Introduction to Conservation South Luangwa
Written By Guest On June 29, 2022
When there are clouds on the horizons of our local wildlife, Conservation South Luangwa – CSL creates vital silver linings. We have been officially registered since 2003, and since then we have worked in partnership with Zambia’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) to protect the 1,400,000 hectares of largely intact wilderness in eastern Zambia that makes up the South Luangwa National Park and the network of surrounding Game Management Areas.
Our team, along with the DNPW, work on the frontline of wildlife conservation and human-wildlife coexistence in the South Luangwa Valley, which is also known to many as the Valley of the Leopard.
The Luangwa Valley is home to over 60 species of mammal and 450 species of bird, including the endemic Thornicroft Giraffe and Cookson’s Wildebeest and high densities of lion, leopard and wild dog as well as being Zambia’s elephant stronghold.
Our Mission: To work with community and conservation partners in the protection of the wildlife and habitats of the South Luangwa ecosystem.
Our Vision: The long-term survival of wildlife and habitats in South Luangwa under the custodianship of the Zambian people.
Here is a glimpse of the work we do on the ground:
Did you know that the South Luangwa Valley is 1.4 million hectares?
The sheer size of the South Luangwa Valley poses a great difficulty in understanding the scale of the challenges faced by our team at Conservation South Luangwa – CSL
and DNPW anti-poaching ground teams.
Despite continuous and rigorous anti-poaching foot patrols, much is often left out or not observed over the 1.4 million hectares of protected area covered by CSL’s operations.
Regular aerial surveillance of the South Luangwa National Park and surrounding Game Management Areas allows the team to collect valuable intelligence data including detecting illegal activity, identifying carcass locations, areas of deforestation and much more.
Aerial surveillance is also important for anti-poaching operations and can be used to pinpoint poachers from the air, prevent them from escaping and directing ground patrols to them
South Luangwa National Park and the surrounding Game Management Areas face rapid encroachment from human settlement and agriculture. Human populations have more than doubled over the past twenty years and as a result, there is a high demand for protein in the form of bush meat as well as opportunistic and planned commercial hunting forays. Snaring is easy, generates high returns and presents a very low risk to the poacher.
With high densities of wildlife in the game management area bordering the National Park, easy access to wire, a large-scale market for selling bush meat and availability of cash in a developing tourist destination, South Luangwa faces enormous problems with snaring that is escalating to critical levels. CSL shares a full-time wildlife veterinarian with the Zambian Carnivore Program, Dr Mwambe Sichande, ensuring our capacity to mobilise veterinary care quickly to snared or injured animals.
The images may not be pretty but we are very proud of them and sometimes we can’t hide from reality.
We are proud to say that since 2005, over 10,000 snares have been removed from the bush by CSL scouts and that more than 250 animals have been immobilized and treated for snare wounds.