Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wildlife Trafficking Delegation from Mozambique


On April 14-19, a delegation of ten from Mozambique visited us to learn about U.S. efforts to deter poaching and trafficking of wildlife resources through wildlife protection policies, law enforcement and criminal prosecution, and to explore non‑governmental organizations, citizens, activists and private organizations that promote and support wildlife protection and discourage consumer demand.

During they visit, they met with Dr. Megan Parker and Dr. Pete Coppolillo at Working Dogs for Conservation, a nonprofit conservation detective dog organization which trains dogs to detect ammunition, guns, poisons, snares, ivory, rhino horn, and pangolin scales.  Next they met with Wildlife Associate Shana Dunkley and Executive Director Caroline Bird at the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, an advocacy group that is dedicated to protecting the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  They then met with Julie Cunningham at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to discuss how they manage wildlife and the environment and preserve Montana’s hunting, fishing, trapping, and recreational heritage along with how the state works to prevent poaching and prosecute offenders.

The morning of Saturday April 16th, the delegation left their hotels and headed to Yellowstone National Park.  They met with Rick McIntyre, a wildlife ranger and biological technician who has spent 20 years watching and studying wolves in Yellowstone for the National Park Service. Rick rises early, uses radio telemetry to pinpoint the location of a pack with a radio-collared member, then heads out with his spotting scope to observe them, keeping careful notes of their activities.  Rick spoke with the delegation about the illegal hunting of wolves.

Next, the group headed to Missoula, and from there, on to the National Bison Range.  They toured the National Bison Range, and also met with Dale Becker, tribal game manager for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.  On the way back to Missoula they stopped at Denny Iverson Ranch and met with  the Blackfoot Challenge group.

On their last day, April 19th, they made a quick trip to the Smokejumper Visitor Center before departing from Missoula airport to return back home.

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