Strengthening threatened species protection, human-wildlife coexistence and community upliftment around Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.
Thanks to the funding support by the IUCN Save Our Species, co-funded by the European Union, Wildlife ACT is able to maintain and improve the conservation of viable threatened species populations in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park by continuing to monitor endangered and priority wildlife populations, while promoting human-wildlife coexistence and improving the livelihoods of individuals in neighbouring communities.
Wildlife ACT’s Work to Date Includes:
- Monitoring 9 different species
- Fitting over 800 tracking devices
- Relocating over 800 animals
- Rescuing & treating over 145 snared or wounded animals
- And spending over 210,000 monitoring and field hours in vehicles, in the air, and on foot.
Educational Kids Camps, in-school conservation lessons, conservation ambassador club programmes and community game drives, have also helped reach over 82,000 local children and adults – inspiring a new generation of conservationists.
“We are extremely proud of what we have achieved in the past 12 years, and look forward to many more years of success in the conservation sector in Africa” – Mark Gerrard, Wildlife ACT Managing Director
Wildlife ACT works in partnership with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to manage threatened and endangered species in accordance with National Conservation Strategies. Wildlife ACT remains committed to this ongoing work, however, it’s low-impact tourism activities which fund several of the organisation’s programmes, have been severely affected due to Covid-19.
With the restrictions on travel and associated loss of tourism revenue, it has been necessary to for Wildlife ACT to secure other sources of funding in order to continue with their critical community and wildlife conservation activities in and around Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HiP). Thanks to the funding support by the IUCN Save Our Species, co-funded by the European Union, the conservation of viable threatened species populations, promotion of human-wildlife coexistence and the improvement livelihoods of neighbouring communities of HiP is able to continue through the pandemic.
Rapid Action Grant from IUCN Save Our Species
Wildlife ACT is able to continue crucial conservation work and support Park Management with the status and management of HiP’s threatened species. All endangered species monitoring, emergency response, data capture, analysis and reporting from both Wildlife ACT’s iMfolozi and Hluhluwe projects, along with the deployment of camera traps into the field and fitment of tracking devices onto Vultures, Wild Dogs and Cheetah, is ongoing thanks to the financial support of the Rapid Action Grant from IUCN Save Our Species.
“Accurate, daily monitoring of priority species within relatively small, fenced Protected Areas is vital to understanding factors driving the survival of these species and ensuring they can be most effectively managed. This funding will greatly assist our partners, Wildlife ACT, in the vitally-important work they assist us with, during this pandemic.” – Dr Dave Druce, Park Ecologist, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park’s Human Wildlife Coexistence (HWC) team members will be specially trained and equipped to manage conflict incidents to reduce the cost to communities associated with the presence of wildlife through strengthened collaboration between communities and Park Management. The HWC team will be able to accurately identify which predators are responsible for livestock mortalities, identify tracks and facilitate communication between affected livestock owners and Park Management.
The economic impact of Covid-19 on people living around the Park is significant, with the economic downturn affecting the livelihoods and incomes of many households, including those reliant on tourism for survival. In partnership with Wildlife ACT, People Nature Connect will train and mentor informal sector businesses in the communities surrounding HiP. The project will assist businesses affected by the downturn in the economy to develop basic business skills, diversify income generation, and increase market access and profitability.
IUCN Save Our Species to Strengthen Capacity
Coupling the protection of threatened and priority species with the peaceful co-existence between people and wildlife and promoting community livelihood improvement, has been shown to increase support for conservation and protected areas. The support by IUCN Save Our Species, co-funded by the European Union, will aid in strengthening the capacity of Ezemvelo, Wildlife ACT and People Nature Connect staff to perform key project tasks to enhance sustainability of this project. These organisations are committed to ongoing work in the area and this investment in capacity will equip them to deal with the conservation and development challenges they face.
This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union through IUCN Save Our Species. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Wildlife ACT, People Nature Connect & Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and do not necessarily reflect the views of IUCN or the European Union.