SPOTS was never intended to be a species
specific conservation company. It is true to say that there are many species, both on land and in our oceans, that are seriously threatened and endangered.
Over the coming years, we hope and intend to involve ourselves in the conservation and protection of any and all threatened species. Due to financial and resource constraints, we have had to prioritize our efforts. However, much of the work that we are currently doing on specific species will be transferable to other species.
We simply believe, that if the people of the world cannot ensure the survival of the rhino species, then what hope do the many other species have? The rhino is iconic, part of the Big 5 and a source of significant tourism revenue - arguably one of the most recognized animals on earth and yet it is being poached and butchered to the point of extinction. What are we doing in our effort to win the battle for rhino?
We are in the process of reforming the Predator Cat group within SPOTS - a group which will focus its attention primarily on the canned lion hunting and illegal lion bone trade. In so doing, we will commit to raising awareness as to the plight of other predator cat species, leopard, cheetah, serval, caracul etc.
We are monitoring, with growing concern, the increase in elephant poaching in our neighboring states and other African countries. Illegal ivory trade is on the increase and we believe that we will witness its escalation within the borders of South Africa in the not too distant future. We stand ready to combat it when it does. Here, in particular, the strategies, bush based human resource capabilities and the technologies which we are using to combat rhino poaching will immediately be deployable to combat elephant poaching.
There is little doubt, that the Asian syndicates that are driving rhino poaching are also behind the poaching of abalone along our coast line. Shutting down these syndicates is of national importance. Allowing them to flourish with their illegal activities in one species simply allows them to expand their efforts into others. We are therefore currently evaluating the potential for our UAV technology to play a role in closing down abalone poaching.
These are the core projects in which SPOTS is currently involved, but the years ahead will be challenging on many fronts. We must be ready to face and focus on those challenges as they occur. And we will not lose site of our determination to conserve and protect ANY and ALL threatened or endangered species.