In this Peace Parks TV episode, we share a snapshot of three magnificent male lions who have found their own way to Zinave National Park. We catch a glimpse of them through the lens of camera traps set up to monitor the park’s elusive wildlife.
Osvaldo Abrao, Carnivore Reintroduction Project Coordinator, is extremely excited… because the boys are back in the flourishing environment of Zinave! Osvaldo is a member of the Endangered Wildlife Trust team, which is researching all the predators in the park – from tracking on the ground to snapping with a grid of 40 camera traps. The team needs to be able to monitor both actively rewilded – introduced – animals, and also the wild populations that are coming back naturally, using vital ecological linkages connecting protected areas and allowing this intuitive movement.
The cameras are placed in areas where Osvaldo already knows there are high levels of predator activity, reading the signs left here and there in the bush. It’s fantastic news to be seeing such clear evidence, in black and white, of lions. When a species returns naturally to an area once ravaged by poaching and habitat degradation, it’s a clear sign of a healthy, balanced ecosystem with plenty on the menu. This is a testament to enormous conservation efforts, with the invaluable contributions of the Mozambique Government and partners and donors, that are clearly paying off. Restoration and rewilding initiatives to populate the park with game has allowed the prey population to grow, attracting predators seeking these riches, and traveling impressive distances to find it.
According to the camera trap images, as well as other clear evidence such as sightings and tracks, Osvaldo is confident that there are at least six lions now in Zinave – perhaps more, we will see! The return of animals to a park with such a challenging history and bright, healthy future highlights the resilience of #NatureWithoutBorders in overcoming adversity.
Join us in celebrating this conservation success by getting involved in the protection of nature in your own meaningful way, and stay tuned to Peace Parks TV for more exciting rewilding stories!