Welcome to Ajubatus Foundation

”In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught” – Baba Dioum

 
Introduction

The Ajubatus concept of providing specialist research into endangered species was first mooted in the mid 1990′s with initial emphasis being placed on the cheetah-Acinonyx jubatus, from which the name Ajubatus has been taken. The fastest land mammal on earth and heralded for its grace and elegance, there is a growing concern that this animal might, in time face extinction both through loss of habitat and predator competition. As will be noted from the projects listed below, we have placed great emphasis on monitoring of the species within a controlled environment and this will assist with multi-national research being undertaken.

In late 2006, the Ajubatus Foundation identified a need for research on the African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus), populations along the southern and western seaboard of the Cape Province had collapsed and the penguin is in a quite perilous state. Through a dynamic and far reaching approach, funding was provided for the takeover of the Sea Point Lighthouse in Cape St. Francis and the development of a Marine Bird Hospital and Rehabilitation facility. This state of the art facility has proved an inordinate success and with final release statistics approaching 90%, is testament to what can be achieved even in the most dire circumstances. Covering an area of over 300km’s of coastline, the mandate was complex to say the least not to mention the ongoing support of smaller rehabilitation centre’s along the coast whose work was vital in assisting with the preservation of this endangered species. Not content with the establishment of the Marine Bird Facility, the Foundation adapted one of the lighthouse residences into a coffee shop and restaurant and facilitated local community support through monthly fete’s.

Trained volunteers were on hand to discuss conservation issues with visitors to the site and the facility soon became one of the most attractive and popular destinations in the greater St. Francis region.

Subsequent to the African Penguin initiative, Ajubatus facilitated research on the cheetah in private game reserves bordering the Kruger National Park. Objectives of this research were to understand the population composition, movement patterns and genetic variability of the highly endangered cheetah.

2010 was not only a landmark year for South Africa as a country, but for Ajubatus it heralded the inititation of a vitally important project aimed at understanding the influence of Bovine Tuberculosis on the lion population of the Kruger National Park. Collaring of sample animals in a series of prides, regular monitoring of their movements, behaviour and interactions with other lions and carnivores in general is helping researchers to understand the dynamic impact of this disease on Kruger’s top predatory species. This is a long term project which will be running till at least 2015 providing opportunities for research, the involvement of graduate students and ultimately assisting with the conservation of lions in the Kruger National Park.

The plight of the rhinoceros is the new challenge which Ajubatus is tackling head-on. To develop an effective protection strategy for these animals, particularly in the Kruger National Park where rhino deaths due to poaching are high, it is necessary to first understand the ecology of this species in that environment. Ajubatus and its sponsors are developing the technology and providing state-of-the-art rhino tracking equipment to the researchers in Kruger.

Ajubatus is committed to setting the course for others to follow in the field of wildlife conservation and our open door approach to operational protocols, scientific research and field work mandates will surely encourage others to follow suit. Through our dynamic approach, we believe we are able to assist students and those wishing to commit time and funding to conservation issues in a sustainable manner and with the very highest level of integrity. The Foundation is in a position to assist and/or advise those wishing to support specific conservation initiatives on a one by one basis and you are most welcome to make contact with us.

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