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Proyect Luambe

PROYECT LUAMBE: Since 2002, the Terra Natura Foundation has worked together with Luangwa Wilderness e. V, at the LUAMBE NATIONAL PARK (ZAMBIA) to preserve a natural space in East Zambia of 38,000 ha. The National Park is located in the Luangwa Valley. There are 400 different bird species and large mammals such as elephants, hippos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, genets, elands, zebras, buffaloes, pukus, blue and black wildebeest, antelopes, and giraffes, among other notable species.

The black rhino was poached to extinction in the 1980s, but there are now plans being drawn up with the authorities to reintroduce it. Since 2003, thanks to the official permission of ZAWA the operation to recover the territory that currently makes up the Luambe National Park. They were faced with poaching and a dwindling number of fauna in both population and species, causing a rupture in the natural migratory flows of species.

The Luangwa Wilderness Society has created and set up operational camps to give human, mechanical and technical support to the patrols, financed with the help of various donors to mark off the park limits, patrol regularly, remove traps, dismantle posts and stop the poachers who have almost driven the elephant population in the area, among other animals, to extinction. Furthermore, they permanently employ 46 people and work with volunteers from all over the world (they bring over a medical team from Singapore annually) to initiate self-sustaining activities for the park population (setting up various workshops which are beginning to launch products). The major issues is poaching for ivory and skins which causes a drastic decline in the population of elephants, big cats and other antelopes, the trade in which brings in high prices on the black market. There is a lack of staff and it is difficult to patrol the entire perimeter, particularly during the rainy season

Main objectives of the project:

- Comprehensive recovery and conservation of the national park
- Elimination of poaching in the park and the return and increase of animal populations and species.
- Raising public awareness of conservation of their natural heritage.
- Increased economic activity for people involved in the use and management plan.
- Plans to reorganise and manage resources in collaboration with the local authorities of ZAWA Wildlife.
- Plan and manage ecotourism and effective transmission of “know how”.
- Controlled reintroduction of the black rhino. Since 2002, working together with ZAWA has achieved the following:
- The recovery and protection of a park once abandoned to poaching.
- Increased awareness and growing participation from the local population (new activities and more collaboration).
- Physical demarcation and mapping of the park.
- Annual funding of 5 patrols and 20 guards to combat poaching, with quantifiable results.
- Increased wildlife population = higher volume of ecotourism and new sustainable economic benefits for the local population.
In 2008 there was a need to address (among other things, with the financial support of AIZA, was to obtain the annual maintenance of 5 mobile patrols with 10 guards, already in operation since 2006), funding their training, providing them with adequate resources within one of the key initial actions to achieve in the long-term and within the full plan, effective conservation and self-sustainability of its inhabitants. The primary objective was to recover and preserve the wildlife of Luambe National Park and develop an effective awareness among the inhabitants, as well as transmitting a “know how” that enables the sustainable use of ecotourism activities in the mid to long-term future as a way of self-sustaining the population. .

Thanks to the ongoing management of Terra Natura in collaboration with local and foreign institutions, and funding from various partners between 2008 and 2009, they achieved the goals listed below, after which the park detached itself from funding the project.

2008-2009 Achievements:

1. Joint patrols continued with ZAWA officials of key camps outside the park boundaries of Chanjuzi and Chipuka and the base camp of Lundazi. NO traps were found in the latter. 2. July and August were the most intensive months for the patrols as the natural ponds began to dry up and the wildlife congregated more around certain water points, where poachers were waiting them with their traps and rifles. This dry season there have been no traces of any poaching activity.
2. Costs for the uniforms, salary and meals for the patrols were covered throughout the whole of 2008, and there is a budget for the first 6 months of 2009. There must be an effort to raise more funds to cover this for the rest of the year.
3.Se han cubierto los gastos de uniforme, sueldo y raciones de las patrullas durante todo el 2008 y hay presupuesto para los primeros 6 meses del 2009. Debe hacerse un esfuerzo para lograr recaudar más fondos para terminar el año.
4. . The patrols have uncovered 4 hideouts, removed 5 traps and arrested one poacher. There is an increased reduction in the number of poachers operating in the park as a result of the general knowledge of the surveillance and arrest of known poachers. There is a general rumour going round that they can no longer hunt in the park, and so it is very difficult for them to hide among other people as they did before.
5. As well as the 10 guards from ZAWA operating in the North and the 8 in the South, there are another 40 guards with better training from Lunduzi at the Scouts government school, with 34 in the North where they are most needed on the access roads and 16 at points in the South.
6. The populations of large animals continue to rise, though there is not yet a census of the animals. The increased presence is estimated by the frequency of sightings and observations with the naked eye by patrols and researchers. Unfortunately, population count is still suspended due to failure of the aircraft, which is still in Johannesburg for repair.
7. The increased frequency of sightings of a group of 17 African wild dogs (of which only 3,500 remain in the whole of Africa), one of the rarest and most threatened mammals in the continent, seen just a few metres from the camp, is an indicator of the enormous success of the conservation and management efforts of this natural space.
8.The tractor and bulldozer brought over from Germany continue to maintain existing roads and construct new routes for the patrols and safari.
9.Newly in charge of conservation of the park and the camp is South African Dalene Eliiot, who has extensive experience of management of natural areas of South Africa.
10.Third professional graduation of a group of 10 scouts, completing the team of 50 professional scouts for patrol and poaching control.
11.Leipzig Zoo joins the project with a €25,000 grant in October 2008.

 

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