Conservation

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    Addressing snaring patterns and trends

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    Addressing snaring patterns and trends

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    Removing a snare from a hyena

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    Vaccinating domestic dogs against disease outbreaks

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    Vaccinating domestic dogs against disease outbreaks

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    The SLCS Lion Anti-Snaring Team

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    The SLCS Lion Anti-Snaring Team

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    Vaccinating domestic dogs against disease outbreaks

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    Risk-Mapping of Ecological Networks

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    Vaccinating domestic dogs against disease outbreaks

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    A lion carrying a neck snare

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    Recording data on a confiscated snare as part of a poaching trends and patterns study

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    Removing a snare from a wild dog

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    Removing a snare from a wild dog

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    The SLCS Wild Dog Anti-Snaring Team

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    Surveying for cheetah using scat-sniffing detection dogs.
    Photo's by Dave Hamman

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    Lady Liuwa (L) and her newly-introduced pride member from Kafue (R)

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    Removing a cable snare from a wildebeest

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    Capturing young lionesses from Kafue to repopulate Liuwa

Not surprisingly, the diversity of biological, environmental and human variables across ZCP study sites results in a variety of threats and limiting factors to carnivores and their habitats. While accurate and current research is needed to effectively inform conservation efforts, eminent threats identified by research require immediate attention. Consequently, ZCP has a wide range of collaborative conservation initiatives.


Anti-Snaring

ZCP De-Snaring
One of the most important human impacts on many African ecosystems has been the burgeoning bushmeat trade. Where meat poaching occurs, wire snaring is a popular method given that snares are inexpensive and easy to obtain, set, and conceal, in addition to being very effective. Due to their non-selective nature, however, snares can inflict significant injuries and mortality on a variety of species.

Snaring occurs throughout the study systems, though appears particularly pronounced in the Luangwa and Kafue ecosystems. In the Luangwa valley we have a long-standing collaboration with the South Luangwa Conservation Society to combat snaring and reduce its impacts on large carnivores such as African wild dog and lion. In addition to this we conduct research and monitoring on snaring trends and patterns and rescue animals caught and injured in snares. In Kafue and Liuwa we also collect data on snaring impacts and rescue snared carnivores.


Reducing Disease Transmission to Wild Populations

Given that communities in and around national parks in Zambia typically have domestic dogs in each household, the potential for disease transmission via direct contact with species such as wild dogs and lions, and spill-over transmission via hyenas and other species, is potentially high. We work with a number of partner institutions and the Department of Veterinary and Livestock development to conduct disease monitoring work and implement domestic dog vaccination programs.


Monitoring and Mitigating Human-Carnivore Conflict

Large carnivores often are at the center of human-wildlife conflict and thus ZCP conducts evaluations of the extent of human-wildlife conflict in study sites via community surveys. At present due to the lack of livestock in the Luangwa and Kafue and effective husbandry techniques in Liuwa the level of carnivore conflict is fortunately low; however this can change and therefore is monitored by ZCP.


Species Reintroduction

Lady Liuwa
In some instances human pressures have led to the disappearance or severe reduction of certain carnivore species that historically occurred in African ecosystems.

Consequently reintroductions provide one of the most immediate and obvious conservation activities for large carnivores should natural recolonization not be a viable or realistic option. ZCP has therefore assisted African Parks Zambia in reintroducing lions into Liuwa Plain National Park and is involved in additional reintroduction plans of cheetah and other species in Zambia.

Zambian Carnivore Programme