Reviews of: A Field Manual For Anti-Poaching Activities

Answer by Logan Forbes:

Written by Rory Young and Yakov Alexseyev, two men wholly qualified to present and teach the skills contained in this field manual. 

Rory, with a lifetime of living and breathing the African bush as well as more than 25 years experience as a professional tracker and guide and Yakov brings his expertise as a retired member of the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations. 

The book’s Preface sets forth the definition of poaching and the far-reaching consequences in statements that are in equal parts sobering and direct: 

“Our own existence clings to the fragile towers made up of the myriad of different life forms with which we share the planet… By destroying individual species, or changing the numbers of a species, we change their impact on their ecosystems and we will eventually cause the towers to crumble and topple, bringing others down in the process…For anyone to believe that humans can exist without healthy natural areas is stupid beyond belief.”
Each chapter is laid out in intricate detail that, I daresay, rivals any law enforcement textbook.  The chapter on tracking (complete with diagrams) is a fascinating and utterly engrossing read.  The instruction covers much more than simply determining shoe size and gender and even the lay person will be newly awakened to what they could glean from their natural surroundings.  For professionals in the field, it provides a detailed analysis of how to interpret the smallest detail and incorporate it into an overall strategy.

There’s comprehensive information on mapping out a conservation area complete with instructions on how and when to use graphics effectively, what information is vital and how to convert it all into a resource that will guide the anti-poaching team. 
The finer points of apprehension and questioning are delved into in intricate detail, including such familiar techniques as “good cop/bad cop” and a host of lesser known, equally effective, interrogation strategies.

Amidst the abundance of technical information and law enforcement techniques, a somewhat unexpected facet of the doctrine is the humanity with which Rory and Yakov advocate in the treatment of suspects upon apprehension.  Poaching is a supremely complex issue and the manual details the less publicized toll it takes on the human component.

 The technicalities of anti-poaching are enveloped inside proactive and reactive strategies and the authors demonstrate a clear understanding of the need to encompass all variables that make up this devastating epidemic.
This field manual provides precisely what it purports to — a comprehensive, direct and simple approach to put an end to rampant poaching once and for all and ultimately lead the world toward a better path.

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