From eland to rhino, wildlife conservation in Africa

After a successful reccy trip to Zambia late last year Science for Wildlife is currently working with partner organisations to develop a proposal to restore populations of locally extinct or depleted wildlife species in the Lower Zambezi area. The project is being undertaken together with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Zambia, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, and local not-for-profit Conservation Lower Zambezi.

The poaching crisis in Africa is very real, and it’s getting out of hand. More resources are badly needed to secure protected areas from all levels of poaching; from snaring for commercial bushmeat, which is indiscriminate and impacts many species including large carnivores, through to high level poaching for elehpant ivory and rhino horn.

The Lower Zambezi is a stunningly beautiful area, with diverse wildlife including the rare and endangered African wild dog, elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, and hyaena, through to a myriad of smaller species like the tiny elephant shrew. A valley concentrates the wildlife between the mountains and the river and this area used to be teaming with black rhino, which are now locally extinct. The ultimate aim of the program is to bring the rhino back, and protect a lot of other species along the way, but there is a lot of work to do to achieve that.

By focussing on the restoration and conservation of flagship mammal species this program aims to increase resources to reduce poaching threats, and to collect much-needed data on the status of wildlife populations and their habitats. This information will help to identify other threats to wildlife, and to guide management and allow us to monitor the effectiveness of current and future conservation efforts.

We’ll be posting more news as things progress.

black rhino in Zambia
We visited a successful black rhino reintroduction
project as part of our reccy trip, and were lucky
enough to see this rhino close up in the boma.

 

African wild dogs Lower Zambezi
African wild dogs are declining in most part of
Africa but still hanging in there in the Lower Zambezi.
Part of the program will be to monitor and restore
populations of large carnivores like this. This pack
had 5 new pups resting in the shade.