Exposing Atrocities, Blogs Give Wildlife Warriors Instant SOS

December 5, 2006

Part of the Digital Places Special News Series
More Digital Places Stories>>

Getting the message out isn't easy on the front lines of wildlife conservation.

News crews and other media are seldom on hand to spread the word of efforts to save endangered animals in remote tropical regions often ravaged by war, poverty, and disease.

Now conservationists are taking matters into their own hands, via their keyboards, in harnessing the power of the blog to attract headlines and much needed support.

One such blog, from central Africa, made the news last month.

In a posting on Congo Rangers—a blog for wildlife workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)—rangers alerted the world to the massacre of hundreds of hippos by armed militiamen in Virunga National Park.

(Read "Hippos Butchered by the Hundreds in Congo Wildlife Park" [October 24, 2006].)

The posting also revealed the cost of the slaughter, and quickly. Results of an aerial census of the park's threatened hippo population were posted on the Web the same day the census was carried out.

Congo Rangers is one of a number of blogs that appear on WildlifeDirect, an initiative set up by the Africa Conservation Fund, based in Kenya and the DRC (Africa map).

The Web site provides a platform for conservationists working to protect African wildlife and wildlands under difficult and often dangerous conditions.

"We believe that the Internet provides an unprecedented means of bringing the remarkable efforts of African conservationists to the attention of the world," WildlifeDirect's director, Emmanuel de Merode, said.

Lives at Risk

Continued on Next Page >>




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