Research and Conservation
The African Wildlife Conservation Fund is a non-profit organisation that originally started through the efforts of a group of people dedicated to the conservation of the endangered African Wild Dog in Zimbabwe. The African Wildlife Conservation Fund’s work has since expanded to include the conservation of other large predators, community outreach, initiatives to stop illegal hunting for bush meat and helping to raise funds for a rhino anti-poaching team. The Gonarezhou Predator Project is one of these programmes and focuses on the large predators of the Gonarezhou National Park including lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs and spotted hyenas. It has been discovered that the extremely low populations of predators in the park are due to an illegal trade in skins, the snaring and poisoning of large predators and the killing of predators who prey on livestock by local communities.
The Gonarezhou Predator Project aims to conserve the predator populations of the park through assisting with anti-poaching and snare removal, empowering the authorities to deal with problem animals in non-lethal ways, educating local communities about the benefits of wildlife to reduce human-wildlife conflict and to improve relations between the park and its neighbours. The conservation efforts are monitored regularly and an increase in the lion population is an encouraging sign that they are already working effectively.
HOW YOU CAN HELP BY SUPPORTING SATIB CONSERVATION TRUST
The SATIB Conservation Trust has developed a brochure for the African Wildlife Conservation Fund to promote the work being done in Gonarezhou and to assist with sponsorship of the project’s research and education initiatives. These have been distributed locally and in the US. In 2014, we are working on providing educational content on human-wildlife conflict in pamphlets for communities adjacent to Gonarezhou National Park.