A bush ranger answering a call at Lewa Nature Conservancy in Kenya. Image courtesy of Amit Vitale.
With your help, this is where we come in:
To bring this agenda of wildlife violence on the discussion table and disrupt the conversation, escalating it as an urgent topic in wildlife conservation and global security. The world must know about wildlife being a casualty of terrorism so we may find solutions to stop the slaughter due to greed-driven human conflicts.
Wildlife trafficking is not just about the wildlife anymore, it’s also about global security. Our security. We know that this is a complex issue to wrap our heads around so we just decided to simply call it Wildlife Terrorism, for it brings so much misery and death to so many people and wildlife.
The urgency is now, before it’s really too late.
- We increase public awareness—through consulting, education, public relations, and research—on the role of human conflict (corruption, organized crime, terrorism, tribal violence) plays in poaching and wildlife trafficking.
- We influence public policy channels to combat poaching and human violence against wildlife by supporting legislation favoring wildlife conservation on the international, national, state, and local levels.
- We ally and consult with other advocates and NGOs on their targeted campaigns to combat wildlife trade and wildlife exploitation.
- We deliver public policy advocacy resources to advocates and individuals at the grassroots level through our Tusk Ambassadors™ program.
- We support all global constituencies on all levels, aligned with our mission, promoting wildlife conservation through mitigation of all violence on wildlife and people.
“We have to stop the blood flow. We have to be relentless in our pursuit for justice; in our pursuit for humanity. Nature is the mother of us all, and within all of us is the spirit of an eco-warrior. The war on poaching is a war on greed, but what stands to be lost is priceless.”
—Jamie Joseph, wildlife anthropologist and founder of Saving The Wild project
- Without sound and intelligent research, our priorities on advocacy and protection cannot be sustained. Therefore, we rely on our knowledge and intelligence as the bedrock of our mission.
- We strive to be the world’s best expert on the role of human conflict on wildlife by providing a comprehensive repository of intelligence on the subject.
- We maintain the world’s first and only comprehensive database of terrorist activities and events all over the globe which demonstrates the link between poaching and terrorism: DATA on Wildlife™ (Database of All Terrorist Activities on Wildlife) or simply called DoW™ for short.
- We deliver sound and accurate intelligence to the general public, concerned about the impact of human conflicts on the world's wildlife, so that they may be educated about wildlife terrorism and use that knowledge to act.
- We impart precise intelligence to all advocates and NGOs, to use as a strategic tool or a public policy resource, as they campaign for effective policies alleviating wildlife and ranger casualties all over the globe.
- We promote data-driven and knowledge-based approach to help us address solutions, through our strategic and tactical programs, to stop wildlife terrorism.
- We authenticate with all intelligence sources—global security analysts, government and NGO officials, investigative journalists, humanitarian aid specialists, intelligence operatives from national and transnational agencies, military officials, open-source intelligence, scientists, wildlife park rangers, and our tactical operational partners—so that we may get the most precise information regarding general and specific wildlife terrorism events.
- We corroborate each source of intelligence we acquire using “triangulation” or “five points” methodology to make sure that the source is as accurate as possible.
“The vast majority of sweat and blood expended on protecting wildlife is African, but rangers rarely receive the levels of support and compensation they deserve. Donor resources should prioritize ranger welfare beyond the provision of guns and equipment. Many rangers are primary breadwinners in their families, and support should include improvement of wages, living standards for families, and compensation and pensions in the event of injury or death in the line of duty. Moreover, training in both tactical maneuver and forensic evidence collection is essential to increase ranger morale, and make them more secure and effective in the field.”
- We allocate tactical and operational resources to wildlife park rangers in our target sites through direct or in-direct program implementation with governmental or non-governmental anti-poaching agencies.
- We execute direct and in-direct force protection programs in Africa (Chad, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) and Asia (Indonesia, Nepal, The Philippines, and Thailand) through our Tusk Defenders™ program.
- We participate with other NGOs to help with their anti-poaching campaigns and programs through direct and in-direct partnerships.
- We ally with technology firms and other cutting-edge companies to develop and enhance innovative tools to combat poaching and enhance existing wildlife protection systems that includes, but not limited to—aerial drones, census demographic applications, fast-response applications, Human Intelligence (HumInt) incentives, image-guided GPS-enabled camera systems, long-range tactical cameras, mesh-networks, sensors, real-time alerting outposts, solar-powered infra-red cameras, species extraction, species relocation, state-of-the-art radar systems, super-sensitive buried microphones, tactical force augmentation, tactical ops resourcing, and time-spatial intelligence grids.
- We provide resources for morale programs (gear, financial aid, life insurance, and reward incentives) to aid wildlife rangers in our target sites through our The Heroes That Care Forgot™ Adopt-A-Ranger™ and our The Heroes That Care Forgot™ Rewards For Rangers™ (R4R) Fund campaigns.
