By Dr Norman Monks - Director Research and Conservation (ALERT)
The African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) have a number of research and community projects underway. All of these projects are undertaken in two National Parks in Zimbabwe: The Zambezi National Park and Chizarira National Park. The research work includes research on elephants, lions, spotted hyaena and giraffe as well as monitoring projects on birds and vegetation. The community projects focus on human-wildlife conflict mitigation in villages surrounding the National Parks and also conservation education in rural schools.
Due to the pandemic, funding from corporate bodies that were supporting ALERT has ceased making it more difficult for us to carry on the projects which help the Park authorities and communities.
Nevertheless we have managed to keep functioning and remain faithful to those who rely on us. This year we collared two elephants in Chizarira (1,910km2) as part of the elephant project which feeds into the Kavanga/Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA). The TFCA is nearly twice the size of the UK and our contribution to the knowledge on population status, numbers and movements of elephant help the larger community come up with management plans to conserve the elephant.
We have kept up our community commitments and recently put up a mobile predator-proof livestock holding pen in the community on the northern boundary of Chizarira National Park. Conservation education classes have not been held since March this year as schools were closed for long periods but we hope to resurrect this project in 2021.
We wish you all a happy and blessed Christmas and an end to the pandemic!
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