Protecting Wildlife in Kafue National Park, Zambia
Kafue National Park was established in 1924 and is the largest national park in Zambia, covering an area of about 22,400 km. It is the second largest park in Africa and is home to over 55 different species of animals including elephants, lions, buffalo, hippopotamus, leopards, and cheetahs. It also has one of the last few viable populations of African wild dog left in southern Africa.
Ongoing worldwide demand for ivory coupled with a flourishing local market for bush meat is putting immense pressure on dwindling wildlife populations. Zambia, like many developing countries, is faced with a wide range of social and economic problems, and financial support for resource protection and the security of Zambia’s protected areas must compete with a great number of other issues, many of which are deemed to be of greater priority. The outcome of this situation is that the ability of the Zambia Wildlife Authority to protect and preserve Zambia’s National Parks is severely compromised.
Commencing in early 2015, this project provides key support to the Zambia Wildlife Authority through Born Free Foundation’s project partner, Game Rangers International and their Kafue Conservation Project. Our support enables a dedicated number of patrols to be undertaken by the elite ZAWA Special Anti-Poaching Units in the park to enhance protection at a time of major depletion of wildlife populations, encroachment into protected areas and other illegal activities such as charcoal production and illegal timber harvesting.
By providing extra patrols we offer a more efficient and effective solution to the growing poaching crisis and build partnerships between government authorities and NGOs. The additional patrols also allow for simultaneous deployments to multiple poaching hotspots and illegal wildlife crime incidents, providing greater coverage and protection within the park. Through intelligence led law enforcement the Rapid Response Teams are quickly able to investigate wildlife crime incidents and follow up on poaching intelligence and activity, as well as offer support to a PROPOSED new sniffer dog team to help disrupt trade routes and dealers involved in the heinous activity of wildlife crime.