ALERT increases its role in wildlife protection
May 4 2014

The African Lion & Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) Wildlife Protection Unit has entered into a partnership with Rory Young of Bannon-Tighe Global Assessment Group to extend our existing work in this important area of conservation.  Through this partnership we are offering training to Africa’s anti-poaching units (APUs) in the most comprehensive, intelligent and pragmatic doctrine ever devised to bring the practice of poaching under control.  Further, this doctrine utilises existing local resources and personnel with objective and low-cost solutions.

Lion mother and cub

The doctrine A Field Manual for Anti-Poaching Activities and the training will be provided to APUs free of charge thanks to funding provided by many supporting parties.  To that end ALERT is also pleased to announce a partnership with Chengeta Wildlife to extend fundraising efforts in support of this program. 

Rory Young says about the Manual: “Right now, organizations often end up latching onto some expensive technology or some super-warrior as the magic formula to tackling the issues of wildlife protection. Generally, the feeling is that soldiers are the people for the job, and the troops are being sent in more and more. There are also many programs where serving and former foreign military men train rangers and scouts in weapons handling and battle tactics. This is just not the answer.  Most of these troops who go in and cannot find the "enemy" are conventionally trained. They patrol round and around without ever even seeing a poacher.  Poachers, although often skilled fighters, are not conducting a military campaign - and they are past masters at not being found. It is a game of cat and mouse, and it needs the right cats!  What is needed in this struggle is a comprehensive doctrine that addresses all the problems; and offers objective and inexpensive solutions.”

A Field Manual for Anti-Poaching Activities”, available in both English and French, has been developed by Rory Young, a professional tracker with 25 years’ experience and a number of security professionals with experience in investigations, special operations, law enforcement, and S.W.A.T. training doctrines.  The combined experience of these contributors has created a doctrine capable of tackling poaching at the market, in transit and on the ground.

The doctrine and training covers three broad areas of expertise required in effective wildlife protection:

1.      Pro-active and reactive investigation techniques to understand the movements, areas of operation and modus operandi of poachers.  Effective investigation is key to improving success and utilising resources in locating and capturing poachers most efficiently.

2.    Surveillance and tracking skills to locate the poachers.  These training protocols have been developed with many years’ experience and incorporating aspects of anthropology, podiatry and forensic science. 

3.    Apprehension techniques to ensure a safe and effective method to capture poachers.

Training is conducted within local and international laws and adapted to local conditions and sensitivities. Wherever possible local trainers are used and training of local individuals, able to provide future training, is always the primary goal. The doctrine and training are transparent and made available to local authorities in advance, and their input and advice requested prior to commencement.

This partnership is already being implemented.  Trainers have been dispatched to the Gache Gache area of Zimbabwe where 21 scouts involved in anti-poaching activities with 5 different organizations are receiving training to enhance their effectiveness (some are pictured with Rory below). 

APU training Gache Gache

In May training shifts to another location in Zimbabwe.  Numerous countries and anti-poaching units across the continent of Africa have already expressed an interest in receiving training under this partnership following a brief introduction of the doctrine.

Together, and with financial assistance from the global community we can implement wildlife protection programs that utilise the best knowledge available to tackle one of the greatest challenges to Africa’s wildlife.  To support this initiative please make a donation, referencing your donation “APU” (or write to to inform us that you have made a donation and would like it to go to this project).


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