Its restocking time! | WWF Zambia

Its restocking time!

Posted on
25 August 2017
By Chabala Kasonde

We are very excited about the restocking of the Sioma Ngwezi national park. This week, in partnership with Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) we are moving 20 Sable antelopes from  Masebe Ranch in Mkushi, 198 Impalas and 35 Buffalos from Mosi-O  Tunya National Park in Livingstone, and a further 16 Sable antelopes from Lusaka all to be taken to Sioma Ngwezi. The main reason for this movement is to augment the recovery of wildlife populations in Sioma Ngwezi National park and the Lower West Zambezi Game Management Area (GMA) where populations had greatly declined in last three decades.

The Sioma Ngwezi national park was once a very vibrant park many years ago before the liberation wars in Angola and Namibia. After the wars, the area became vulnerable to heavy poaching, which coupled with sub-optimal management, led to a serious decline of  wildlife populations in the area.  As part of  the  Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area  (KAZA TFCA) initiative  which envisions  to transform the area into a  world class tourism destination, WWF, DNPW, Peace Parks Foundation (PPF), The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and the Sesheke West and Mufulani Community Resources Boards (CRBs)  are currently in the field commencing the restocking  initiative which, once complete, will be of great benefit to the country as a whole, providing a basis for the setting up of wildlife-based economies such as ecotourism and hunting.

The pioneer species for the restocking programme (sable, impala, buffalo, and Kudu) were selected based on their ability to breed quickly and their high tourism appeal. For these reasons, we are hopeful that in a few years’ time the Silowana Complex will be teaming with wildlife, benefiting the local communities by creating employment opportunities and direct income through photographic and hunting concessions, among other ventures.
The restocking process will be done very carefully. Before they are released into their new environment, the wildlife is placed in a special enclosure called a”boma”  to allow them to acclimatize to the  new environment. In the boma a few of the animals are collared with GPS/ satellite collars which will enable the DNPW management team and researchers to track their movements and monitor their survival over time. 


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