Training & Mentorship
Because our long-term goal is the conservation of wild places and carnivores in Mozambique, mentoring, training, and providing financial support for local conservationists is an essential responsibility.
All our staff are Mozambicans, the majority from villages within Niassa, who have been trained on the job. Training includes practical instruction in GPS, radios, binoculars, datasheets, car maintenance, and other day-to-day skills. Some of them have also obtained drivers licenses and taken computer and mechanics classes.
Where possible, we financially support and mentor Mozambican college graduates to obtain post-graduate degrees in biology, zoology, or conservation. This is a growing program with one graduate due to complete his Masters in Zoology in 2012 on leopard conservation, and a second due who started his degree program in June 2012 focused on human-wildlife conflict.
Since 2006 we have provided financial support and training for a community monitor program (SMOG) of the Niassa Management authority, SRN. They collect information on human-carnivore conflict, sightings of species of special interest, and the size of fish catches. This growing team of village monitors provides an important link between Reserve management and residents. The aim is to eventually have representatives from all Niassa Villages.
Wherever possible, we assist the Reserve management team by providing essential conservation equipment and scholarships to attend training workshops. Through the Wildlife Conservation Network Solar Project, we have installed a complete solar electric system for the Reserve Headquarters, Mbatamila. This system is powering the management offices as well as the anti-poaching scout quarters. We have also provided them with GPS, binoculars, computers, and cameras.
We are the patrons and mentors of the 30-member strong Mecula Wildlife Club, the first and only wildlife club in Niassa Reserve, initiated by two teachers in Mecula Village. We facilitate field trips, provide educational materials, and support activities.
If you are interested in supporting training or mentorship programs, please visit our Donate page.