is playing an international role in saving elephants in Africa with an anti-poaching strategy formed in the 80s when he was working in Bushbuckridge. This work is featured in a Netflix documentary.

Turning the tide against elephant poaching sounds almost impossible, but it is exactly what former KNP game ranger Wayne Lotter has achieved in Tanzania, Lowvelder reported.

Lotter, a former pupil of Lowveld High School, is a director of the PAMS foundation, a nonprofit conservation organisation in Tanzania, and former vice-president of the International Ranger Foundation.

The foundation is recognised internationally for a being a pioneer in wildlife protection, and Lotter has published various papers on their work.

He was also asked to take part in Netflix’s recent elephant conservation documentary, The Ivory Game, to feature their work.

Shortlisted in the best-documentary Oscar category this year, the film has been hailed for its depiction of the dangerous underworld of ivory trading. Lotter declined and asked for the boots-on-the-ground rangers employed by the foundation to rather be included in the film.

The most recent evidence shows an estimated 144 000 African elephants were illegally killed for their ivory in the past seven years. In the six years preceding November 2014, Tanzania lost by far the most. The population fell from 109 000 in 2009 to 43 000 in 2014.


Last month a Tanzanian court sentenced a couple to 20 years in jail each for illegal possession of 210 piece of ivory from nearly 100 poached elephants.

On average, one elephant was killed every 45 minutes in Tanzania alone. That was until 2011, when Lotter, his team, and several agencies developed their own brand of intelligence-led policing (ILP) designed to combat wildlife crime in Tanzania.

“I have always been drawn to the unconventional. I believe our traditional South African anti-poaching strategies to be fatally flawed,” said Lotter.

When he started out with the Ruvuma Elephant Project (REP) in Tanzania, there was more than one elephant carcass recorded per day. During 2016 there were only two recorded for the entire year.

So what does this efficient approach entail?

ILP originated because police needed to focus on using informants and surveillance techniques to combat repeat offenders. It was not an important element of policing until the 9/11 attacks in the US.

Lotter was a young ranger in the late eighties in South Africa when he first came up with the idea of ILP. He then worked for a development agency and was in charge of natural resource protection. He and his team put ILP tactics into use to combat poaching.

ILP was developed after he was trained by a police detective in how to investigate a crime, as well as how to best employ witnesses and how to prepare case dockets. At the time he was stationed at Bushbuckridge. He put a wide network of informants into place, which led to doubling the annual number of arrests.

“You need to catch them with the rifles before poaching. Then you must know so much about them when interrogating them that they spill the beans,” he explained.

He ascribed the recent success of the foundation to the principles laid down all those years ago.

Another anti-poaching paradigm shift came about when the foundation started working with the Tanzanian National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit in 2014, as well as with the wildlife and forestry crime unit of the ministry of natural resources and tourism of Tanzania.


Yang Feng Glan, 66, is thought to be the most notorious ivory trafficker arrested in East Africa in the last decade.

At that stage sentences for poachers were weak and fines were low.

“The syndicates are not like snakes, where you cut off a head and it dies, but more like an octopus. You cut off a head and find it had several legs at work.”

While applying the multi-agency approach and working with these two institutions, 1 306 poachers and illegal ivory traders have been arrested since 2014. More than 50 offenders have been given prison sentences of 16 years or more. These results were achieved on a budget of less than $3 million.

“It is far easier for syndicate leaders to get corruption institutionalised if single agencies are involved,” observed Lotter.

He is also the lead author of one the most comprehensive training guidelines for field rangers to date; Helping to Save Lives on the Poaching Battle Front Line.

– Caxton News Service

Re: Ex-KNP game ranger tackling poaching the unconventional way

Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:47 am

Pity he left SA. :-(

Re: Ex-KNP game ranger tackling poaching the unconventional way

Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:14 pm

It's intelligent men like him, that are needed! able to put themselves in the place of a poacher and thus finding their weak points.

Re: Ex-KNP game ranger tackling poaching the unconventional way

Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:41 pm

Ja, understandably not much of the detail behind the approach is given, but it is very clever! :twisted:

It is a way of getting government officials away from the pot/trough, and lucky that the courts are ok for now! \O

Re: Ex-KNP game ranger tackling poaching the unconventional way

Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:59 am

SA conservationist killed in Tanzania after almost a decade of death threats
2017-08-18 10:06

Elise Tempelhoff, Netwerk24

Johannesburg - A South African wildlife conservationist, Wayne Lotter, has been murdered in Tanzania. The 51-year-old expert on the protection of elephants was presumably shot dead by poachers on Wednesday night in the Masaki suburb of Dar es Salaam, Netwerk24 reported.

Lotter was the founder of the Pams (Protected Area Management System) foundation in Tanzania in 2009.

The foundation said in a statement on Thursday evening that it was "deeply saddened" by the death of one of its co-founders.

Lotter devoted his life to protecting Africa's wildlife.

"As a young conservationist he'd begun his career in South Africa and then moved to Tanzania to start an anti-poaching unit."

According to the statement, Lotter and his co-founders worked closely with communities to protect the wild against poachers.

He trained "thousands of young Tanzanians as conservationists" and they achieved great success, especially in protecting elephants from poachers.

The Guardian reported that Lotter regularly received death threats over the past eight years.

Tanzanian police have begun investigating the murder.

Lotter is remembered by his wife, Inge, and daughters, Tamsin Inge and Cara Jayne.

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/ ... s-20170818

Re: Ex-KNP game ranger tackling poaching the unconventional way

Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:59 am

How I hate it, when this kind of things happen @#$ To many evil "humans" around lacking completely in what we normally call humanity O/

Re: Ex-KNP game ranger tackling poaching the unconventional way

Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:20 pm

:-( Very sad day .Reports online suggest he was followed ,hunted down and executed by wildlife criminals . @#$ O/ Too much money in wildlife crime.

Re: Ex-KNP game ranger tackling poaching the unconventional way

Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:14 pm

Horrific :-( What a role model - spent the time he had on Earth acting on behalf of "others". A life well lived. O0 RIP

Re: Ex-KNP game ranger tackling poaching the unconventional way

Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:19 pm

Very sad! :-(

Re: Ex-KNP game ranger tackling poaching the unconventional way

Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:00 pm

I was extremely shocked and sad to hear about the tragic passing of Wayne Lotter. A true warrior for the preservation and survival of the Elephant population in Tanzania

It has deeply affected me personally, as it has brought back memories of many a tale, letters and photos that Andrew (serval) shared with me of the long-standing friendship between him and Wayne.

They became friends in the late 1980’s (if my memory services me right, 1989) when Andrew did the Sweni trail, of which Wayne was at that stage the trails ranger. It was a friendship born from mutual respect for each other and the passion they shared for nature. A brotherly friendship that stood the test of time, until Andrew's passing. I never met Wayne in person, but I remember the day that I informed him of Andrew’s passing, he immediately undertook to travel from Tanzania to support me. Due to unforeseen circumstances from both sides, this never materialized and I regret that I never had the privilege of meeting such a special person.

My heart goes out to Inge, their daughters and his parents in this extremely difficult time, and my best wishes accompany them.

Rest in peace dear Wayne, you too, will never be forgotten.

As a tribute to Wayne, I herewith share some of the photos of them taken over the years, which Andrew in turn shared with me.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image