Other Monitoring Projects

Victoria Falls

The African Lion & Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) conducted various monitoring projects in Zambezi National Park, in support of Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA). These projects included:

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 conducted a large predator occupancy survey using indirect measures, such as observation records of predator tracks and scat along access roads within Zambezi National Park, to use as indicators of predator presence. The aim of this survey was to determine the distribution and patterns of habitat occupancy amongst large predators across all vegetation types within the park.

Additional data was 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, and other areas.

Hyena Research VF

Biodiversity Assessment

This was a long-term monitoring study focused on the large mammals in the Zambezi National Park from 2013 until 2020. The overall aim was to obtain reliable estimates of population size, structure, trends (yearly and seasonal), densities and distribution patterns of large ungulates.

Distribution patterns can yield useful information as to the nature of mechanisms negatively operating on a population and identification of the drivers of change within a conservation area. Such information is vital for sustainable and effective wildlife management and was therefore reported regularly to Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

Bird Survey

In conjunction with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, ALERT 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.

Bird Survey