Assisting the Zambia Department of National Parks and Wildlife
November 8 2016

All of Africa’s wildlife authorities have limited resources, and Zambia’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) is no exception. 

The Mosi-O-Tunya National Park is one of the smallest of Zambia’s protected areas, yet it is a major earner for DNPW due to its proximity to the tourist hub of Livingstone town and the Victoria Falls.  The Park contributes significant funding to DNPW’s budget that helps subsidise less visited parks elsewhere in the country. 

In recent years, however, Livingstone has grown rapidly due to high rates of urbanisation in the country, and now has a resident population of nearly 140,000 people.  Residential areas have expanded to within a few metres of the Park boundary in some parts of the Park.  High unemployment in the town and in nearby rural communities is a significant driver of poaching activities, whilst DNPW receives a limited budget from Government to tackle the problem.

ALERT, and its local partner, Wildlife Encounter, provide support to DNPW in a number of areas, over and above our research work, to assist their management of the Park, including in anti-poaching, game counts and litter picking.  Significant funding is also raised for DNPW through ALERT conservation research activities.

Since July over 300 man/hours have been devoted to assisting DNPW remove almost 400 snares from the Park.  This brings the total number of snares we have removed from the Park over the past few years to 2,256.

During a recent snare sweep, accompanied by Mr. Eric Moomba, a DNPW wildlife officer, our team came across a giraffe which had been dead for some time.  After carefully examining the remains, they found that the giraffe had snare marks around its neck and its back leg.  The carcass of an elephant was also found, although it appears that it likely died from natural causes.  The team assisted the wildlife officer to carefully remove the tusks which were handed over to DNPW for safe keeping.

Also this past month, besides regular litter picks, ALERT assisted DNPW to conduct a game count of the Park.  ALERT provided a research protocol, research equipment, a vehicle and manpower over the four day event.  Additional stakeholders in the area also joined the team to assist DNPW in their task.

Please make a donation here to assist us to be able to continue to support DNPW, and to tackle the underlying drivers of poaching in this area.

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