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USFWS MENTOR Fellowship Program

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 07:31 AM
Through the 2008-2009 Wildlife Without Borders Africa program, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is addressing the need for action to curtail the illegal and unsustainable bushmeat trade in eastern Africa. The USFWS MENTOR Fellowship Program used a team approach to build the capacity of eight emerging eastern African conservation leaders to address bushmeat challenges and lay the foundation for implementing bushmeat solutions.







MENTOR Fellowship Program
US Fish and Wildlife ServicesMENTOR Fellowship PartnersCollege of African Wildlife Management


There is an urgent need for information, capacity and action to address the illegal and unsustainable trade in bushmeat as hunting is on the rise in eastern Africa. The market for illegal bushmeat -- a term applied to any wild game in Africa hunted for food or income-- is taking a heavy toll on wildlife. The pressure on wildlife species such as the hippopotamus from poaching could jeopardize the long-term health and viability of wildlife. However, the threat is not just to wildlife, but also the lucrative tourist industry that is one of the region's biggest employers.

Through the USFWS MENTOR (Mentoring for ENvironmental Training in Outreach and Resource conservation) Fellowship Program, a cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service with the College of African Wildlife Management- Mweka, Tanzania, and the Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group capacity has been built for a multidisciplinary team of promising conservationists to address bushmeat challenges and solutions.  As a result of the MENTOR program, a new network of eastern African wildlife professionals who can lead efforts to reduce illegal and unsustainable bushmeat exploitation at local, national and regional levels is being developed.  The Bushmeat-free Eastern Africa Network (BEAN) is an interdisciplinary network consisting of stakeholders who work collaboratively to implement grassroots solutions that directly address bushmeat exploitation problems affecting protected and surrounding areas in eastern Africa.
 MENTOR is a unique, multidisciplinary, academic and field-based professional development training system that engages experts to collaboratively train working
professionals and build cutting-edge curriculum for institutions of higher learning.  The 18 month post-graduate diploma course for the  2008/2009 MENTOR Fellowship Program  used a team approach to achieve two principal learning outcomes: 1) To Analyze the Bushmeat Challenges in Eastern Africa, and 2) To Demonstrate Bushmeat Solutions.  The program is built on sound science, a clear understanding of the ecology of eastern Africa, and an awareness of the current conservation and development issues driving the illegal bushmeat trade in the region. 

MENTOR Fellow's Bushmeat Field Assessments 

The eight Fellows from Kenya, Southern Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, who were selected in February 2008,
spent 6 months at the College of African Wildlife Management taking specially designed coursework on bushmeat solutions and challenges
and 12 months in the field under the guidance of experienced conservation Mentors conducting field assessments and implementing pilot projects toward bushmeat solutions.  
Following are the results of their bushmeat field assessments:

Powerpoint on Findings on Bushmeat Exploitation in Eastern Africa

Factsheet on Kenya, Masai Mara Ecosystem Bushmeat Field Assessment

Factsheet on Kenya Wildlife Policy, Game Ranching and Bushmeat Field Assessment

Factsheet on Southern Sudan, Bandingialo National Park and Bor Bushmeat Field Assessment    

Factsheet on Southern Sudan, Boma National Park Bushmeat Field Assessment

Factsheet on Tanzania, Katavi National Park Bushmeat Field Assessment   

Factsheet on Tanzania, Morogoro and Kilmbero Districts: Bushmeat Assessment of Urban Centers

Factsheet on Uganda, Masindi, Gulu, Kampala and Kasese: Bushmeat Assessment of Urban Centers

Factsheet on Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya: Governance and Legal Regime Assessment


MENTOR Fellowship Program Accomplishments 2008-2009 

Following are the results of the MENTOR Fellows' field implementation projects that used a multi-pronged approach to dealing
with bushmeat by leveraging partnerships on bushmeat awareness, economic and protein alternatives, and law enforcement.

MENTOR Fellowship Program Actions and Accomplishments Fact Sheet  

Introduction to Regional Strategy for Bushmeat in Eastern Africa and Role of Pilot Implementation Projects

Joint Presentation on Bushmeat Pilot Implementation Projects

Lessons and Experiences from MENTOR Communications and Partnerships

Bushmeat Law Enforcement and Governance in East Africa Presentation

Kenya National Syposium Report, May 2009 

Bushmeat Symposium Abstracts for the Society for Conservation Biology in Ghana, January 2009


Additional Resources & Links:

Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group (ABCG): 

Bushmeat Crisis Task Force (BCTF): 

BCTF Presentation on Collaboration, Knowledge and Action on Bushmeat

Bushmeat-free Eastern Africa Network (BEAN): 

College of African Wildlife Management (CAWM)-Mweka, Tanzania: 

MENTOR Fellows' Webpages:

MENTOR Fellowship Program Website:

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Without Borders Africa Program Website:


For more information on the USFWS MENTOR Fellowshjp Program, contact: 







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