reducing poison-related vulture deaths
The main Project Goal is: Poison related vulture deaths (and consequently other wildlife species deaths) in three African poisoning ‘hotspot’ countries reduced, as a contribution towards the halting and long-term reversal of vulture declines in Africa, and stemming wildlife poisoning across a transfrontier conservation area.
This project is being implemented together with other BirdLife partners in Southern Africa working in the KAZA landscape, BirdLife Zimbabwe and BirdLife Botswana. Priority area(s) targeted in the KAZA are: Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe), Chobe National Park (Botswana), and Kafue National Park (Zambia).
The specific objective(s) of the project are:
- Enhance the management and governance of priority protected areas by addressing existing limitations (strengthening on-site infrastructure/equipment for patrolling, poaching control, and developing capacity of staff);
- Enforce the legal framework required to achieve effective biodiversity conservation
Project achievements thus far
Wildlife Poisoning Response Training: Under this project, we have trained law enforcement personnel and stakeholders in Wildlife Poisoning Response. Trained personnel were strategically selected from various patrol teams around Kafue National Park. The importance of this training is that it is tailored to equip the officers with knowledge to; (1) early detection of poisoning signs in wildlife, respond appropriately to save affected but alive wildlife, and secure the scene to prevent further poisoning and disturbance of evidence on the crime scene; (2) Collect credible evidence safely and professionally to secure a conviction for perpetrators; and (3) Manage the poison crime scene safely, and decontaminate it to avoid further poisoning.
Establishment of the Vulture Support Group (VSG): BWZ has managed to establish the first ever VSG in Namwala Game Management Area (GMA). The aim of this group is to engage local communities in tackling vulture poisoning. This group will be supported to monitor vultures at regular intervals and report poisoning incidents while creating awareness among fellow community members.