Peace Parks Foundation is deeply involved in rewilding efforts across various national parks and transboundary landscapes throughout southern Africa. ‘Rewilding Africa’ involves relocating wildlife to restore populations, improve infrastructure and foster sustainable conservation to create resilient ecosystems in protected areas.
In collaboration with Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC), Peace Parks has been actively contributing to the restoration and rewilding of Maputo National Park for a decade. “As part of the reintroduction of species,” says Maputo National Park’s veteran warden Miguel Goncalves, “we felt that now is the right time to bring in carnivores, top predators.” Far from being a box-ticking exercise, this is a finely-tuned, step-by-step process, and determined by the ‘functionality’ of each species – their precise roles and interactions in space and over time.
Building on already strong relationships with Sabie Game Park and the Mozambique Wildlife Alliance, Miguel’s team undertook the bold mission to locate and capture spotted hyenas from Sabie Game Park to be released in Maputo National Park.
In the previous episode of PeaceParks.TV, we got behind-the-scenes insight into the capture phase of a hyena relocation. After successfully capturing five hyenas, they are now safely released into a boma in Maputo National Park and will be kept there and monitored for four weeks. This gives them time to adjust to their new surroundings. “Once we feel that they are settled and more habituated to the area and to vehicles and tourists,” says Brian Neubert, Operations Manager at Peace Parks, “then we will release them into the park.”
With two new female and three male hyenas in the park, the team is keeping their fingers crossed, hopeful that they will breed successfully and form a bigger clan, or several. A growing population of carnivores will not only help maintain the ecosystem balance in the park but also attract tourists to the reserve, bringing in revenue that helps sustain park operations and local communities.
The dedication and coordination between Peace Parks and its partners in the field were vital in making this relocation a reality and success. Visit parquemaputo.gov.mz to learn more about Maputo National Park and its wildlife revival, and stay tuned to PeaceParks.TV for future updates on the new hyena kids on the block!