Peace Parks Foundation press release

Collaborative conservation continues between South Africa and Mozambique

In another victory for cross-border conservation, a series of successful wildlife translocations saw 27 Zebra and 62 blue wildebeest safely making the 1 250 km journey from Kruger National Park in South Africa to Zinave National Park in Mozambique. These new arrivals are welcome additions to the more than 2 300 reintroduced animals that are now thriving under the restoration and management programmes being implemented in Zinave.

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Since 2018, more than 700 animals have been translocated under a donation from South Africa’s Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment to the Ministry of Land and the Environment in Mozambique, as they work together, supported by Peace Parks Foundation, to restock and rebuild key parks within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area.

“The translocation of species from the Kruger National Park to the Zinave National Park in Mozambique is an important indication of how South Africa’s conservation success is contributing to the rewilding of Africa,” said the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy.  “The success of ongoing cross-border collaborations is an outstanding example of how African countries are working together to solve conservation problems and grow the eco-tourism sector.”

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The 2-million-hectare world-renowned Kruger National Park, managed by South African National Parks, offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. With more than 147 mammal species thriving in abundant numbers as a result of many years of expert conservation management and protection strategies, the park is well positioned to support the restoration of decimated protected areas in neighbouring southern African countries.  

The restoration of Zinave National Park has been one of southern Africa’s most remarkable conservation success stories. After decades of human impacts severely disrupted the 408 000ha Park’s natural ecosystems and healthy wildlife populations, work began on restoring Zinave to its former glory in 2016, with the signing of a co-management agreement between Mozambique’s National Administration of Conservation Areas and Peace Parks. Through this partnership, significant investment has been directed towards enhancing conservation management, anti-poaching, infrastructure development, tourism development and community development interventions in the Park.

Today, thanks to wildlife donations from South Africa and Zimbabwe and through restocking from other areas in Mozambique, Zinave now boasts 13 species including impala, reedbuck, waterbuck, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, sable and elephant. Thriving in their safe and plentiful habitat, these reintroduced populations have more than doubled in numbers to close to 6 000 animals. With the herbivore populations thriving, the first predators – a clan of four spotted hyenas – were reintroduced into the park at the end of 2020 and have already produced their own offspring.

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“It is heartening to see how healthy populations of wildlife have stimulated the potential for increased tourism and related income opportunities in and around Zinave. The Park is set to become a major contributor to Mozambique’s eco-tourism economies. We highly value the cross-border partnerships that we have with our governmental partners in South Africa and with Peace Parks Foundation. It is a wonderful example of how regional partnerships can contribute to building a more prosperous future for southern Africa and its people,” said the Minister of Land and the Environment in Mozambique, Ms Ivete Maibaze.     

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Kruger and Zinave national parks respectively form the most western and eastern anchor parks of a vital cross-border wildlife corridor within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area. Wildlife monitoring has identified various species, such as elephants, lions and wild dogs, which are using this transfrontier migration route to access water, food and breeding grounds. Ensuring healthy and protected ecosystems in these areas is therefore not only significant to the parks, but to the environmental well-being of the region, its natural resources and human development.

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For editorial enquiries contact:

Lise-Marie Greeff-Villet (Peace Parks Foundation Communications Manager)

Email: lgreeff-villet@peaceparks.org

Photo captions (ALL PHOTOS AND VIDEOS CREDITED TO PEACE PARKS FOUNDATION)

Chopper: Translocations require carefully coordinated efforts, including expert flying skills.
Zebra: The 27 zebra graze peacefully in their new home in Zinave National Park.
Wildebeest:  A thundering herd of blue wildebeest are expertly directed through the various sections of the capture funnel.
Trucks: Animals are safely transported in trucks specially adapted for the task.
 
Editor’s notes

Great Limpopo TFCA
The establishment of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area extends back to November 2000, with the signing of a trilateral agreement between South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, followed by the signing of a treaty in December 2002. The Treaty provides the legal framework for the development of the GLTFCA consisting of Limpopo, Banhine and Zinave National Parks in Mozambique, Kruger National Park in South Africa, Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, and a variety of other public and private reserves. www.peaceparks.org/tfcas/great-limpopo/

Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa empowers us as a sector and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment continue to endeavour for the full realisation of the right to an environment that is not harmful to the health and well-being of South Africans and all those who live in our country. As the sector and the Department, we aim to radically transform our approach to environmental protection, while also balancing it with socioeconomic development – crucial pillars on which sustainable development rests. As a nation we adopted the National Development Plan, which maps out the vision of the country for the 20 years ahead. In the environment sector, we will implement related aspects of the priority areas that deal with environmental protection and sustainable development.

South African National Parks
As a leading conservation authority, SANParks is a public entity under the jurisdiction of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, where inclusive conservation as opposed to previous policies of exclusion, are central to advancing the policies in line with the National Development Framework for Sustainable Development and the National Development Plan. SANParks manages a system of 20 functional national parks in seven of the nine provinces of South Africa with a total area of just over 4 million hectares comprising 67% of the protected areas under state management. The SANParks of today is recognised as a world leader in conservation and protected area management. In the last two decades, seven new national parks have been established, totalling over 700 000 hectares, with much of this being in the under conserved biomes such as the Succulent Karoo and Fynbos. https://www.sanparks.org/

ANAC
Established in 2011, the National Administration for the Conservation Areas (ANAC) is a state institution responsible for the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable development of Mozambique’s ecotourism. Its main activities are the planning, coordination, and execution of activities in the conservation areas, in partnership with local organisations and communities. The conservation areas, administered by ANAC, represent around 25% of the national territory, including 9 National Parks and 5 National Reserves, two environmental protection areas, 50  game farms and about 40 controlled hunting areas. http://www.anac.gov.mz/en/anac/  

Peace Parks Foundation
The Peace Parks Foundation dream is to reconnect Africa’s wild spaces to create a future for man in harmony with nature. In order to achieve its vision of “Restoring Tomorrow” for life on earth, the Foundation works to renew and preserve large, functional ecosystems that stretch across international boundaries through the establishment of transfrontier conservation areas.  In so doing Peace Parks safeguards the integrity of biological diversity, whilst protecting and regenerating vital natural resources and cultural heritage. At the same time the Foundation contributes to the development of shared economic benefits and poverty alleviation by harnessing the potential for ecotourism development to provide sustainable economic growth, as well as fosters community engagement and beneficiation initiatives for those living in and around these conservation areas. www.peaceparks.org