Poaching of Rhinos is very common in the African nations where they are hunted for its precious horns. The poaching has reached a limit where it threatens the very existence of the Species in the continent. Though various Governments are taking steps to control poaching, it is very difficult to control such crimes among the illiterate population. As a good news for the African nation of Zambia, studies have unveiled that the Zambian Rhinos population in the country is slowly on the rise giving hopes to the National Government.
Through the partnership known as the North Luangwa Conservation Programme, an agreement between the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) & Zambia Wildlife Authority, poaching was brought under control and by 2001 a proposal was put forward to reintroduce black rhino to NLNP. In 2003 the first of four deliveries took place with the arrival of five black rhino to NLNP. Ten more arrived in 2006, five more in 2008 and the last five were delivered in 2010.
No rhinos poached, but elephant poaching worse than ever
Since 2003, eight animals have died naturally, there have been no black rhinos poached, & thirteen calves have been born, giving a populations today of 30. Three calves were born in 2013 alone. However, poaching is on the increase and elephant poaching in the ecosystem has taken a significant uptick in the last five years. 2013 poached elephant records will exceed all others over the past 20 years. The threat to the black rhino population is very real and present. A sobering thought: in the 1970s there were 12,000 rhinos in Zambia; just over a decade later, there were none. In 2013, there are less than 12,000 elephants left in Zambia; where will be a decade from now?
NLCP supports law enforcement and protected area management activities in an area covering about 16,000km² (3/4 the size of Wales). In that area ZAWA has 24 base camps where the rangers scouts are based and from where they deploy on patrol.
Training & back up
NLCP provides housing, training, vehicles, patrol rations, equipment, radios, GPS units, and uniforms for ZAWA Wildlife Police Officers to carry out their anti-poaching duties fully and effectively. NLCP also provides support to the five intelligence and investigations units to make follow ups and ensure the full extent of the law can be applied to transgressors.
NLCP supports infrastructural development such as airstrips, roads, bridges, offices and outpost buildings to strengthen management and tourism activities. We contract a local builder to take on the works that we design, budget and fundraise for, such as scout houses, school buildings, offices, etc. We supervise all this and effectively manage the construction work. NLCP also directly employs teams of men to help clear, dig and fix roads, as well as use the NLCP grader with our driver to annually maintain, clear and grade more than 700 kilometers of roads and three bush airstrips.
NLCP engages with local communities through their Lolesha Luangwa conservation education programme, which reaches about 1500 Grades 5-7 children in 22 schools surrounding NLNP.
FZS financial input is about 45% of overall annual activity running costs, excluding salaries, which are paid for by ZAWA.