Introducing our Node Manager: North, Vulture Conservation Programme Manager, and Research Coordinator, Anel Olivier.
What I do at Wildlife ACT:
I am the Node Manager: North, Vulture Conservation Programme Manager, and Research Coordinator.
Where to find me:
I am based on Somkhanda Community Game Reserve, but my work takes me all over KZN.
Why I do this:
First of all, I appreciate nature for what it is and naturally want to protect what I love the most. This is not a job, but a lifestyle. I get the unique opportunity to experience, learn and understand so much more about endangered species, their habitats and the people they live alongside. I also greatly enjoy the unpredictability of it all, as well as the adaptive strategising and constant problem solving that is required.
Why conserving our endangered wildlife species is important:
The majority of these species are endangered because of human actions. I have to believe that humanity can also take responsibility for the protection of these species’ habitat and ultimately their survival. Each of these species have a role to play in the ecosystem, and if we cannot conserve one or two flagstone species, how can we expect to conserve biodiversity, integral to the quality of our own lives. It is a measure of our own integrity.
My favourite thing about the place where I work/live:
Being able to peacefully wake up with beautiful birdsong every morning.
My favourite animal:
I don’t have a favourite, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Black Rhino ever since I got to know them better.
My favourite bush memory:
It is hard to isolate one favourite memory. I’d say I most vividly remember the time when I first saw the litter of 5 pups of the African Wild Dog pack that I’ve been monitoring at the time. After two months of intensively monitoring the adults at den site every morning form a distance with VHF telemetry, waiting patiently, the tiny pups came onto the road and I was just blown away with amazement.
Number one bush living survival hack:
Always shake out your shoes before slipping your feet in there…
A message to our supporters and followers:
We can all be conservationists, whether we work in the bush and directly with endangered species, or whether we work in the classroom or boardroom. It is our mindset and the small, daily actions that makes all the difference in the bigger picture.
Find out more about Wildlife ACT’s work with Vultures here.
Anel Olivier has been working with Wildlife ACT since the beginning of 2019, and is an incredible asset to the Wildlife ACT Team.