Other Monitoring Projects
The African Lion & Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) conducts various monitoring projects in Zambezi National Park, in support of Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA). These projects include:
Large Predator Occupancy Survey
As apex predators, large carnivores play an important ecological role as influencers of prey population dynamics. Since many large predators are nocturnal, daytime sightings can be rare.
As a result, ALERT is conducting a large predator occupancy survey using indirect measures, that is observation records of predator tracks and scat along access roads within ZNP as indicators of predator presence with the aim of determining the distribution and patterns of habitat occupancy amongst large predators across all vegetation types within the park.
Additional data is collected from incidental sightings as well as using camera traps deployed across the park in various key locations such as along roads, game trails, at carcasses, waterholes, springs etc
In conjunction with ZPWMA, ALERT is engaged in a bird monitoring survey project following methods developed by the 2nd South African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP2), a project that aims to monitor bird populations across the region including Zimbabwe, Lesotho, South Africa, Namibia and Swaziland.
SABAP2’s objectives are to provide a scientifically rigorous, replicable platform for tracking the impacts of environmental change on Southern African birds through time and space by means of standardized data collection on bird distribution and an index of abundance. It also aims to increase public participation in biodiversity data collection and public awareness of birds through the large-scale mobilization of citizen scientists/volunteers.
One of Zimbabwe’s 20 Important Bird Areas (IBA) is the Batoka Gorge System, a 120 km long stretch of the Zambezi River upstream and downstream of Victoria Falls, making this is a key area for bird surveys.