Zambia

Luangwa

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Dealing With Snaring

Dealing With Snaring

Dealing With Snaring

Illegal snaring for bush meat is widespread in Zambia and represents a major threat to important target and non-target species such as giraffe, elephant, lion and the African wild dog. Snares are easy to set and conceal and wire is readily available.
   
With the human population in Africa predicted to double by 2050 (UN-ESA 2008), sustainable protein resources will be increasingly strained, escalating the harvest of the illegal bush meat trade. Where meat poaching occurs, wire snaring is likely to be the most popular method. However, due to their non-selective nature, snares inflict severe injuries on wildlife, normally resulting in a long, painful death.

Elephants are particularly susceptible to snaring as they are often attracted to farming areas around protected areas such as the Game Management Areas which surround the parks. While lions and wild dogs are not target species, their tendency to frequent areas with high prey density, where snaring is likely to be more prevalent, also makes them extremely susceptible.
   
In order to combat snaring in the South Luangwa, the South Luangwa Conservation Society supports village scouts who conduct regular anti-snaring patrols. The Society also responds to reports of snared animals and will immobilize and treat any casualties.

From 2006 - 2011 SLCS has detected over 50 elephants and 15 lions with wire snares. Every pack of wild dogs recorded also had an individual with a snare, while numerous giraffe, hyaena and antelope have also been reported injured. Luckily all these animals were identified, immobilized and treated and the vast majority made a full recovery.

Read more about the work of the South Luangwa Conservation Society from the Zambezi Traveller:
South Luangwa Conservation Society

Read more about anti-poaching initiatives in the Zambezi Traveller:
Anti-Poaching

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Luangwa

Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 08, March 2012)