- 5:59 pm - Thu, Dec 6, 2012
A Personal Message from ARM’s Investigator
I truly want to thank all of you for your support of my challenging endeavor, and everything you’ve done to help me reach my goal of filling an undercover investigator position in Africa by January 2013. Whether you’ve followed ARM on Twitter, liked us on Facebook, chatted with us at Green Festival Los Angeles in November, signed up for our e-newsletter, or read our updates on this blog, you’ve helped us spread awareness of our campaign and build our fan base. This is critical when we reach out for help in meeting our goals to new businesses and individuals. I especially want to thank each of you who have donated to our campaign – I am extremely grateful for your generosity which will help make my mission for great apes possible.
But we are not finished yet; in fact, we still have a very long way to go in reaching our $50,000 goal by the end of January 2013. I have just two more months to raise these funds – without them, I will physically be unable to travel to West Africa and fight for the thousands of gorillas and chimpanzees who are counting on my help. Hundreds of babies and families are being slaughtered every week and desperately need my help. The position I will be filling is completely unfunded; in order for me to conduct any undercover operations to help great apes, I have to raise those necessary funds myself. Remember – these funds do not go toward a salary for me, nor will they become my personal profit – every single penny raised will go directly toward my medical costs and insurance, basic living expenses and undercover equipment and data storage.
Time is running out quickly, and I strongly urge you to donate now to our campaign. No amount you can afford is too big or too small – I graciously appreciate anything you are comfortable giving. You can scroll through this blog to see some breakdowns of our budget, and how your generous donations will be utilized, dollar for dollar. You can donate securely through our fundly and indiegogo pages via credit card or paypal. At various giving levels, you will receive perks from ARM, which are explained in depth on our fundly and indiegogo pages. And please, if you haven’t done so already, spread the word about ARM to all of your friends and family; the easiest way is to send them our facebook link, and ask them to like us – this is a huge help for me as well!
Again, I thank you so much for your support of my journey. Together, we can make my goal a tangible reality, and help stop the needless slaughter and destruction of these majestic great apes.
- 3:20 am - Mon, Sep 24, 2012
- 4 notes
All about ARM
Ape Rescue Mission (ARM) is an investigative resource for conservation efforts in the Congo Basin providing strategic and technical support to safeguard endangered and protected species. ARM will bring cutting edge image acquisition technology to threatened areas allowing for an immediate response to the onslaught of poaching that is decimating this fragile ecosystem.
The Basin is home to the densest concentration of endangered species such as gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and forest elephants in all of Africa, including 21,000 unique animal species and 10,000 species of plants, and in addition to a staggering population increase of 1.7 million people per year.
At 500 million acres spread across six countries, its dense and thick jungles cover a vast and seemingly impenetrable area, but porous political borders due to years of turmoil, poverty and war allow for unbridled and cruel extraction of its living resources.
This tumultuous combination of conditions has created an opening for poachers and corrupt officials who ruthlessly exploit the forests. The statistics are frightening - 5,000 gorillas are killed every year, and in the last decade, 62% of all forest elephants have been slaughtered.
In March of this year, over a dozen Sudanese poachers slaughtered at least 26 forest elephants – four of whom were baby calves - in Central African Republic’s Dzanga-Ndoki park. During this same time period, 40 more elephants were slaughtered in Niki and Lobeke parks in Cameroon. In 2012, a larger group of Sudanese on horseback laid waste to elephants in Cameroon and are likely responsible for hundreds of their deaths. By the time military forces responded days later, they were long gone.
These poacher-militias are becoming more sophisticated, utilizing night-vision equipment, automatic weapons and traveling in organized convoys. This allows them to move with impunity in and out of protected areas due their preparedness and motivation, outmatching that of the EcoGuards that are deployed in the parks. This added motivation comes from the factor that ivory from bush elephants is preferred by Asian buyers and has risen in price from around $100 per kilogram to a staggering $1,800 per kilogram.
Modern tactics of electronic reconnaissance are desperately needed to ensure the integrity of park borders, but conservation networks at this time are not equipped to carry out or manage this type of monitoring. Ape Rescue Mission has developed a protocol supported by a sophisticated thermal imaging camera system and experienced surveillance personnel. These tools will give park managers the necessary support to secure their borders while focusing on research and conservation, and allow its guardians to regain an upper hand in what has become a battle for the survival of Africa’s jungle ecosystem.