The world marks Endangered Species Day on the 20th of May each year – by celebrating, learning about, and taking action to protect threatened and endangered species. This Global Day of Action and celebration was created and founded by David Robinson and the Endangered Species Coalition in 2006 and has continued ever since.
2021 was one very memorable year for the Lewa-Borana Conservancy, which recorded a total of 33 new rhino births (15 black and 18 white). The Black Rhino Action Plan, led by Kenya Wildlife Service, was to achieve a meta population of 830 black rhino in Kenya by the end of 2021. The national population at the close of this period was 897, way surpassing the target. This is an accolade to the collaborative effort of all conservation stakeholders in Kenya and Borana/Lewa supporters around the world. The process to review the national Black Rhino Action Plan for the next five years, and to initiate the first ever national White Rhino Management Plan is currently underway.
An interesting fact on wildlife is that there are more rhinos and elephants than there are lions in the world and at the rate at which they are being poached and losing their traditional home range, they might just go extinct by 2050. With more wildlife residing outside national parks and in community land and conservancies it is now important more than ever to protect these vital landscapes and many of the organisations and companies we work with are equally like-minded, doing amazing community and conservation work across East Africa. This ensures that crucial tourism revenue goes back to these wonderful organisations and communities. Now more than ever is the urgent need to share with others all we can about conservation and how we, as a population, can help preserve this planet for another day.
Tony Fitzjohn was another huge advocate in conservation. He sadly passed away on the 23rd May from pneumonia and a long fight with a malignant brain tumour. Tony was one of the great wildlife conservationists of his generation. Born in England he spent his early years, eighteen of which, with the legendary George Adamson in the Kora National Park in Kenya. Throughout this time, he developed many skills in bush craft and worked with all sorts of wildlife, majority of which with lions.
His main towering achievement was the rehabilitation of the huge Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania. This was by invitation from the Tanzanian Government in 1989. The following thirty years he enlisted a formidable group of supporters, experts, and famous institutions in what became an international beacon for conservation of land and wildlife. In that time, he and his African team transformed an area that had been heavily degraded, poached and on the verge of desertification into a National Park of outstanding beauty. We are hugely saddened to hear this news, but we hope that his inspiring conservationist ways will reach out to others to continue his work in the hopes of protecting Africa’s wildlife and natural habitats.