This week, we are following an elephant translocation that will see 23 elephants moved from Maputo National Park’s buffer zone, where they face significant risk due to human-wildlife conflict, to Zinave National Park where they will have the space to thrive.
With the ever-expanding human population, natural habitats that exist outside of protected areas, are fast being converted to sustain rural communities. In Africa, human-elephant conflict is a major and complex issue which affects both elephant and villages that lie in the buffer zone of protected areas such as Maputo National Park.
Park Warden, Miguel Gonçalves, explains that the crops and fields of the communities that live in the buffer zone are under constant threat of crop-raiding by elephants. As elephants aren’t known to be ‘tidy eaters’ by any stretch of the imagination, a single elephant can uproot and destroy hectares of fields in minutes – something that would have taken these small-scale farmers months to grow. This results in already poor farmers losing their entire harvest.
Unfortunately, the reality is that to protect their livelihoods, many of these ‘problem-elephants’ are then targeted by communities.
To avoid this conflict, Peace Parks Foundation and partners are supporting the translocation of these elephants to Zinave National Park in Mozambique where they will be able to roam freely.
This will not be the first translocation to happen between national parks in Mozambique as three elephant herds were translocated from the Maputo River landscape to Zinave National Park by Peace Parks Foundation and partners in May last year.
This year, the operation is supported by Peace Parks Foundation and Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas, as well as the Mozambique Wildlife Alliance, and Conservation Solutions.
Make sure to stay tuned to Peace Parks TV this week, as we learn from the professionals how moving 23 elephants is done.