Protecting wild dog in Luangwa
Protecting wild dog in Luangwa
South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS) operates under the mandate of an MoU with the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) and provides technical and financial support to both ZAWA and the Community Resource Boards (CRB's). SLCS supports 46 Kakumbi Village scouts with technical support, uniforms, rations, deployments, all patrol equipment, housing, incentives and bonuses and at the same time provides salaries for 36 scouts.
The remaining 10 receive their salaries from the Kakumbi CRB. Village scout support is vital in assisting ZAWA with managing and protecting the game management areas and national park. Since 2005 SLCS has coordinated and sponsored the training of over 120 village scouts surrounding South Luangwa and has provided equipment to all.
Snaring continues to be the major cause of wildlife deaths. Possible reasons for this include an increase in human population bordering the national park, the wide availability of wire that can be used for snaring in the area, the ease at which snaring is done i.e. very little skills needed and all ages of the community can do it, weak convictions by the courts on suspects apprehended for snaring, poverty and at the same time an increase in wealth amongst some of the community thereby providing a market for the sale of bush meat.
Working with one of our partners, the Zambian Carnivore Program (ZCP), SLCS formed and manages the wild dog anti-snaring team. The group was primarily created in order to address the ongoing problem of snaring mortality in the region’s wild dog populations. The four man patrol team is employed and managed by SLCS. Apart from wild dog conservation, the team has been instrumental in reducing the number of snares that would have potentially trapped and killed hundreds of other species prone to snaring such as giraffe, elephant, hyaena, lion, buffalo, warthog, bushbuck and other small antelope. Snaring is indiscriminate and if not constantly addressed, is silently capable of wiping out large numbers of animals.
Despite ongoing and commendable efforts by the anti snaring scouts, snaring continues to be a relentless problem in South Luangwa and SLCS works with partners such as the ZCP to try and tackle it with new and innovative ideas. Working in close collaboration with ZCP, the scout team movements are structured using valuable GPS coordinates remotely downloaded from wild dogs and lions collared by ZCP. This sharing of information improves the effectiveness of the scout patrols and the removal of snares.
Read more about the work of the South Luangwa Conservation Society from the Zambezi Traveller:
South Luangwa Conservation Society
Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 11, Dec 2012)
Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Read more about African Wild Dog from the Zambezi Traveller:
African Wild Dogs - The Best Team in Africa
The Hwange painted dog project
Zambezi key to African wild dog’s future
Conserving the African wild dog
Wild dog – the picture in Zambia
The African Wild Dog
Building Boundaries with Scent