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The Effects of the Pandemic on Wildlife Conservation in Africa



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The Covid-19 pandemic shattered tourism and trade over the past year with businesses and travel plans greatly affected across the world. While Africa had relatively fewer cases of the virus than many countries, the continent felt strong repercussions from the lockdowns happening in other places. The African economy relies heavily on international tourism, particularly from the United Kingdom, the United States, and France. Without visitors to support the wildlife organizations through safaris and volunteer programs, the conservation efforts were undoubtedly negatively impacted last year. 


How Conservation Has Changed Since Covid-19

With the decline in international tourism, many organizations that focus on saving wildlife have had to branch out their programs to target new revenue sources. For example, many have reached out to other conservation enterprises within their neighboring communities for help and support. There has also been more attention brought to wildlife causes on a virtual global stage. By expanding online marketing to reach out to the international community, conservancies have been able to spread awareness of the importance of continuing to support Africa’s flora and fauna during the pandemic.


How Has Wildlife Been Affected?

With less visitors, budget cuts, and a scaling down of staff, protection for wildlife has fallen in the past year as a result of the pandemic. At the same time, many people have lost their jobs, putting them in desperate positions where they might be willing to undergo illegal activities to make money. With the two of these situations combined, there has been a considerable rise in the poachings of endangered animals and logging of precious trees. In addition, with international trade all but shut down, many communities have faced a shortage of food, which has led to the widespread consumption of bushmeat. This is not only bad for the wildlife, but also for humans as bushmeat animals are often carriers of diseases. 


How You Can Help African Wildlife Conservation Efforts

There are numerous ways that you can support conservancy in Africa, from visiting to donating online to your favorite organizations. Here are some of the best ways you can help make a difference in the lives of animals.


Get Educated About the Issues

Before you do anything, learn about what is going on in different parts of Africa and where you might be able to best provide support. Find conservation organizations whose efforts and goals resonate with you and sign up for their email newsletters and social media posts. When they ask for help, you’ll be more prepared to give it knowing how your money is going to be used.



Once international travel has re-opened, get hands-on by signing up to join a wildlife conservancy volunteer program in Africa. Imagine being able to study lemurs and frogs in Madagascar, monitor coral reefs in Seychelles, or care for elephants and lions in Zimbabwe. Once travel to Africa resumes, you will be able to have the adventure of a lifetime while helping protect wildlife at the same time.


Join in Social Media Conversations

Social media has opened up so many new channels of communication, making it easier for everyone to participate in global conversations. Follow some organizations you care about on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and engage often with their accounts. Ask questions when they have live presentations and share what you have learned with your followers. You can even repost their posts with your audience.


Host a Clubhouse Room about the Topic

You don’t have to be an expert on sustainability and conservancy to host a Clubhouse room discussing the issues. The beauty of the Clubhouse app is that you can facilitate conversations without having to lead the entire meeting yourself. For example, you could host a room on the topic of “Wildlife Conservation in the Time of Covid” and see who joins the room. Chances are, people will join in the conversation with their own experiences and you will all learn something from each other. Don’t be afraid to speak out about the issues that matter to you.


Host a Wildlife Themed Trivia Night on Zoom 

Get your friends, family, neighbors, and community involved in a fun trivia night on Zoom, or see if you can host the event at a local restaurant (assuming it is open). Create wildlife-themed questions that will be educational and fun. Ask everyone who participates to donate $5 to a chosen conservancy. This not only helps them learn more about wildlife but also directly benefits a conservation organization.


Donate Directly

Last, but not least, is the simplest route, which is to donate directly to the causes you care about. The African Conservation Foundation, PAMS Foundation, and African Parks are all doing great work to protect wildlife in different ways. There are many other wonderful NGOs that deserve attention, so spend some time researching before you click the donate button.

Rachel Adams

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