Wildlife resource inventory & monitoring in the KAZA
The Kavango‐Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) is with about 440.000² km bigger than Germany and the world’s biggest transboundary conservation area. Previously, the conservation map of the KAZA region resembled a patchwork rug: animal populations which originally belonged together lived in 21 separate conservation areas (national parks, preserves, community based preservation areas) – separated by national boundaries, villages, fields and streets. About 250.000 elephants lived in extremely overcrowded conditions in the national parks of Botswana and Zimbabwe, although there was enough space in Angola and Zambia. KAZA changed that by generating transboundary corridors and linking conservation areas to enable animal migration routes.
The Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Kfw Development Bank promote the implementation of the KAZA vision: a sustainable development through tourism and nature conservation. One tourism component of this vision has been implemented by Futouris as a partner of the KfW with the industry project “KAZA – sustainable lodges”. With the support of the Loro Parque Foundation the Futouris member Loro Parque and Futouris now are also commited to the nature conservation in KAZA.
The project gets implemented by scientist from the US organisation for the protection of species Panthera. Panthera’s mission is to ensure a future for wild cats and the vast landscapes on which they depend. They envision a world where wild cats thrive in healthy natural and developed landscapes that sustain people and biodiversity.
The project consists of two schemes:
- Inventory of the wildlife in the national parks Mavinga and Luiana in Angola
The inventory will be conducted with the help of camera traps. In a first step, the right locations for the camera traps near waterholes will be determined. The pictures will be analyzed by Panthera and a species inventory as well as migration maps of the populations will be developed. This material can be used for conservation purposes as well as for the touristic development of the region.
2. Monitoring of the lion populations and their migration paths
Big carnivores like lions are an integral part of the KAZA landscape. As apex predators they form and structure the community of herbivores in Africa’s savannahs and are also of great importance for the tourism. Actually, until now little is known about the distribution of this key species in the Angolan part of KAZA. In the framework of this project eight lions will be fitted with tracking collars which enable the scientists to comprehend the migration paths. By doing so, the scientists can also examine if and how much the lion populations use the new wildlife corridors of the KAZA area.
Data from the project schemes are an important basis for nature conservation as well as for the sustainable touristic development of the region. The detailed knowledge of the migration paths of the lions helps to inform local farmers with an early warning system about migrating lion populations in order to minimize human-wildlife-conflicts.
By improving the knowledge of lodge owners about the distribution and population size the lion populations can be preserved as an integral component of the conservation area and the tourism destination. The data collection will take place until October 2016. A first interim report was published in January 2016. The end report will be presented in June 2017.