- We support, through partnerships, other NGOs that provide sanctuary and shelter—in conservancies and reserves—to orphaned wildlife survivors of poaching and human violence.
- We collaborate with other NGOs, specializing in humanitarian aid and programs alleviating poverty, in our target areas so local communities choose alternative and sustainable economies (such as agriculture and alternative energy) over poaching or other violent commerce—towards a vibrant wildlife economy instead of a violent extinction economy.
- We also deliver and implement our ground partnerships and projects as part of our Tusk Defender™ program, worldwide.
“The illegal wildlife trade requires a long term approach and determination among communities, park rangers, the private sector, governments, and donors alike. In UNDP’s 2012 Biodiversity Strategy, we recognize the real value of biodiversity and ecosystems to society—in relation to secure livelihoods, food, water, and health; enhanced resilience; conservation of threatened species and their habitats; and increased carbon storage and sequestration—and we call for innovation, drawing on the potential of nature, to achieve multiple development dividends.”
—Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and former Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008)
- We raised the world’s conversation and consciousness on global terrorism’s active role in poaching and wildlife trade through our #RaiseTheShieldForWildlife, #FightTerrorismSaveWildlife, #StopWildlifeTerrorism, and #SoThatWildlifeMayLive global outreach campaign.
- We created and developed the world’s first and only comprehensive database of terrorist activities and events involving wildlife casualties all over the globe: Our DATA on Wildlife™ (Database of All TerroristActivities on Wildlife, or DoW™ for short) project which demonstrates the link between poaching, wildlife trade, and terrorism.
- We conducted public policy campaigns to ban the market of ivory and rhino horn in 11 states in the United States, in collaboration with other NGOs and advocates, with victories in California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Washington.
- We deployed our Tusk Ambassadors™ or “associate advocates” to all of our current public policy campaign areas where bills to ban the market of ivory and rhino horn are currently in the legislative session.
- We campaigned in the states of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont and in the commonwealth of Massachusetts—in collaboration with other NGOs and advocates—to ban the market of wildlife parts, most especially elephant ivory, rhino horn, and giraffe bones.
- We filed an amicus brief petition to the United States federal government, specifically the U.S. Fish and Wildlife under the direction of the U.S. Secretary of Interior, to reclassify the African elephant (Loxodonta africanus) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 from Threatened to Endangered.
- We funded the South African film documentary entitled “DO Elephants Go To Heaven?” directed by Louise Hogarth of London-based Dream Out Loud Productions, as part of our sustaining campaign to raise awareness on wildlife terrorism.
- We have target partnership programs in Africa (Chad, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) and Asia (Indonesia, Nepal, The Philippines, and Thailand).
- We launched The Heroes That Care Forgot™ program through a Twitter campaign under the #TheHeroesThatCareForgot to raise funds benefiting wildlife rangers deployed in our target program sites in Africa and Asia.
- We developed anti-poaching tactical partnerships in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
- We launched the #DontEntertainExtinction, #DontFundExtinction, and #EndExtinctionEconomy campaigns to bring greater awareness on wildlife exploited by the tourism industry all over the world. If you ever rode an elephant in Thailand or watch them do tricks in Arizona, those animals were trained using violence to perform for humans and their trade in the industry funds the Extinction Economy.
- We partnered with SensingClues, an Amsterdam-based tech start-up, to develop innovative multi-sensory technology that will be deployed in wildlife areas to protect wildlife and rangers on the field—with projects waiting for approval in Nepal and a pilot program already operating in Kenya.
- We are currently campaigning in the states of Maryland and Vermont and in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania—in collaboration with other NGOs and advocates—to ban the market of wildlife parts, most especially elephant ivory, rhino horn, and giraffe bones.
- We are currently campaigning in both Houses of Parliament in the United Kingdom to influence the Conservative leadership to ban the sale of ivory in Great Britain and its Commonwealth territories.
“Certainly if we are not today thinking much about the global implications of poaching in Africa, I can guarantee that we will be if it goes unabated. How shockingly destructive and historically shameful it would be if we did nothing while a great species was criminally slaughtered into extinction.”
—John Kerry, former Secretary of State of the United States of America
The Elephant Shield™ logo, terms, slogans, and representations that includes “Fight Terrorism, Save Wildlife,” “Raise The Shield For Wildlife,” “So That Wildlife May Live,” “Stop Wildlife Terrorism,” “Stop Wildlife Violence,” “The Heroes That Care Forgot,” “The Shield Award,” “Tusk Ambassador,” and “Tusk Defender,” are trademarks of Tusk Task Force™ with registrations pending. More information on copyrights and trademarks are found here.