The Frankfurt Zoo has heartwarming initiatives in Gonarezhou National Park….which is part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park….
follow this link for general news……
Zoologische Gesellschaft Frankfurt- Gonarezhou Conservation Project.
here is Hugo van der Westhuizen and a scout
team, with recovered snares….
Plus read this excerpt from African Wildlife Conservation Fund facebook page , to get an update on African Wild dogs and predators in Gonarezhou
Gonarezhou is a beautiful 5,000 km2 wilderness in Zimbabwe’s South East Lowveld. Gonarezhou has long been the forgotten son of the Zim parks network receiving little attention from tourists and inadequate funding for conservation. This is despite Gonarezhou forming part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area and lying close to Kruger National Park, one of the most visited parks in Africa. Wildlife populations in Gonarezhou were devastated by a drought in 1991-1992 and then suffered from many years of under-funding. Wildlife populations remained at very low levels for many years due to ongoing poaching for bushmeat and other human threats.
In 2007, however, prospects for conservation improved dramatically. Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority signed an MOU for co-management of the park. This provided a much needed injection of funding and technical capacity to assist ZPWMA’s efforts in the park. FZS’s support includes (among many other things) providing rigorous scout training, introducing an improved radio network, providing vehicles and fuel, improving maintenance of vehicles and roads, and establishing partial fencing to reduce human encroachment in the park. Since then there has been a sustained recovery in wildlife populations in the park, including for large predators.
African Wildlife Conservation Fund works to understand and conserve the populations of large carnivores in the park and adjacent areas. Led by Dr Rosemary Groom, and her trusted side-kick Rueben Bote, the AWCF team conducts annual spoor counts to determine population trends in the park, and has fitted some collars onto carefully selected wild dog packs and lion groups in order to investigate transboundary movements by these species.
The latest census indicated that predator numbers in the park are recovering steadily. Wild dog numbers are up to 105 individuals from 24 in 2009. Cheetahs increased from 16 to 82 in the same period, lions from 24 to 59, leopards from 194 to 344 and spotted hyaenas from 311 to 580. In addition to monitoring predators, the AWCF team conducts conservation education and community outreach, and is working to address threats to predators. Please take a look at their Facebook page and learn more about the great work they are doing.
Gonarezhou is an incredible place. The park has a special wilderness feel that is so rare these days. The Chilojo cliffs form a spectacular centre-piece to the park and increasingly, visitors can expect to see impressive quantities and diversity of wildlife, including species that are not common in many other parts of the region, including bat eared foxes, suni, nyala, and pangolins. And elephants. Lots of elephants. In the context of the poaching crisis of today, it is reassuring to know that Gonarezhou, the Place of Elephants, truly lives up to its name.
The success of Gonarezhou is particularly impressive given the troubled political and economic context of Zimbabwe in recent years. Congrats to FZS and ZPWMA, and to the AWCF team for the hard work done in one of Zimbabwe’s most beautiful corners..
We recently visited GRZ and camped at Chitove for 5 days from 5th to 10th October. We saw a pack of 14 wild dogs across the river just North of the causeway one morning. We watched them from close range for some time until they got up, when we noticed that 5 of them were badly injured with broken back or front legs. 5 were youngish pups so that left 4 able to hunt, not a good prognosis for the pack I would suggest. We attempted to contact someone at Malilangwe and left a message re the dogs. We saw them again 3 days later when we left – about 3rd of the way to Chilojo cliffs quite near the river, they looked very lethargic and stressed; they had not moved very far in 3 days.
hopefully you can locate them and observe for yourselves and decide whether to intervene.
Otherwise many congratulations for the fine work being done as evidenced by the well maintained
roads and camps.
Of some concern is the cattle invading from the East between the game scout camp and the confluence – we saw a herd of about 100 on 2 separate occasions.