This project is implementing a HWC mitigation strategy against livestock predation by hyenas and lions. The overall objective is to restore depleted wildlife populations that once significantly benefited communities in the Sebungwe landscape of north western Zimbabwe. In human dominated landscapes co-existence between humans and wildlife can only be achieved when loss of human life and livelihoods (crops and livestock) to wildlife is reduced. One of the focus of our project is to build the capacity of the local communities to protect and coexist with wildlife while protecting and improving their livelihoods.
The project is specifically addressing human-carnivore mitigation through provision of predator proof cattle bomas and reinforcement of existing conventional livestock kraals. The project has also recruited and trained Community Guardians who report and respond to human-wildlife conflict incidences and assist with monitoring the movement of predators and other wildlife in collaboration with other stakeholders.
The project's objective is to improve HWC mitigation and monitoring in Mbire District hotspot areas. It is specifically addressing human-carnivore mitigation through provision of predator proof cattle bomas and reinforcement of existing conventional livestock kraals.
The project is also collaborating with community scouts as a way to harness indigenous knowledge and integrate it with modern human wildlife conflict mitigation strategies in order to achieve excellent outcomes because community involvement is essential to the success of conservation efforts.
Guardians Of The Wild (GOTW)
Guardians of the Wild (GOTW) is our conservation education program, which is aimed at educating children in rural and urban schools about the importance of conservation and sustainable development. This is achieved through the establishment of conservation clubs in the schools, all under the name GUARDIANS OF THE WILD. The program is working with students from primary school i.e. Grades 3-7, and secondary school i.e. forms 1-6.
GOTW’s mission is to help children acquire an awareness and understanding of wildlife conservation. We want children to develop a positive attitude towards wildlife and motivate them to take positive conservation action and participate in different conservation practices.
We want to create a world where children are frontrunners in the conservation of wildlife, because it is theirs today, and forever.
A - creates conservation and sustainability Awareness
K - increases the children’s understanding and knowledge of wildlife, the environment, how the environment functions, how people interact with and depend on the environment, and how conservation problems can be solved.
A - fosters a positive Attitude and concern for wildlife and the environment in children.
S – helps children develop skills to identify and investigate different conservation problems and to contribute to their resolution.
P – GOTW encourages active participation in working towards the resolution of conservation problems
The project is focused on informing the general public about Wildlife Conservation Action's operations, enabling knowledge transfer, mutual benefit, and community involvement in conservation projects.
It is also providing an opportunity for ecologists to engage with the general public through interactive activities and events, such as webinars, capacity-building and training programs, online challenges, blogging, and public awareness campaigns.
Shangani Research Project
This project seeks to carry out a fine scale assessment of the ecology and conservation of four of Africa’s largest carnivores on a privately owned game and livestock ranch. Many top-order predators have been extirpated from private land because of the perceptions that they deplete herbivore species and predate on livestock and this has had a negative influence on the population of large carnivores and their conservation on ranches and conservancies.
Conservation initiatives aimed at reducing costs or creating benefits from having predators represent the most direct way to improve attitudes towards large carnivores on private land. Large carnivores such as leopards, cheetahs and hyenas are umbrella species and their protection would lead to the conservation of many other wildlife species and preservation of the whole landscape. Predator research in Zimbabwe is still predominantly carried out in national parks, however private land can potentially provide suitable habitat for their conservation therefore it is essential to increase research in these landscapes so as to come up with practical solutions to conservation problems.