Judging by the outrage and petitions flooding my news feed, Kendall Jones is the most evil person on earth. Except she isn't. When it comes to the real and mighty threats facing African wildlife, a hunter like Kendall Jones doesn't even begin to measure up. That's why all the furious anti-Jones petitioning in the world won't make any difference for actual conservation. (For the uninitiated, this is what has the world baying for Kendall Jones's blood. Photos of her are not getting any real estate in this post.)  

Ironically, your anger is only fuelling the attention hunters like Jones (and, a few months ago, Melissa Bachman) already have in spades – attention that provides them with platforms like their own TV shows and compels the media to devote time to them at the expense of conservation issues that matter so much more.

So here's a proposition. If Kendall Jones makes you angry, forget about Kendall Jones. Never think about her again. Even in the unlikely event that your petition achieves its desired end – in the case of this one, the banning of one blonde Texan hunter from African shores – it will still do exactly zilch for wildlife conservation across the African continent (for more on angry rants in the name of conservation check out this video). 

But here's the good news. There are so many easy and genuinely practical things you can do right now if conserving Africa's awesome natural heritage is really what you care about. All that's required is for you to turn your outrage into some meaningful action. 

1. Help fund anti-poaching efforts 

05 03 2014 Rhino Poaching Horns
Poachers killed more than 1,000 rhinos in South Africa alone last year.

Whatever your views on legal hunting (and there are plenty of solid arguments out there that suggest it can go hand in hand with conservation), by far the bigger problem for Africa is killing of the illegal kind. Throwing your weight behind curbing the latter is a far more effective strategy than campaigning against the former. Poachers, and the vast criminal networks they supply worldwide, were responsible for the deaths of more than 20,000 African elephants last year, and more than 1,000 rhinos in South Africa alone (and they're wiping out less publicised species like pangolins too). There are numerous anti-poaching causes you can support – South Africa's Project Rhino has a handy wishlist (just $50 buys them a backpack and water container for one of their anti-poaching rangers). You can also get behind some really innovative approaches, like this Zambian project, which provides impoverished former poachers with alternative livelihoods.

2. Help Africa's park rangers

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1,000 rangers have been killed in the line of duty in the past decade alone. Image: Reuters

With Kendall Jones dominating headlines, you may have missed stories about the plight of rangers who fight, sometimes to the death, to protect Africa's animals from dangers like poaching – often under extremely dangerous conditions, sometimes without even the most basic equipment (like decent shoes) and mostly for very little pay. Just in the past decade, 1,000 have been killed in the line of duty. Without their dedication, Africa's war on poaching would already be lost. Helping these rangers do their immense work can be as simple as donating a few dollars for new boots. You can also check out the Thin Green Line Foundation for more ideas.   

3. Help mitigate our human impacts

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Helping people and wildlife coexist is key as human populations continue to grow. Image: Dongyi Liu, Flickr.

If this photo of Jones with her lion kill makes you see red, you should know that the biggest threat to Africa's big cats is not a hunter's bullet, it's actually you and me … and the other seven billion people (and counting) on our planet. In fact, statistics show that every time we add another billion, we cut lion populations in half. Aside from the obvious things we can do to keep human populations in check, we can also support organisations that help big cats and humans coexist. Lion Guardians, for example, work to protect the threatened predators over vast tracts of prime lion habitat across Kenya and Tanzania, working to reduce conflicts between the cats and the local communities. By sponsoring a 'Lion Guardian' you not only help prevent lions from being unnecessarily killed in human/wildlife conflicts, but you also help pay the salary of the Maasai warrior who acts as guardian.    

4. Help conservationists fight disease

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Rabies vaccination drives for domestic dogs can help save wild species. Image: Lincoln Park Zoo/Screengrab from YouTube.

Diseases can wipe out entire animal populations in Africa in a very short space of time. In 1994, for example, canine distemper quietly wiped out more than 2,000 lions in Africa's Serengeti. More outbreaks followed, and the source was eventually traced to domesticated dogs living in human settlements in the region (death by distemper is far more brutal than death at the hands of a hunter, by the way). Lions in other parts of the world, including the US, are not immune. Other diseases are a problem too. Rabies, also spread from human settlements, is a big threat to Africa's endangered wild dogs. Donating to fund vaccination drives can help. Try TUSK or the Serengeti Health Initiative.

5. Get out there!

There's nothing like seeing Africa's amazing wildlife for yourself.

Visit an African country to see the wildlife for yourself! Your visit means precious cash is pumped into eco-tourism economies across the continent. That not only helps to maintain wild ecosystems and the animals that inhabit them, but it also helps to generate income for the communities that live alongside these habitats, helping them to become effective stewards of their natural heritage.