On a chilly winter’s morning in Mozambique, some rangers from Maputo National Park get treated to a magnificent sighting of a journey of giraffe in the mist. When seeing a herd this large, it’s almost strange to think that it was merely ten years ago when the first giraffe were reintroduced into the park. Now the species, alongside many others, are thriving under the protection of a dedicated team of conservationists and rangers.
Protecting and restoring southern Africa’s biodiversity lies at the core of what Peace Parks Foundation does. Through a co-management agreement between Peace Parks and Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas, that is precisely what has been done in Maputo National Park, as well as many others within the southern African landscape.
One of the ways that biodiversity has been restored in the park is through intensive rewilding efforts, which began 12 years ago when the first translocation took place. It is incredible to think that since then, nearly 5 000 animals have been translocated to Maputo National Park, including 11 species that had become locally extinct in the area in the past.
It is therefore vital that the array of species that this precious park is home to – from grasses to beetles to giraffes to sharks – remains protected. This has been achieved through effective counter-poaching strategies, including daily ranger patrols and aerial surveillance. Apart from dedicated ranger efforts, Maputo’s management team also works with communities that live in the park’s buffer zones to help educate them on the benefits of having plentiful wildlife in the area and the immense impact that this has on tourism. Through increased tourism, more revenue is generated, and employment opportunities are created, which will help to lift these communities out of poverty.
When nature wins, so too do all those that depend on her!