CEO Werner Myburgh is accompanying a delegation from the Malawi Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife and others on a tour of Nyika National Park. Early this morning they are very privileged to be allowed a close-up view of a zebra collaring. Usually, these sorts of operations are done with only the team of experts around that are required to handle such wild animals. However, in this case, it is important for the visitors to see exactly how Peace Parks and partners plan how to protect and manage the environment and the wildlife. Understanding the processes involved in collecting this type of information helps to motivate those involved in protecting and developing Nyika National Park.

Note that this zebra is sedated as well having a cloth placed around her eyes so that her stress levels can be managed. This is a pretty rapid procedure, though. Werner fits the collar by hand and the animal is up and about in no time at all.

At present very little is known about animals’ movements across Nyika National Park. By tagging animals like this zebra with a collar, the team will be able to gather invaluable information about the animal’s movements. The collar allows real-time tracking of the animals through the radio receiver that sits within the collar. It provides data on the location, behaviour and movement patterns of the zebra, which indicates the size of the zebra’s home range, map its migration routes and enable more strategic anti-poaching efforts to be put in place.

As zebra tend to move in herds, along with other grazers like wildebeest, mapping this movement can also highlight important information such as which areas are grazed at certain times of year, which plants are favoured and so on. This all helps to paint a fuller picture of the environment which is vital to enable effective management of this remarkable protected area.