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Pooches Vs. Poachers

12/17/2014

Pooches Vs. Poachers

12/17/2014

Zambia’s Luangwa Valley is a great example of Africa’s rich biodiversity, and includes the migration range of the country’s largest elephant population and lion population, and the second largest African wild dog and endemic Thornicroft giraffe populations. Unfortunately, this also means that the Luangwa Valley is incredibly attractive to poachers who are decimating these populations; despite the Zambian government’s attempt to keep wildlife populations intact, the 2013 hunting ban was lifted in September 2014, making elephants once again fair game to trophy hunters. <http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0909-hance-zambia-hunting.html#sthash.bGlH5pcn.dpbs> Despite this return of legal trophy hunting, the Zambia Wildlife Authority is still taking steps towards eliminating the poaching threat. 

Rachel McRobb is the principle investigator for SLCS’s “Improving Current Law Enforcement Efforts and Long Term Carnivore Research in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia” [AT1] a five-year anti poaching initiative supported by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

This antipoaching initiative rigorously addresses poaching and continues important wildlife research in the South Luangwa National park (SLNP) and surrounding Game Management Areas (GMA’s).  The initiative is a collaborative effort of the South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS), the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), local Community Resource Boards (CRB’s) and the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP).

The project includes a multi-faceted approach to monitoring South Luangwa ecosystems and diminish the presences of poachers. As a first defense on the ground, it will increase routine and emergency anti poaching patrols and fully equip and deploy 80 additional scouts, along with refresher training courses. In the sky, it will institute routine and emergency aerial surveillance, including a dedicated fixed winged aircraft and pilot. Using conservation technology, it will collect data on all large carnivores to monitor population change and threats. Finally, it will implement a detection dog program to assist in uncovering wildlife contraband, including ivory and bushmeat, which will help ZAWA arrest current poachers and traffickers and deter future ones.

 

 


 [AT1]Is this what it is called? It is what I found in the email…but if there is a more concise project title I’d like to use it. 

 

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