Developing local communities and securing natural resources
"If communities do not value and see wildlife as part of their future,
Chobe’s vast wildlife assets will slowly be eroded in favor of more
lucrative land uses. We must engage communities and develop
ownership over benefits and management challenges if we are to
secure a future for wildlife." Dr. Kathy Alexander, CARACAL
Photo Gallery for CARACAL Biodiversity Center
The recent publication by Sarah Jobbins, Claire Sanderson, and Kathleen Alexander released on May 14 is profiled on the front page of NSF.
The newest public health threat in Africa, scientists have found, is coming from a previously unknown source: the banded mongoose.
Leptospirosis, the disease is called. And the banded mongoose carries it.
Leptospirosis is the world's most common illness transmitted to humans by animals. It's a two-phase disease that begins with flu-like symptoms. If untreated, it can cause meningitis, liver damage, pulmonary hemorrhage, renal failure and death.
View Article in NSF Web Site Here
CARACAL Partners with Virginia Tech
Kathleen Alexander receives 2013 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach
Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach is presented annually to a faculty or staff member who has had a significant impact on international outreach at Virginia Tech. Recipients are selected based on their contributions to the internationalization of Virginia Tech and the global impact, significance, and sustainability of their work. Recipients are awarded $2,000.
Read about the award here
Kathleen Alexander receives NIH grant to study effect of climate change on water-borne diseases
The grant supplements work conducted under the parent NIH Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study program housed at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech under Professor Stephen Eubank, deputy director of the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory.
Read more about the grant award here
CARACAL has prepared a number of groundbreaking papers in the last year. You may review these on their website.
Click here to view CARACAL Associated Publications
News and Information
CARACAL has created a Facebook page and blog on Blogspot in addition to their website to follow the amazing work they are doing in conservation.
These two beautiful owls are White Faced Scops Owl chicks. They were rescued in Kazungula from a mob that was trying to stone them out of their tree. They are now safe and sound at the Biodiversity Center, where they are receiving lots of tender loving care. We would like to thank the members of the community which helped in rescuing Astrix and Obelix!
CARACAL is a field based educational center that focuses on strengthening rural livelihoods, developing community approaches to mitigation of human-wildlife conflict and securing the health of the ecosystems on which we all depend. CARACAL is the only indigenous conservation and rural development NGO in the Chobe Linyanti Kwando Wetlands within the Zambezi Basin.
Development of the first regional Widllife Health Laboratory with molecular genetics and bacteriological capablities, WildiZe has been an important partner for CARACAL and Virginia Tech (CARACALS technical partner through Dr. K. Alexander) providing funding for first class field laboratory sites outside of Chobe National Park that holds a large education center and field laboratory. The laboratory will support research into the health of the ecosystem and wildlife in the area.
Prior to the grant from WildiZe, samples were frozen and sent to lab several days away. Today, samples can be read and analyzed on site. The result is real-time data and verifiable and publishable research on ecosystem health.
"Virginia Tech professor discovers new TB pathogen"
Tuberculosis field research - Discovery of a novel tuberculosis pathogen, M. mungi
With help from WildiZe Foundation, Alexander and collegues have identified a novel pathogen in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex infecting mongoose that live in close association with humans. They do not know the source of infection but this organism is threatening the survival of small banded mongoose troops.
Project web site: www.caracal.info, See also www.fishwild.vt.edu/faculty/alexander.htm
"The health of our ecosystems are dependent on local communities and local communities are dependent on the health of the ecosystem. People who are hungry and poor have more immediate concerns than saving wildlife." K. Alexander
Developing local investment and owership in wildlife is the key to securing a future for this resource and the ecosystems on which we all depend. However, it is becoming apparent that access to capital investment is not the primary barrier impeding localization in the tourism industry and other economic wildlife based opportunities. The key difficuty preventing Batswana from effectively out competing foreign operators is the lack of opportunity to develop passion for the resource and comprehensive knowledge and skill base to develop confidence and knowledge of how to advance in the sector.
Caracal has developed zoological garden, tourism and natural resource management training center to be located in Kasane Botswana. The site if over 20 hectares in size, located adjacent to the famous Chobe National Park and overlooks the river as it winds through the Botswana and Namibian flood plains. This facility will be able to provide for the long-term training and extension support required to bring Batswana into the natural resource sector and utilize this key resource to advance livelihoods of rural Batswana.
CARACAL has developed a zoological garden, tourism and natural resource management training center to be located in Kasane Botswana. The site if over 20 hectares in size, located adjacent to the famous Chobe National Park and overlooks the river as it winds through the Botswana and Namibian flood plains.
This facility will be able to provide for the long-term training and extension support required to bring Batswana into the natural resource sector and utilize this key resource to advance livelihoods of rural Batswana.