Craig Spencer

From WikiAnimal

Craig Spencer started his career in conservation in the government structures in the Western Cape Province where he initiated the Marine Anti-Poaching initiative to curb abalone poaching in the southern coastal regions. Whilst working in the Cape, he initiated several poverty-relief initiatives and was the manager of the Buffer Zone of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. In 2007 Craig started his own NGO Transfrontier Africa which is based in the Balule Nature Reserve which, in turn, is part of Associated Private Nature Reserves in the Greater Kruger Area. The initiated Balule Research Facility that partners with several local and international research institutions. Craig had been the Head Warden of Balule Nature Reserve and served as Head Warden of the Association of Private Nature Reserves until August 2018.

In 2013 Craig founded The Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit. The Black Mamba initiative currently employs 36 women from the local tribal communities and was recognized as the “Best Rhino Conservation Practitioner” in Johannesburg in 2015 (Game Rangers Association of Southern Africa), as well as the UNEP “Champions of the Earth” in 2015. He is also the founder of The Bush Babies Environmental Education Program which aims to educate children from the local schools adjacent to Greater Kruger and their families about environment, animals and help them grow into environmentally conscious adults and citizens of South Africa.

In June 2019 Craig started a new intake of the Black Mambas planning to employ 10 Mambas and 6 Environmental Educators to further advance Rhino conservation and community upliftment projects.  In 2022 Craig employed 6 more women rangers to form a special division, Crime Prevention Unit.

In 2020 The Black Mambas project acquired a land where The Black Mambas established their headquarter and which will be used for training, permaculture and other projects to ensure our rangers and community officers sustainable work and life.

The Awards Craig and The Black Mambas have received since 2013:

  • 2022: SES (Scientific Exploration Society) Pioneers with Purpose Award
  • 2022: IUCN, Highly Commended Ranger Team Award
  • 2021: IUCN, Highly Commended Ranger (Nkateko Mzimba) Award
  • 2020: The Sierra Club, The Earth Care Award
  • 2020: The Paradise International Foundation, Ranger of the Year Award
  • 2019: International Institute for Peace through Tourism in conjunction with the Resilience Council, Change Maker in Tourism Award (Craig Spencer)
  • Resilient Efforts Through Cultural Diversity Award (The Black Mambas)
  • 2017: The Eco-Warrior Silver Award
  • 2015: UN Champion of the Earth Award
  • 2015: Rhino Conservation Award
  • Best Conservation Practitioner of the Year

See also